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We have a full Marine slang and saying dictionary here on the site.

When your loved one first starts the process of joining the Marines, you'll hear a few of the same acronyms over and over.

We have given you definitions to the first few sayings you'll need to know when they join. To learn the rest, click here.


ASVAB - The Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery. A test taken to determine which specialties a Marine is best suited for.

Boot Camp - the process of training new recruits for 13 weeks to become Marines

CO - Commanding Officer. They are in charge of a unit or recruiting station.

DEP - Delayed Entry Program. People who enlist but have to wait a while until they ship to boot camp.

Depot - The Marine Corps Recruit Depots are at Parris Island, SC and San Diego, CA. This is where boot camp is.

DI - Drill instructors. They lead recruits through boot camp and are responsible for making them Marines.

Guide - The lead poolee or recruit in a DEP or recruit platoon.

IST - Initial Strength Test. Consists of pull-ups or pushups, crunches, and a mile and a half run.

MEPS - Military Entry Processing Station. Where enlistees go for exams and swearing in.

OCS - Officer Candidate School. Basically boot camp for Officers.

OSO - Officer Selection Officer. These Officers recruit civilians to become officers.

PCS - Permanent Contact Station. It's a name for a recruiting office.

PFT - Physical Fitness Test. Pull-ups or pushups, crunches or planks, and a three mile run.

Pool - The Recruit Pool is where people who have sworn in to enlist but have not yet shipped are grouped.

Poolee - A Member of a recruiting station's recruit Pool. Officially marked by receiving the Official Marines blue T-shirt.

Recruiter - A Marine who finds civilians looking to become Marines and helps process their application.

RS - Recruiting Station. These are larger stations that control recruiting operations for an assigned area.

RSS - Recruiting Substation. There are multiple RSS's per each RS.

SOU - Statement of Understanding. This is the contract you sign with the military when you join.

Key Training Events
Sergeant Instructors
Pre-OCS Checklist
Basic Daily Routine
Eating at OCS
Living in the Squadbay
5 Paragraph Order
Getting Ready
What Can I Bring with Me?
Staying in Touch
PT Plans
OCS Knowledge
Knowledge Check
Family Day
Pro Tips
The Rumor Mill
Counseling Call
Honor Grad Principles
Reading Materials
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