Arriving At Marine Boot Camp …A Photo Tour

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The first thing a Marine sees when he or she steps off the bus... the Marine Recruit Station.I’ve always wondered what it’s really like to go through military Boot Camp.

My nephew recently graduated from Marine Boot Camp at Parris Island, and he gave us a behind-the-scenes tour of the barracks, training grounds, Commissary, and all of the steps that a new recruit goes through the moment the bus drops them off in front of the Receiving Station.

It was quite surreal to hear my nephew recount the process exactly as he remembered it: the fear of the unknown… the mundane “waiting period” where the recruits who arrived early had to watch the same video about Parris Island over-and-over-and-over-and-over again… that proverbial “first phone call”… being issued their “official” gear… and much more.

Check it out…




It all begins with “the yellow footprints”.

The yellow footprints are obviously one of the most lasting memories a Marine recruit has of his Boot Camp experience.

After the graduation ceremony, many graduates were eager to take their families to see the yellow footprints.

You could sense the Marines “flashing-back” to their very first days on the Island: how they felt about enlisting, what they were thinking at the time, and precisely where each was standing the day they got off the bus as a Civilian …and 13 weeks later left Parris Island as a Marine.

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Immediately upon entry to the New Marine Recruit Station, this is what you see…

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Onto that first phone call home…

The recruits are strictly limited on what they can say in that phone call. Here’s the actual script, and any recruit that doesn’t follow it gets the phone hung up by a Marine officer.

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Welcome to your home for the next 13 weeks! (Recruits go through 1 week of check-in & assignments, and 12 weeks of training.) These are the barracks where 66 men slept and began most of their days… at O-something hours — far too early, according to most Marine recruits.

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In the end, it was all worth it…

Odds are, if you can survive Marine Boot Camp, you can survive anything. And you will definitely be a changed human being!

Benjamin standing in front of the famous Iwo Jima monument at Parris Island... moments after graduating from Marine Boot Camp.
Parris Island… where the difference begins.

See exactly what it’s like to be a basically trained Marine going through Basic Training.


Don’t forget to make plans now for sending care packages to your loved ones who are in the military!

Here are some great ideas for soldiers care packages.

Here’s another guy’s take: What Basic Training Is Like.

5 thoughts on “Arriving At Marine Boot Camp …A Photo Tour”

  1. As a member of the Class of 69 PI. Whenever you enter and go through boot camp it is hard both physically and mentally. When the command “Pass in Revue” given one’s life changes and the body feels a undiscribable feeling. From one side of the Parade Deck  you from a basically worthless recruit to a member of a very elite family.
     A lot comments speak of marriage aafter graduation. It something to look forward to and dream about. I am not demeaning the institution at all but advise caution. After outposting from PI the new Marine’s training is really just starting. It may take up to a 12-18 months more before a permanent MOS is earned. The scholling involved is intense. The hours called for can create discord among newly weds.
     If possible delay the marriage until after all is completed and then he/she can you all the attention due and needed. It makes for a more happy relationship nd marriage.
     At one time an E4/Cpl or below needed his CO’s permission  to marry. The SgtMaj would sit down with the young couple and do a finacial outline i.e. income versus expenses. Income from wife didn’t count. The marriage was the young Marine’s responsibility. Should the outline come out on the positve side in favor of the couple then blessings were given. Should a negative be the outcome then no permission was given. This may seem heavy handed but experiencehad shown that a finacially challaged couple have avery rocky marriage and the home front would carry over to the young Marine’s work. It is also hard to have a 18 year old preganant wife and Daddy is deployed in a combat zone.
     It was and still is a hard way of life any boy or girl who graduates from recruit training is from that day on after “Pass in Review” is a man or woman.

  2. My son left to bootcamp today and it broke my heart. I speak with my son everyday to see how is he doing and to know that i wont be able to speak to him for 3 months is tearing me apart. He is my only son. i was wondering can i find out his address before he writes to me by a web site ? or i have to wait for him to write ? may god be with all the marines at Parris Island

  3. Ahhh, the good old days. I remember it very clearly, December 1982. PI, Platoon 1040 Bravo Co.
    Todd Anderson2, I agree with you. There was no water to see, just bright lights, yellow foot prints, brick buildings and very polished drill instructors. I do however remember the smell of the place. PI has a very disctinctive scent. I know this sounds funny, but its true. One goal of mine was to revisit PI before I retired. I never got to do it. So I have to do it as a retiree. My career in The U.S. Marine Corps was completely unplanned. But it was a great detour on my path to success. Or was it a detour ? Semper Fi to all my brothers and sisters whom have come and gone or still serving. The few, the proud !
    MGySgt DeBrecourt

  4. I went thru Parris Island in ’76…I played sports my wholelife and was very athletic (though not very big) so didn’t have any big issues with the physical part…but the pyschological stress I felt was overwhelming the first few days/weeks. Standing on the yellow foot prints, keeping my mouth shut (like my recruiter told me) with all hell breaking lose around me from recruits who didn’t, I thought hey this isn’t too bad, when suddenly I felt my head jerk back from a DI pulling my neck length hair and he leans into my ear and in the meanest whisper I’d ever heard in my life said “get your God Damn hands out of your F#cking pockets long hair”…right then I knew these guys are deadly serious…and I learned one of the many Marine Corps no nos, no hands in the pockets. Receiving was a torture chamber in ’76…among one their tricks was making us knell on our knees with our hands behind our backs while leaning over and touching our nose on the table top of these long wooden tables…might not sound like much but after a while the pain in your back became unbearable and a DI was walking up and down the table with a riding crop and if anyone tried resting the weight of their head on the table he’d whack you….and the nonstop berating….and of course after a while they’d stand you back up at attention and just raise hell with you….guys would drop like a 100 lb bag of potatoes and the DI’s would snatch them up pop a salt popper to get them to wake up and then just rough them up and tell them to get the F back at attention…at some point one recruit steps forward and announces My name is such and such and my father is a u.s congressman and I’ve changed my mind and demand to be allowed to go home…the DI’s literally laughed at him and then just roughed him up a little and again told him to shut his F’n mouth if he didn’t want to get his a s s kicked and get back at attention….then they’d run us from place to place in the barracks…no one can understand a word the DI’s are saying because the DI dialect is like a foreign language…when they finally ran us into the head i was so freaked out I started throwing up blood…that was my first nite on Parris Island….’76 Platoon 329…3rd Battalion.


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