to USMC Boot camp survival
I went to the USMC boot camp in the 90’s. I wish I knew
then what I know now to make my life easier in Boot camp. I remember that I
traveled to San Diego California after signing up for the Marine Corps. My first
day in boot camp I thought that I had made a big mistake. Now, I think it was
the best thing that has happened to me. If I only knew..
First, the drill Sergeants will want to get you in a stage
of shock as soon as they see you. The idea is to be able to make you do what
they want without any resistance derivate from your civilian bad habits.
Remember that as soon as you get in that bus you become something else. You are
not a civilian anymore and the soonest you understand that you will not beat
them at their game, the better for you. Remember, you went there to learn and
work. It is not supposed to be a picnic. The secret is no to panic and respond
to any question with a “Yes Sir” as loud as you can. Show your drill
instructor that you are the meanest but the best follower.
You will have a lot of time to prove that you are better than the others.
As soon as they have all the recruits in the bus they will
make sure that you are not distracted from your new life. You are now property
of the United States Government!. They will get mad if you look at the window
when you are in the bus while in rout to the military base. You do not want to
get any extra attention from your instructors from the beginning because it will
last for months. Remember, a drill instructor NEVER forgets. Sit and look down,
it will save you a lot of trouble. They are waiting for somebody to look at the
window to make an example out of him and you do not want to be the one.
If everything goes as planned, make sure you save all the
energy you can save because you going to use it all in the next tree days. After
getting your uniforms and a haircut in a big hurry, they will assign you to your
platoon. DO NOT try to make any friends during this period. “they” are
watching you. The instructors want to find out who is going to be the “problem
child” of the group and they will make you feel relax for a couple of hours
before hell breaks loose and, do you know who is going to start that? You, if
you are talking!.
You will probably not get any sleep for the first couple of
days but do not worry, “they know how much you can withstand and will take
care of you if anything happens. What you do not want at this point is to let
your body take over your mind. They love to see a war face. You could be dying
but if you have a war face you will not be bothered. Everything that the
instructors make you do have a purpose. Remember to always show the meanest face
After the first tree days you will get in a routine for a
few weeks, exercise and study. Enjoy what you learn. I saw many recruits that
took it as a serious game and became the best marines I know. Take it as a
serious game!. Always try to be the first at the game even if others beat you,
what you need to do is try. You will learn many things that you never thought
you could learn and if you try your best you will have a great time in boot
Do not volunteer for ANYTHING. Let them pick you, believe
me, it is better. If they chose you to do something, as soon as they call your
name, jump from where you are and try to get to where they want you in less than
˝ of a second. That by itself will earn you points towards a more enjoyable
time in boot camp. They are looking for the fastest recruits to be the ones to
give the orders and for the slowest to serve as the example of how you could be
punish ant that is no fun..
Make sure to show them that you are strong even when you
are tired. They know how much you can do and it is very rewarding to be the
first one to accomplish the tasks they assign to the recruits. Remember that you
will not be there forever so take it as it comes. Do not give up even when you
can not do what they want you top do. It is what they are looking for to get
you. Remember, mind over body! They have to punish a recruit for every exercise
that “they” teach you. They want to find the recruit with the weakest mind.
DO NOT LET IT BE YOU!
It is very rewarding to finish up boot camp and, even
though out of every 100 recruits only 75 may graduate, you will find out that if
you try hard from the very beginning it gets to be an easy task. Your body will
get stronger and stronger as time goes by and 3 months are not that long. The
USMC drill instructors are the best prepared of all. Be part of the few!
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