U.S. Marine Corps Facts and History: June 25th
"Where it all begins"
The words “Boot Camp” and “Drill Instructor” will forever be etched in the memories of all who’ve claimed the title of United States Marine. All future Marines are trained at a Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD). For recruits living east of the Mississippi River, sands fleas and swamps accompany Drill Instructors awaiting their arrival at Parris Island, South Carolina. Drill Instructors are accompanied by the Southern California’s coastal hills in San Diego for recruits living west of the mighty Mississippi. All female recruits are trained at the 4th Recruit Training Battalion in Parris Island, the only all female organization in the U.S. Department of Defense.
Regardless of gender, location or subsequently military occupational specialty (MOS), the 13 week boot camp is the same for all. After a receiving and processing week, 12 weeks of intense training awaits. The training, conducted by Drill Instructors, is divided into 3 phases. Phase I includes academics, general military skills and physical toughening. Marksmanship and weapons training is the focus of Phase II. Phase III includes Basic Warrior Training, refining all skills expected of Marines and “The Crucible”, a grueling 54-hour exercise.
The process of training recruits includes the following subject areas:
- Basic Combat Skills
Close Order Drill
Clothing and Equipment
Grenades and Accessories
History, Traditions and Courtesies
Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP)
- Small Arms
- USMC Mission and Organization
The final week at the MCRD includes the “Emblem Ceremony”, where recruits are present the Corps’ emblem and are addressed as “Marine” for the first time. Boot Camp concludes with the graduation parade, where Drill Instructors present the Corps’ newest members to the world.
Marine Corps Recruit Depots
1866 – China
A landing party including sailors and the Marine Detachment from the USS Washusett go ashore in China in order to protect the U.S. Consulate.
The total Marine Corps manpower at the time was approximately 80 officers and 3,000 enlisted.
1943 – World War II
U.S. Marine fighter squadrons, along with U.S. Army Air Corps units operate from Henderson Airfield, Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands) in support of U.S. operations in the Central and Southern Pacific Ocean. The island was captured from Japanese forces during February following a 6 month battle involving the 1st Marine Division.
The 4th Raider Battalion was conducting pre-D-Day operations on New Georgia Island (Solomon Islands). The Battle for New Georgia was conducted by the U.S. Army’s XIV Corps whose units included the Army's 23rd and 25th Infantry Divisions.
Additionally, Marine Corps aviation units were serving as components of the U.S. Pacific Fleet which was conducting naval operations throughout the PacificBasin.
1944 – World War II
The Battle of Saipan continued. The 2nd Marine Division captured the island’s highest point, MountTapotchau, commonly referred to as “Purple Heart Ridge”. Marines perfected their “Blind ‘em, burn ‘em and blast ‘em” tactics to defeat the Japanese defenders use of caves. This tactic combined teams of rifleman, flamethrowers and engineer demolition teams in reducing Japanese positions one-by-one.
Elsewhere on the island, the 4th Marine Division defeated the remaining enemy forces in the center of the island while the Army’s 27th Infantry Division continued mop-up activities throughout the southern portion of the island. Off shore, U.S. naval forces continue to block Japanese attempts to reinforce the island. The battle would continue until the 9th of July.
Guadalcanal, New Georgia and Siapan
"The Marines Hymn"
From the Halls of Montezuma To the shores of Tripoli, We fight our country's battles In the air, on land, and sea. First to fight for right and freedom, And to keep our honor clean, We are proud to claim the title Of United States Marine. Our flag's unfurl'd to every breeze From dawn to setting sun; We have fought in every clime and place Where we could take a gun. In the snows of far-off northern lands And on sunny tropic scenes, You will find us always on the job The United States Marines. Here's health to you and to our Corps Which we are proud to serve; In many a strife we've fought for life And never lost our nerve. If the Army and the Navy Ever look on Heaven's scenes, They will find the streets are guarded By United States Marines.