It’s Confirmed: Marine Corps Will Add 4th Phase To Boot Camp Starting Next Month

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Ah, nothing like some good ole' one-on-one mentor-ship from the Marine who's been screaming at you for three months.
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Aaron Bolser

It’s official: The Marine Corps is adding a fourth phase to recruit training. In an Oct. 12 video, the service briefly laid out its plans for the new two-week phase a week after Task & Purpose first reported that the plan was under consideration.


The new phase phase will be an opportunity for Marine-to-Marine mentorship, with drill instructors counseling new Marines on everything from leadership and finances to what’s in store for them once they hit the fleet.

“Now you’ve got somebody who’s been a drill instructor and been intimately involved in this transformation, and now you have another few days to talk to their new Marines as a fellow Marine about what it’s going to be like to go out in the rest of their journey as a Marine,” Gen. Robert Neller, the Marine Corps commandant, says in the video.

The changes go into effect beginning November 2017, and though boot camp will remain 13 weeks, some training events will be shuffled around to make room for the new phase, which will expand upon the current four-day block, previously referred to as “Marine Week.”

Related: EXCLUSIVE: Marine Corps May Add Fourth Phase To Boot Camp »

In the past, Marine Week came at the end of boot camp, after newly minted devil dogs passed the Crucible, received their Eagle, Globe, and Anchor, and were finally allowed to refer to themselves in the first person, and other Marines by their rank.

Though the Crucible — a grueling final test of resolve and grit — remains the culminating training event, Marine Corps Times reported Oct. 4 that it will slide to the left to make room for the new training period.

This fourth phase will also emphasize the “Six F’s” of Marine Leadership Development: fighter, fidelity, fitness, family, finances, and future. Or, in the words of Marine veteran and Terminal Lance creator Maximilian Uriarte: Fourth Phase is about how not to be a boot.

An aerial view of the Pentagon building in Washington, June 15, 2005. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld defended the Guantanamo prison against critics who want it closed by saying U.S. taxpayers have a big financial stake in it and no other facility could replace it at a Pentagon briefing on Tuesday. (Reuters/Jason Reed JIR/CN)

Senior defense officials offered a wide range of excuses to reporters on Wednesday about why they may not comply with a subpoena from House Democrats for documents related to the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

On Oct. 7, lawmakers subpoenaed information about military aid to Ukraine. Eight days later, a Pentagon official told them to pound sand in part because many of the documents requested are communications with the White House that are protected by executive privilege.

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Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) will announce legislation Wednesday aiming to "fix" a new Trump administration citizenship policy that affects some children of U.S. service members stationed abroad.

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The video opens innocently enough. A bell sounds as we gaze onto a U.S. Navy frigate, safely docked at port at Naval Base San Diego. A cadre of sailors, dressed in "crackerjack" style enlisted dress uniforms and hauling duffel bags over their shoulders, stride up a gangplank aboard the vessel. The officer on deck greets them with a blast of a boatswain's call. It could be the opening scene of a recruitment video for the greatest naval force on the planet.

Then the rhythmic clapping begins.

This is no recruitment video. It's 'In The Navy,' the legendary 1979 hit from disco queens The Village People, shot aboard the very real Knox-class USS Reasoner (FF-1063) frigate. And one of those five Navy sailors who strode up that gangplank during filming was Ronald Beck, at the time a legal yeoman and witness to one of the strangest collisions between the U.S. military and pop culture of the 20th century.

"They picked the ship and they picked us, I don't know why," Beck, who left the Navy in 1982, told Task & Purpose in a phone interview from his Texas home in October. "I was just lucky to be one of 'em picked."

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Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Tuesday casually brushed aside the disturbing news that, holy shit, MORE THAN 100 ISIS FIGHTERS HAVE ESCAPED FROM JAIL.

In an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Esper essentially turned this fact into a positive, no doubt impressing public relations and political talking heads everywhere with some truly masterful spin.

"Of the 11,000 or so detainees that were imprisoned in northeast Syria, we've only had reports that a little more than a hundred have escaped," Esper said, adding that the Syrian Democratic Forces were continuing to guard prisons, and the Pentagon had not "seen this big prison break that we all expected."



Well, I feel better. How about you?

On Wednesday, the top U.S. envoy in charge of the global coalition to defeat ISIS said much the same, while adding another cherry on top: The United States has no idea where those 100+ fighters went.

"We do not know where they are," James Jeffrey told members of Congress of the 100+ escaped detainees. ISIS has about 18,000 "members" left in Iraq and Syria, according to recent Pentagon estimates.

A senior administration official told reporters on Wednesday the White House's understanding is that the SDF continues to keep the "vast majority" of ISIS fighters under "lock and key."

"It's obviously a fluid situation on the ground that we're monitoring closely," the official said, adding that released fighters will be "hunted down and recaptured." The official said it was Turkey's responsibility to do so.

President Trump expressed optimism on Wednesday about what was happening on the ground in northeast Syria, when he announced that a ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurds was expected to be made permanent.

"Turkey, Syria, and all forms of the Kurds have been fighting for centuries," Trump said. "We have done them a great service and we've done a great job for all of them — and now we're getting out."

The president boasted that the U.S.-brokered ceasefire had saved the lives of tens of thousands of Kurds "without spilling one drop of American blood."

Trump said that "small number of U.S. troops" would remain in Syria to protect oilfields.


Kade Kurita (U.S. Army photo(

Kade Kurita, the 20-year-old West Point cadet who had been missing since Friday evening, was found dead on Tuesday night, the U.S. Military Academy announced early Wednesday morning.

"We are grieving this loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to Cadet Kurita's family and friends," Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, superintendent of West Point, said in the release.

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