EXCLUSIVE: Marine Corps May Add Fourth Phase To Boot Camp

news
Recruits of India Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, crawl through a simulated battlefield Jan. 24, 2014, as part of a combat training course on Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina.
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Caitlin Brink

The Marine Corps is considering a plan to add a fourth phase to its recruit training regimen, multiple sources have confirmed to Task & Purpose. The proposed phase is aimed at providing recruits more time to get comfortable in their newfound identity as Marines. The addition of a fourth phase would not extend the length of boot camp, though it could require certain training events to be shifted to earlier in the cycle.


Currently, recruit training is broken into three phases. The first four weeks emphasize drill, physical fitness, and above all, training civilians to be Marine recruits. The second phase focuses on marksmanship, culminating in rifle qualification, and the third phase covers combat marksmanship, and closes out with the Crucible — a test of stress management and teamwork that represents a would-be Marine’s final hurdle in training.

The new phase would likely occur near the end of the 12-week training cycle, during the period of instruction currently set aside as “Marine week” (and often unofficially referred to in boot camp as “fourth phase.”) Marine week is a four-day period following the Crucible, where newly minted Marines receive classes on financial stability, Marine leadership, prep for graduation, and are finally permitted to refer to themselves in the first person and their drill instructors by rank.

Related: How To Survive The First 4 Weeks Of Marine Boot Camp »

The new phase would likely extend this four-day block, though the exact length of the proposed fourth phase could not be confirmed. According to sources with knowledge of the matter, the fourth phase would focus on Marine leadership values, fiscal responsibility, and generally, how to act and behave like a Marine and not like a recruit.

The schedule to possibly approve, announce and implement the boot-camp change is not clear. The news comes at a time when the service is also weighing a decision to allow female Marines to attend combat training on both the East and West Coast, the Associated Press reported in August. Currently, female Marines only attend Marine Combat Training (MCT) at the School of Infantry (SOI) - East in North Carolina. Marine Corps boot camp occurs in two places — Recruit Depot Parris Island in South Carolina, and Recruit Depot San Diego in California.

Though proposed changes to recruit training are often met with rabble rousing from Old Corps proponents, the idea of spending just a few more days learning “how-to Marine” rather than how to be a stellar recruit could benefit newly graduated hard-chargers heading off to SOI or MCT. A few more classes on financial stability might also keep Marines from blowing their three months of recruit training pay during their 10 days of leave after boot camp.

Task & Purpose will continue to report on these developments as we learn more.

WATCH NEXT:

In this June 16, 2018 photo, Taliban fighters greet residents in the Surkhroad district of Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan. (Associated Press/Rahmat Gul)

While the U.S. military wants to keep roughly 8,600 troops in Afghanistan, the Taliban's deputy leader has just made clear that his group wants all U.S. service members to leave the country as part of any peace agreement.

"The withdrawal of foreign forces has been our first and foremost demand," Sirajuddin Haqqani wrote in a story for the New York Times on Thursday.

Read More
U.S. soldiers inspect the site where an Iranian missile hit at Ain al-Asad air base in Anbar province, Iraq January 13, 2020. (REUTERS/John Davison)

In the wee hours of Jan. 8, Tehran retaliated over the U.S. killing of Iran's most powerful general by bombarding the al-Asad air base in Iraq.

Among the 2,000 troops stationed there was U.S. Army Specialist Kimo Keltz, who recalls hearing a missile whistling through the sky as he lay on the deck of a guard tower. The explosion lifted his body - in full armor - an inch or two off the floor.

Keltz says he thought he had escaped with little more than a mild headache. Initial assessments around the base found no serious injuries or deaths from the attack. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, "All is well!"

The next day was different.

"My head kinda felt like I got hit with a truck," Keltz told Reuters in an interview from al-Asad air base in Iraq's western Anbar desert. "My stomach was grinding."

Read More
A U.S. military vehicle runs a Russian armored truck off the road in Syria near the Turkish border town of Qamishli (Video screencap)

A video has emerged showing a U.S. military vehicle running a Russian armored truck off the road in Syria after it tried to pass an American convoy.

Questions still remain about the incident, to include when it occurred, though it appears to have taken place on a stretch of road near the Turkish border town of Qamishli, according to The War Zone.

Read More
(U.S. Marine Corps photo)

Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.

We are women veterans who have served in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. Our service – as aviators, ship drivers, intelligence analysts, engineers, professors, and diplomats — spans decades. We have served in times of peace and war, separated from our families and loved ones. We are proud of our accomplishments, particularly as many were earned while immersed in a military culture that often ignores and demeans women's contributions. We are veterans.

Yet we recognize that as we grew as leaders over time, we often failed to challenge or even question this culture. It took decades for us to recognize that our individual successes came despite this culture and the damage it caused us and the women who follow in our footsteps. The easier course has always been to tolerate insulting, discriminatory, and harmful behavior toward women veterans and service members and to cling to the idea that 'a few bad apples' do not reflect the attitudes of the whole.

Recent allegations that Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie allegedly sought to intentionally discredit a female veteran who reported a sexual assault at a VA medical center allow no such pretense.

Read More
A cup of coffee during "tea time" discussions between the U.S. Air Force and Japanese Self-Defense Forces at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Feb. 14, 2018 (Air Force photo / Tech. Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

Survival expert and former Special Air Service commando Edward "Bear" Grylls made meme history for drinking his own urine to survive his TV show, Man vs. Wild. But the United States Air Force did Bear one better recently, when an Alaska-based airman peed in an office coffee maker.

While the circumstances of the bladder-based brew remain a mystery, the incident was written up in a newsletter written by the legal office of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on February 13, a base spokesman confirmed to Task & Purpose.

Read More