Key Training Events
General Information About Major Events
The following provides general information lists training events that are integral to the training and indoctrination process. Some are well known, or are self-explanatory, but many others often occur in the background and are often excluded from common media. Nevertheless, these events all have their place in the process of transforming a civilian into a United States Marine.
Items in BOLD are required in order to graduate Recruit Training. Failure to do so will result in the Recruit being redesignated, known as "dropped", to a different company to attempt the requirement again, or the Recruit being removed from Recruit Training for failure to compete the event to standard.
The events below are organized chronologically - this is the overall progression of your time at boot camp.
Teamwork and discipline is critical to the Marine. Much like team sports, Close order drill allows each platoon the opportunity. Will be tested from the first day of training until the day new Marines march across their respective Parade Deck. All drill instructed at Recruit Training is in accordance with MCO 5060.20, the Marine Corps Drill and Ceremonies Manual. Recruits will be introduced to drill the second they arrive at training. The position of attention, or POA, is the very first thing will learn. From there, they will progress through the recieving process to meet their DIs on Black Friday. On this day, they will be introduced to their first marching command "Forward, March." Many recruits will stare at the deck as they march and fail to keep in step with their platoon. DIs will start slow to ensure they develop understanding of movements, but will quickly throw as much as the recruits can handle.
This event will pit recruits against each other in controlled, timed bouts. This event is an oppurtunity to practice martial arts techniques they have learned and to introduce violence in a controlled environment. Pugil Sticks will lay the groundwork to build confidence in further martial arts training. Platoons will arrive at the training location to stage their weapons and gear in formation. Recruits will remove their blouse, ensure their pockets are emptied, and have their mouthpieces in hand before recieving further instructions. DIs will conduct a demonstration of a bout to include the proper commands and strikes which will be utilized during the event. Recruits will be lined up in accordance with their weight so each recruit has a bout with an individual within 10 pounds of their body weight.
Conditioning Hikes are completed throughout the training cycle to prepare recruits for tactical foot movements. Also known as “humps”, these hikes range in distance from 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) to 15 kilometers (9.3 miles). The prescribed weights from 40 to 60 pounds are established to simulate movement of weapon, gear and self to the fight. Hikes are completed on Saturday mornings and are led by the Company Commander. Hikes are preceeded by a hot meal in the chow hall, and recruits are given a piece of fruit or an energy bar which can be consumed at rest stops to sustain them through the event.
Body Sparring allows recruits to fight one another, much like a boxing match. This event is an opportunity to practice martial arts techniques they have learned and to introduce violence in a controlled environment. Platoons will arrive at the training location to stage their weapons and gear in formation. Recruits will remove their blouse, ensure their pockets are emptied, and have their mouthpieces in hand before receiving further instructions. DIs will conduct a demonstration of a bout to include the proper commands and strikes which will be utilized during the event. Recruits will be lined up in accordance with their weight so each recruit has a bout with an individual within 10 pounds of their body weight.
This key event is really two sequential events, the Fast Rope and the Rappel. The Fast Rope is completed first and is completed by rapidly sliding down a thick rope, simulating egress from a helicopter. Recruits will receive a climbing helmet and thick lineman's gloves prior to being arranged around the tower to receive instruction and a demonstration from the Black Shirts. Recruits will then climb a wooden ladder in teams and complete the Fast Rope portion. They will then pick up ropes and a carabiner for use on the Rappel.
This event is an experience no Marine or Officer forgets. Recruits will be transported to the gas chamber classroom where they will each be issued an M50 Joint Service General Purpose Mask (JSGPM) and two filters before being seated in the classroom. They will then receive training on the dangers presented by Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) threats which they may face in the operating forces. They will then be taught the purpose, wear, and maintenance of the M50 JSGPM. Recruits will conduct a test fit of their masks prior to departing the classroom.
The Obstacle Course, or O Course, is completed at multiple points during each training cycle. It is composed of 14 obstacles to include low hurdle logs, high logs, high bars, a wall, and a rope climb. Recruits will wear their utility uniform bottoms with boots, and a t-shirt. Sweaters may be worn if the weather requires it. Each platoon be provided detail instructions on how to safely navigate the course and techniques to complete each individual obstacle. DIs will demonstrate these techniques prior to recruits beginning the course.
True to its name, this course seeks to instill confidence in each recruit and force them to face their fears, particularly one of heights. This is accomplished through a series of obstacles, each with a unique name and purpose, such as the infamous "Stairway to Heaven." Training at the Confidence Course will prepare Recruits for future events critical to their success at Recruit Training.
The MCMAP Endurance Course combines martial arts training and PT to create one of the most grueling events of the training cycle. This event is completed on a PT field with a running track and is composed of ten stations. Stations are set about 100 feet apart and will be conducted in a clockwise or counterclockwise rotation. Like any other PT session, this event will be preceded by warmups to prepare the recruits body for what is to come. DIs will then brief recruits on the conduct of each station, then break them into their squads to complete the event.
The first of three formal inspections which will be stood by recruits. This inspection is led by the First Lieutenant or Captain responsible for each platoon. Series Commanders will expect the impeccable bearing, uniform wear, discipline, and military knowledge. Recruits will typically wear their MARPAT uniform and have their rifle on hand. Chaos will also come in the form of Drill Instructors who will provide unique atmosphere for the completion of this event. If recruits fail to perform, they can expect a hasty trip to the IT pit or quarterdeck.
This is the first of two platoon close order drill evaluations. Drill Instructors will spend countless hours teaching basic movements and discipline in order to showcase the best their recruits have to offer. Completion of his event marks the transition of a Phase I platoon to a Phase II platoon.
The water survival test is composed of a tower jump, 25 meter swim, 25 meter pack swim, four minute water tread, and a shallow water gear shed. Recruits who experience difficulties with these events are provided in-depth training from certified swim instructors so they may meet the standard. The training for these recruits is known as "Iron Ducks."
The Combat Fitness Test (CFT) is completed by recruits and Marines alike to test the individuals strength and endurance. The CFT consists of three events: movement to contact, 880m run, 2 minutes max ammo can lift, and a maneuver under fire. The movement to contact is an 880mm sprint conducted on a track or a road course. Ammo can lifts are an overhead press utilizing a 30 pound ammo can, typically filled with sand and rock, which is weighed before the event. The maneuver under fire is a tactical-oriented shuttle run which includes sprints, buddy carries, and a grenade toss. Recruits will complete two CFTs during their training. An Initial CFT will familiarize recruits with the conduct of events, with emphasis on the maneuver under fire course; the score attained is a benchmark for future development. The Final CFT will prove Recruits can graduate training, and they must meet established minimums.
Recruits will receive over 28 hours of martial arts instruction during the training cycle. This training will culminate in a test which recruits must show proficiency in at least 80% of the techniques they are taught. Prior to this test convening, recruits will be provided ample time to remediate each technique with their DIs.
This is the first of three academic evaluations. Recruits will be expected to show proficiency on officer and enlisted ranks, early Marine Corps history, customs and courtesies, and other topics. This test is completed on a Scantron form like those seen in high schools and colleges.
Prior to ever loading and firing their service rifles, recruits will complete up to six days of marksmanship training known as "Grass Week." This week of training is primarily conducted at the rifle range training area, but it also includes some training in the platoon squadbays. Bug spray and sunscreen are essential during this week Grass Week will begin with recruits being introduced to their Primary Marksmanship Instructor, or PMI. PMIs are Corporals and Sergeants who have completed weeks of training and have proven their ow proficiency with the service rifle. They have extensive experience coaching recruits and Marines alike, and they are hand-selected for this important position.
The Physical Fitness Test (PFT) is completed by recruits and Marines alike to test the individuals strength and endurance. The PFT consists of three events: 3-mile run, 2 minutes max set of crunches, and max set of pullups. Each event can earn an individual 100 points, for a total maximum score of 300 points. Recruits have the option of planks in lieu of crunches and pushups in lieu of pullups. Recruits will complete two PFTs during their training. An Initial PFT will familiarize recruits with the conduct of events and the run portion route; the score attained is a benchmark for future development. The Final PFT will prove Recruits can graduate training, and they must meet established minimums.
Recruits get their first opportunity to fire their service rifles during Table One marksmanship training during Firing Week. All Recruits will fire hundreds of rounds either at slow, regular intervals or in quick, timed-constrained bursts from the sitting, standing, kneeling, and prone positions. Ranges for firing start at 100yds to zero the weapons optic and culminate at 500yds. At the completion of this event, recruits will earn shooting badges to be worn as prescribed: Marksman (lowest qualification), Sharpshooter, or Expert (highest qualification).
Table Two marksmanship training builds upon Table One by introducing a tactical element to the training. Shot entirely at the standing or ono a single knee, this part of training allows Recruits to engage multiple targets and to reload while shooting in dynamic training. Successful completion of the qualification course of fire is required for graduation.
Basic Warrior Training, or BWT, is a recruit's first taste of the "field" environment. Recruits will eat Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) for the first time, sleep without heat or A/C, and hike everywhere they go. Training for this event will focus on tactical movement which will be the foundation for the remainder of a Marine's career. The first day of BWT will be spent primarily in land navigation instruction. They will learn how to properly utilize a lensatic compass, how to read a map, and how to pace distances. Recruits will then complete a day land navigation course where they will search for points in the training area. They will then learn how to enhance these skills for nighttime and low-light conditions so they may complete a night land navigation course, similar to the day course.
The Combat Endurance Course is a 2.1 mile run and obstacle course which will test the cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength of all Recruits. It is an individual effort event which pits recruits against some obstacles they previously experienced such as an incline wall, balance beam, and rope swing. They will complete numerous crawls and new obstacles to challenge their bodies and minds.
This inspection is conducted by the Captain charged with leading the training company and is the second inspection to be completed at Recruit Training. Recruits will wear their utility uniform, yet they may don their service uniform for this event if the commander chooses to do so. He or she will check for the fit of the uniform and will expect even more military knowledge comprehension than in the previous inspection.
This is the second of three academic evaluations. Recruits will be expected to show proficiency topics previously on the Initial Test and other topics to include the Code of Conduct, the remainder of Marine Corps History, and Marine Corps Organization. This test is completed on a traditional Scantron form.
This is the final of three academic evaluations during recruit training. Throughout the cycle Recruits will learn a number of skills which they may require as Marines either day-to-day or in a combat environment. Skills such as proper reporting, identification of ranks and uniforms, and casualty care are key to a Recruits future success.
Final Drill occurs just before the Crucible and signals the end of Phase III; this event encompasses many basic and advanced drill movements which recruits are expected to perform without fail. This is the second of two platoon close order drill evaluations. Final Drill will showcase platoons' successful execution of drill movements both at the halt and while marching.
The Crucible is 54 hours of grueling physical and mental endurance. In just over two days, recruits will travel over 50 miles on foot and endure some of the most difficult conditions they have ever faced, whether heat, cold, or rain. The Crucible begins around 0200 with a 7-9 mile hike to the training area. Recruits will then break into groups to complete a rotation of events. On the first and second day of the Crucible, recruits will complete three daytime events, for a total of six day events. These events will vary in their order, but they will include a casualty evacuations, body sparring, pugil sticks, leadership reaction courses, and a live-fire range.
The Battalion Commander's Inspection is held after the Crucible, shortly before Graduation, and it is the training company's opportunity to showcase the three months of hard work of Drill Instructors and new Marines have endured. It is expected that recruits call on their experiences of the prior two inspections to present pristine uniforms, weapons, and living quarters to their battalion commander.