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The 13 Weeks of Marine Corps Boot Camp

Updated: Jun 25, 2023

The United States Marine Corps boot camp, also known as recruit training, is a rigorous program that prepares individuals for service in the Marine Corps. The training typically lasts for 13 weeks and is divided into three phases: reception, basic training, and combat training.

Image courtesy of USMC Public Affairs

Overview of Training Weeks

During the reception phase, recruits go through initial processing, including physical examinations and paperwork. They also receive their initial gear and uniforms. The basic training phase is when recruits begin to learn the skills and discipline required to be a Marine. This includes physical fitness training, marksmanship, and basic combat skills. Recruits also learn about Marine Corps history and customs.


The combat training phase is the final stage of boot camp and is designed to prepare recruits for deployment. During this phase, recruits participate in field training exercises and live-fire ranges. They also learn more advanced combat skills, such as land navigation and first aid.


Those who successfully complete boot camp will move on to advanced training in their specific Military Occupational Specialty (MOS).



Boot camp is not an easy journey, and requires a lot of dedication and physical endurance. But it is also a rewarding experience. it prepares individuals for the rigors of service in the Marine Corps and instills in them the core values that is the motto of the Marine Corps: honor, courage, and commitment.


The United States Marine Corps boot camp is typically 13 weeks long, and each week is structured to build upon the skills and knowledge learned in the previous week.


Image courtesy of USMC Public Affairs

Week 1: Reception

  • Recruits go through initial processing, including physical examinations and paperwork.

  • They receive their initial gear and uniforms.

  • They are introduced to the basic concepts of Marine Corps life, such as physical fitness and military discipline.

Image courtesy of USMC Public Affairs

Week 2-4: Basic Training

  • Recruits begin to learn the skills and discipline required to be a Marine; this includes physical fitness training, marksmanship, and basic combat skills.

  • Recruits learn about Marine Corps history, traditions, and customs.

  • They are trained on basic military skills, such as drills and ceremonies, weapons handling, and field skills.


Image courtesy of USMC Public Affairs

Week 5-8: Combat Training

  • Recruits participate in field training exercises and live-fire ranges.

  • They learn more advanced combat skills, such as land navigation and first aid.

  • They are taught the basic principles of close combat, including hand-to-hand combat and bayonet fighting.


Image courtesy of USMC Public Affairs

Week 9-13: Final Stage

  • Recruits continue to refine and practice the skills they have learned throughout boot camp.

  • They participate in a final field training exercise known as "The Crucible", which tests all of the skills they have learned.

  • Recruits take the Oath of Enlistment and participate in the graduation ceremony.


It's important to note that these weeks are not set in stone. The training programs and schedule can vary depending on the specific unit and location. The training is designed to be physically and mentally demanding, and the instructors will push the recruits to their limits.



The Marine Corps boot camp is incredibly important for recruits. It helps instill the values of teamwork, discipline, and physical fitness and prepares recruits to succeed in the Marine Corps. It also develops confidence and a strong sense of camaraderie among new Marines.


It is essential for preparing future Marines for the challenges of military service.


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