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MCRD San Diego
What to Expect

What to Expect



The transformation of raw recruits into basic Marines begins immediately upon their arrival at the receiving barracks when each recruit first stands on the celebrated yellow footprints. For the next three days recruits undergo in–processing to prepare them for their first day of actual training. They get haircuts, their initial clothing issue, and medical and dental examinations. They also take an initial strength test to ensure they are ready for training. All personal items not issued are stored until graduation


During the following 12 weeks, recruits train hard to acquire the knowledge, discipline, team work and fitness level required of a

The physical training program is progressive and designed to build strength, flexibility and endurance. It includes a graduated running schedule, calisthenics, obstacle course, circuit course and confidence course. This program helps give recruits faith in their own

Other physical training events challenge recruits to overcome fears. These events include rappelling, pugil sticks and bayonet skills training, combat water survival training and Marine Corps martial arts


Classroom instruction includes general military subjects, such as Marine Corps history, customs and courtesies, first aid, and the M-16 A4 service rifle. The Marine Corps instills core values — honor, courage and commitment — through practical application and


A key component of recruit training is 5 hours of the Marine Corps martial arts program. With its strong emphasis on mental discipline and character development, MCMAP is distinctively different from previous close-combat systems.

The skills acquired and lessons learned in MCMAP will better prepare Marines for challenges in operations from humanitarian missions to armed


After four weeks of training aboard the depot, recruits move to Weapons and Field Training Battalion at Edson Range, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., for three

At Edson Range recruits undergo marksmanship training, martial arts sustainment training and field training, introducing them to a variety of basic infantry skills.

Week one: The M-16A4 service rifle safe weapons handling basic marksmanship principles mastery of basic firing positions

Week two: The Table I known-distance firing range with targets at 200, 300 and 500 yards.

Week three: Instruction in basic individual combat skills such as field living and the fundamentals of tactical movement. Table II marksmanship course which includes firing while wearing combat gear.

Third Phase

Rrecruits begin preparing for Final tests are conducted in MCMAP, drill and physical fitness. There is a comprehensive written exam as well.


The recruits return to Weapons and Field Training Battalion for the Crucible, a 54-hour event testing all their training, during week 11.They encounter a series of 32 challenges, distributed over a course covering more than 40 miles. Sleep is restricted to just four hours a night, with only three meals during the three-day period. Each obstacle encountered presents strenuous mental and physical challenges, requiring the recruits to work together as a team – no one completes the Crucible as an individual.

At the conclusion of the Crucible, recruits complete a nine-mile hike taking them to the top of a hill known – and with good reason – as “the grim reaper.” The recruits then return to the Weapons and Field Training Battalion parade deck for the moment they’ve been working toward for 12 weeks – earning the title Marine. The recruits are presented with the eagle, globe and anchor during the Emblem Ceremony and complete the transition from civilian to Marine. After the ceremony, they head to the mess hall for a warrior’s breakfast of steak and


The new Marines return to MCRD San Diego for their last week of training which includes a battalion commander’s inspection and graduation practice at the beginning of the week. Family Day is held on Thursdays and the new Marines participate in a five-mile Motivation Run as their loved ones watch. After Liberty Formation, the Marines and their families and friends reunite and spend the afternoon aboard the


After twelve challenging weeks, graduation day The new Marines go home for ten days of leave.

Approximately 90,000 moms, dads and friends sit in the graduation stands annually to celebrate their loved ones momentous triumph. They see a definite change in their new Marine – a young man who is mentally and physically stronger, more confident and


After ten days leave, the new Marines return to Camp Pendleton for additional weapons and field training. Each new Marine then attends one of 36 different Military Occupational Specialty Schools for training in a specific job field. Whether the MOS is infantry, field artillery, computer programming, avionics or air traffic control, each Marine will face a rewarding and challenging road ahead in a career that will take them to assignments on the East or West Coast, Hawaii and

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