question has no correct answer and as expected, those Marines who
graduate boot camp will obviously claim that their depot was the tougher
one. No Marine wants to think that his or her boot camp experience was
not as tough as someone else's, so this argument will simply never end.
Is recruit training aboard
Parris Island really tougher than recruit training at San Diego?
can tell you that over time I often speak to new boot Marines during
their ten days of leave and in many cases these Marines will exaggerate
about their boot camp experience to make it seem much tougher then it
actually was. This of course is understandable and is often fueled by
the fact that boot camp was simply not as tough as they expected it to
So let's take a look at both boot camps.
off let me point out that both Parris Island and San Diego do the exact
same training and they spend the same amount of time doing it. As an
example, you do not run more at Parris Island and you do not spend more
time in a class room at San Diego. The Marine Corps issues a training
program which both depots must follow and they both require the exact
same thing in order to graduate. As an example, if you spend 50 hours in
the classroom at PI, then you will spend 50 hours in the classroom at
San Diego. So do not think that either location will train you
differently. It's the same shit.
first major difference between the two depots is the weather. Despite
what many say, both locations get very hot in the summer and in San
Diego the summer season usually begins much sooner than on PI, plus it
often lasts longer. The difference here will be the lack of humidity in
San Diego. It rarely gets humid in San Diego and if it does, it does
not compare to the humidity levels you'll find at PI during the summer.
The good thing about this PI issue is that hot humid summers are
seasonal, so not everyone who attends PI can claim the humidity and heat
was an issue for them. No matter what time of the year you attend boot
camp in San Diego, you are guaranteed to be effected by the intense
sun and this usually has the greatest impact on those recruits who come
from Northern locations where the sun rarely shines as bright and as
often. As for the winter months, well I think the same concept applies
here. It does get cold out in San Diego during the winter, especially
out in the hills on Camp Pendleton and it does freeze from time to
time. You will get much more rain and much colder weather on PI then
you will in San Diego and this is not debatable. I think it is
important to point out that just because a location doesn't get as
cold as a different location, this doesn't mean that it isn't cold
there. Regardless, the worse "weather" award definitely goes to Parris
Island. Weather also plays a bigger role in Parris Island and some
training may be cancelled or moved indoors along with your graduation.
next obvious difference will be the terrain. San Diego recruits conduct
their field training, rifle qual and Crucible aboard Camp Pendleton.
This terrain is mountainous and hilly and does add to the rigors of boot
camp. Parris Island recruits do not experience these same rigors as
they have very flat terrain. As far as the depots go, they basically are
both identical as in being flat, so you aren't running up hills or any
crazy crap like that. The "terrain" award definitely goes to San Diego.
but not least you have the little things that make each boot camp
unique. Parris Island has sand fleas which I am sure are one huge pain
in the ass while San Diego has the international airport directly behind
it which is a huge distraction no matter where you are on the depot.
Many graduates of PI will tell you that the sand flea issue is mainly an
issue during the hot and humid times of the year. Some will talk about
the swamps on PI, but last time I checked you do not train in these
swamps. Some will say PI is more isolated because it is an island, so
this makes boot camp tougher. No matter where you go to boot camp,
isolation is guaranteed. Some will say San Diego recruits have it easier
because they see more civilians around base and see more life around
them since it is located in a large city. If this were true, wouldn't it
make San Diego much tougher on a recruit since he is constantly seeing
what he is missing? Anyways, last time I checked recruits don't spend
their time site seeing or counting the civilian population. And correct
me if I am wrong, but there are many civilians aboard PI, are there not?
Moving on; If a hurricane is heading towards PI, they often evacuate
the island, so this means missed training. Hopefully you wont miss out
on anything too important. Some San Diego recruits will have to attend a
professional baseball game during military week. I don't think it will
be recruits who are in 1st or 2nd phase who attend this event and I
doubt they are there to have a grand ole time.
or Paradise Island here is one fact no one can debate. MCRD San Diego
does not train females. All females are trained aboard MCRD Parris
Island right long side of the males. San Diego does now have female DI's aboard their depot and I imagine over time female recruits will also train there.
drill instructors who have trained recruits at both depots often say
neither location is tougher. Like many who are unbiased, they all seem
to agree that both places are tough and both places offer their own unique
challenges. At the end of the day if it makes you feel special by
swearing up and down that your boot camp experience was tougher than
others, then good for you.