Tips 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 you have! 

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 camp. 

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! 

Good luck in boot Camp and, SEMPER FI MARINE!




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