Being a Poolee
Inside the Delayed Entry Program
Most young men and women begin their path to earn the title by first being a member of a recruit "pool."
Poolees have sworn to enlist but have not yet began their training at Boot Camp.
While a member of the pool, they will be known as a "Poolee." As poolees, future Marines will be trained through a series of events led by their recruiters to be best prepared for shipping to Recruit Training.
What is the Pool?
The "recruit pool" is a collection of contracted future Marine recruits, known as poolees, who will attend training at MCRD Parris Island or MCRD San Diego.
Each has completed the initial contracting process to enlist into the Corps. Poolees are participants in the Delayed Entry Program, also known as DEP.
They are members of the pool at the Recruiting Substation (RSS) from which they were recruited.
The pool is managed by the Station Commander at the RSS. The Station Commander will plan and execute pool events such as weekly workouts, visits by Drill Instructors, and other training to events to better prepare these soon-to-be Recruits for their Marine Corps journey.
What is a Poolee?
A poolee is considered any individual who has completed the contracting process to enlist in the Marine Corps, but has a wait period between when they make the commitment to become a Marine and when they ship to recruit training.
Upon completing their enlistment process and contracting, they will earn their "Blue Shirts."
Pooles have met all the qualifications for enlistment and have been found eligible for enlistment. During this period of time, they are officially members of the DEP.
A poolee can be a member of the DEP for anywhere between a few days up to a year. While a member of the DEP, poolees will prepare for Recruit Training as a team led by their recruiters, and are held to the same standards of conduct as Marines. If they use drugs, get in trouble, or do anything else that breaks the rules, they will lose their ability to join the Marine Corps.
What is a Pool Function?
Typically once a month, recruiters will schedule a series of events designed to prepare poolees for the rigors of Recruit Training known as a Pool Function. These events focus on developing physical fitness, camaraderie, and Marine Corps knowledge for each participant.
Attendance at pool functions is usually required. Pool functions are excellent opportunities for poolees to network with one another and learn from each other. Often groups of poolees will ship together and train with one another at Recruit Training.
Many RSS's will hold pool functions with Poolees from other nearby RSS's, hosting competitions, or bringing them to local gyms with veterans. Functions start with a discussion of media for motivation and to remind the poolees of their goal to become Marines. Then poolees will often find themselves conducting a tough workout. Following the workout, poolees typically conclude with a motivating speech from a senior leader discussing Recruit Training and future service in the Marine Corps. Poolees can also conduct events such as hikes, obstacle courses and other special events led by their recruiters to prepare for the recruit depots.
Functions conducted by the Recruiting Station, or RS, are attended by the poolees and recruiters of the RSSs in the area. These events are held semi-annually or annually and are utilized to expose poolees to Drill Instructors, guest speakers, and competition between poolees of the substations. Some events utilize scenarios such as resupply runs with ammunition cans or pull-up competitions to give winning RSSs bragging rights until the next event.