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Marines Boot Camp, I survived It, Anyone Can

Updated on April 16, 2010

If I survived Marines Boot Camp then I can honestly say anyone can. The reality is not everyone wants to. It is a mental challenge most of all and I will tell you why. I made it through Boot Camp not even knowing what I was getting into and I am glad I did because otherwise I may have just quit. I was an immigrant having been in the US for only seven years, working a dead end job and a friend asked me to join with him, I said yeah sure being an impulsive individual that I am and thirteen years later here I am a Staff Sergeant in the United States Marines one of the best fighting forces in the world, yes I am very proud and I will always be.

I read a lot of questions about Marines Boot Camp. Many have doubts because everyone says it is tough and I will tell you it is. Everything has to do with adapting mentally to every situation. In my case many would say that I would not make it because I am short, skinny, calm, and at the time I still had problems understanding English. One thing I will say the Marine Corps truly changes an individual. I believe it was two weeks into Boot Camp when I actually asked to send me home because I just could not understand all the yelling and the screaming around me. I went to see the Senior Drill Instructor and stood before him, I was very relieved because I thought that he would understand and I would be going home the next day. The answers was very firm and decisive "Hell No". My senior Drill Instructor stood up and said "you will be trained and you will learn, now go back to the platoon". I was disappointed but after some thought I was motivated because someone had shown faith in me.

After two weeks in Marines Boot Camp I changed my attitude. I decided that I would not think about weeks ahead but instead I would think about the next minute, the next hour, the next few hours. One example would be we were given weapons and we would learn to take them apart and put them back together, this would be my focal point for the next couple of hours until I learned how to do it.

It is fascinating how the human mind works. Once you change your attitude then everything starts to click. The first two weeks I had the worst doubts so I saw myself as a screw up always messing up on drill or being slow at responding. Once I changed my attitude it was like auto pilot, everything seemed to fall into place. We started to learn drill, we would practice drill for hours and hours, every time someone messed up we would start incentive training which in short means punishment. We would start countless push ups, sit ups, and any exercise the Drill Instructors could think of; after about one hour of incentive training we would start drilling again. After a few days of doing this it became second nature.

After a while I knew I would make it through Boot Camp. Even though I did not think about the next day or weeks ahead. I just knew somehow someway I would make it. Everyone in Marine Corps Boot Camp has their weakness and once the Drill Instructors find it they will exploit very time they get. Some recruits will struggle with exercises, others with academics, others with the water qualification portion and so on. Even the ones who seemed to excel in anything will have their weakness as well, and so the purpose is to have everyone in the platoon to help each other to overcome these weaknesses.

My weakness was mostly the exercises and of course every time we exercise I had a Drill Instructor or more right next to me to motivate me through by yelling and screaming, after a while the motivation seemed to diminish as I improved.

Needles to say I graduated Marines Boot Camp and I passed all the requirements. I qualified second class in water qualification, rifle sharp shooter, one hundred percent academics, first class Physical Fitness test, passed the Crucible.

I survived Marines Boot Camp, so I believe anyone can but the reality is not everyone wants to because it mostly requires mental toughness, to be able to have the discipline and live up to the very high standards we Marines live by, not easy to do. If you want to be in my Marine Corps, toughen up mentally, get in shape, and everything else follows.


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    • Jonesy0311 profile image

      Jonesy0311 6 years ago

      Though at times I thought I might die, I can honestly say that I was reasonably prepared for recruit training. What I didn't expect was that the next 3 1/2 years would make boot camp look like child's play. If anyone thinks that Marine boot camp will be too hard, don't bother enlisting. DIs only have 13 weeks to train you enough so that your fuzzy little head doesn't explode when you get to ITB. The learning curve is steep. Great hub and Semper Fi!

    • EricLopezLive profile image

      EricLopezLive 7 years ago from Wilmington NC

      Great Hub. It's true it's all about the attitude and mindset you have. You can apply this attitude to anything in life. If you never give up and always strive to be excellent then there's nothing in the world you can't have.

      Semper Fi

      Eric Lopez

      Former Sgt USMC

      On a side note I am looking to my fellow brothers and sisters of the armed forces to unite together and help spread the word on what will take place aboard Marine Corps Air Station New River in Jacksonville NC.

      Please Support our Troops

    • Its Angel profile image

      Its Angel 8 years ago from Charleston, SC

      Great Hub! Congrats on surviving the camp. Now the real fun begins..