Colonel Robert Claypool on Joining the Marines

Becoming a Marine invariably proves grueling and trying, but also one of the most rewarding experiences. Most recruits begin training either in South Carolina at the branch’s boot camp on Parris Island or at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego. Training requires 12 weeks and an unusual level of commitment and athleticism. In fact, many claim that Marine boot camp is more difficult than those of other American armed services and most international ones. The Drill Instructors instill Marine values in recruits while testing and developing individual skills. Virtually all trainees initially hate their drill instructors, which serves as the basis for developing lifelong relationships. Eventually, Marines come to view their Drill Instructors with the utmost respect, grateful for the growth they underwent in only a few months. Unlike other military branches, Marines train in a number of different fields such as marksmanship, regardless of their eventual position. Marine doctrine holds that all members of the branch must possess advanced rifle skills (every Marine a rifleman).

 

Doctrine

The Evolution of Amphibious Doctrine, So Essential to Marine Corps Activity posted by ebookee.org

Recruits should be in good physical condition before they even enlist with the Marine Corps. Shortly after arriving at boot camp they must meet this minimum requirement: men must run 1.5 miles in less than 13 minutes, do 44 crunches in a row, and perform at least two full pull-ups. Women have 15 minutes for the run and may opt for a 12-second flexed-arm hang in lieu of pull-ups. Those unable to meet these cut-offs must enroll in remedial training, which quickly gets recruits into the physical condition necessary for training. After boot camp, Marines enjoy a ten-day leave before pursuing additional training, which depends on their specific career track. Many tracks have prerequisites or restrictions that Marines should thoroughly research before enlisting. After graduation from these programs, Marines travel to a specific base or airfield. While the branch weighs personal preferences in these decisions, the final assignment ultimately depends on the Corps’ needs.

 

Individuals ultimately aiming to become officers may apply directly to the Officer Candidates School, which provides an officer’s commission upon completion of the challenging program. Other may want to look into the Naval Academy, which provides a four-year traditional undergraduate program coupled with intensive training. Graduates may join the Marine Corps as officers.

 

About the Author

 

With a background in strategic and operational planning, resource management, and defense acquisition, Colonel Robert Claypool acts as Director of Marine Aviation Weapons Systems Requirements. In this role, he advises other senior executives while managing the aircraft and aviation weapons systems of the United States Marine Corps. Colonel Robert Claypool graduated from the Naval Academy with a degree in engineering and subsequently earned a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College.

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