MARINE CORPS BOOT CAMP
“Now without killing
yourselves, GET OFF MY BUS!” These are the last four words you will hear
prior to your life changing forever. The change begins immediately when
you first mirror the yellow footprints.
Whatever doubts you had if this
is real are quickly gone as yelling is heard from all directions and
your heart attempts to escape your frightened body. The night is young
and so are you, but you will quickly learn that you have everything to
learn once again. We have come from all points throughout the USA. From
the big cities, to the rural farms. Different social backgrounds, Black,
White, Hispanic, and Asian to name a few. We begin our journey into an
elite brotherhood very different, but we will emerge as one, a United
What little knowledge we bring with us is quickly forgotten as we are deprived of what we bring with us both mentally and physically. We are stripped of our character to begin the crucial rebuilding process. Our heads are similar as our youth is shaved to the scalp. We are very wide eyed, but we seem to see nothing. Time seems to stand still as it rushes by at a pace never before experienced by any of us. You are whisked away from room to room not knowing what to expect next. Fear is everywhere, but there is no time to think about it. Every second is being fulfilled to its maximum use. A brief phone call home to ensure our safe arrival is a lie, as no one feels safe at this time. Dental, medical, and psychological exams are done without hesitation or approval. Inoculations are as common as the lack of rest. The longest two or three days of your life are only a small glimpse of what lays ahead.
Arriving in your permanent platoon is indeed a very frightening experience for anyone. No matter who you are or who you think you are, this moment can leave anyone’s trousers soiled. You will do nothing right and everything wrong. You will quickly forget your left from your right. You will think up is down and vice versa. The simplest of tasks will now cause great confusion to your very confused young mind. Stress at a very high level will confuse the brightest and toughest of minds. It is nothing but a blur as it is occurring and it seems to last forever. Confusion and chaos is all around as drill instructors bark out their orders. Some orders are impossible to complete, but we still try because we can not think that far ahead under these stressful conditions. We will learn how to bathe, how to shave, how to dress, how to stand, and how to speak and act by the numbers. From one through ten, we must not skip a single beat. To do so would earn us extra time at pushing our bodies off of the deck. It’s all about learning how to kill, but we do not understand this at this time.
Soreness is an everyday issue as we run or march everywhere we go. Everything is done with the sense of urgency. We move like bees in a hive. Our focus is so great that a spaceship can whiz by our heads and we would not even notice it. It is not our job to notice spaceships, so we carry on. We are here to follow orders and to carry them out. Drilling is an everyday thing. Our rifle is our best friend as we march around the never ending parade deck. The only sound our ears are allowed to pick up is that of our drill instructors barking out the most beautiful cadences. As time goes by we begin to gel as a platoon, but no one is giving us any praise. We are still worthless and are often reminded of this by giving us some extra training in a giant dirt pit. This pit builds character, as the reasons for being in it are usually false. To do your best will never be good enough in their eyes. Nothing is ever personal, but it seems as if everything you do is personal around these parts.
We must never forget why we chose to become US Marines. We must never forget those that made us into Marines. And we must never forget those that died for their country and the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor. If everyone could be a Marine, then we wouldn’t be Marines. When America dials 911 the Marines will always answer. Always have and always will.