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How tough you need to be to make in the USMC?

Define “tough”?

There are the physical aspects of bootcamp and there are emotional aspects as well.

From a Quora writer Jin Davis, this has the best I have seen, so the creditgkes to him.

Click on blue.

What is U.S. Marine Corps boot camp like?

Jon Davis, worked at U.S. Marine Corps

Updated Dec 30 2016 · Upvoted by Sean Huze, worked at U.S. Marine Corps and Tom Farrier, Retired USAF rescue helicopter pilot; current aviation safety contractor (UAS) · Author has 2.3k answers and 36.5m answer views

It is a place where you have to train 18 year olds to run to the sound of gunfire and perform under fire and the threat of death.This act defies all “logic,” goes against all human instinct, and takes one of the most intensive acts of psychological reprogramming to overcome.A few assumptions, however, have to be put down along with a few myths about boot camp and the What is U.S. Marine Corps boot camp like?

Jon Davis, worked at U.S. Marine Corps

Updated Dec 30 2016 · Upvoted by Sean Huze, worked at U.S. Marine Corps and Tom Farrier, Retired USAF rescue helicopter pilot; current aviation safety contractor (UAS) · Author has 2.3k answers and 36.5m answer views

It is a place where you have to train 18 year olds to run to the sound of gunfire and perform under fire and the threat of death.This act defies all “logic,” goes against all human instinct, and takes one of the most intensive acts of psychological reprogramming to overcome.A few assumptions, however, have to be put down along with a few myths about boot camp and the http://experience.It is not about the skills you acquire. The shooting is an important part. Learning to march is somewhat important, though you aren’t sure why. The swimming… well that is just awful. And if we think about it, we haven’t fought in a non-desert in how long? The training is not about the skills. The tactics used in training are too extreme to train skills. In all honesty, most recruits are too stressed to actually learn. A much better environment would be a college or a school house. As I said though, boot camp is not about school.Recruits do not go through hell together. After boot camp they will leave each other and go to different training and then on to other training for their actual military occupational specialty. Then 3 months to a year later after all their actual skills training is done they will join their real unit. This is the unit they will be a part of when they go on deployments and who will go through war with. You will likely see only a few of the guys you went to boot camp with a few more times in your life when you see one another at the PX on Mainside. You won’t go through “Hell” together.Drill Instructors/Drill Sergeants don’t physically touch recruits. They don’t hit or physically assault recruits, ever. They come close as the picture above shows, but they never physically hurt or even touch recruits. Another thing that is important is that everything they do is for a purpose; a rehearsed, manufactured, and engineered PURPOSE.IT is about something else http://entirely.As for why bootcamp training tactics are so important, you need to imagine what is expected of someone who goes there. In modern warfare you have people too young to drink fighting the wars that we go through year after year. This has been the practice for centuries. The need for warriors and the nature for who has to fight hasn’t evolved much and likely won’t change in any near future. Drones, stealth, atomic warfare, and high tech weaponry won’t change this. There will always be the need for young men who are willing and able to run to the sound of imminent danger and many, to their death. Nations need this. You need this. It is a horrible thing, but the sanctity and security of every nation on Earth requires young men and women capable of doing Look @t This To… do this, however, we need a form of psychological training that is able to forge individuals who can do this. That is why boot camp has evolved to become such a potent tool in today’s military machine.Brigadier General S.L.A. Marshall in his book Men Against Fire described well the fundamental flaw which must be overcome by a warrior society which is itself, borne from a society in which violence is not understood and, in fact, looked down upon:” The army … must reckon with the fact that he comes from a civilization in which aggression, connected with the taking of life, is prohibited and unacceptable. The teaching and ideals of that civilization are against killing, against taking advantage. The fear of aggression has been expressed to him so strongly and absorbed by him so deeply and pervadingly–practically with his mother’s milk–that it is part of the normal man’s emotional make up. This is his greatest handicap when he enters combat. It stays his trigger-finger even though he is hardly conscious that it is a restraint upon him.”The most important single thing to know about boot camp is that it is 100% designed to reprogram children and civilians into warriors. It places within them a sense that they are expected to do important things, far more important things than could be expected from other 18 year olds. This is all happening during one of the most intensely stressful periods of your life where you are kept isolated from contact from your family and friends and taught that everything you were before entering the Marines was weak and lacking any real value until you too are a Marine. Cults are made this way too. I’m just saying. But in all seriousness, the psychological transformation of boot camp is a very intense and intentional effort by the Marine Corps to make warriors able to fight and kill out of kids who have just barely left high school. From the point that you graduate boot camp you will be different and have parts of the Marine Corps culture as part of your psyche.Some of the ways that this is done is through a series of extremely well planned and timed events that, by themselves, are meaningless, but when strategically combined together will change a person.1) ReceivingReceiving is a period before training. You arrive at boot camp, but for the first week or so you don’t actually train. You are just doing paperwork to get into the federal documentation system. You will receive all your gear and start your initial process into “getting ready” for bootcamp. But it’s the way you do it that is important. The entire time you are yelled at, screamed at, hurried and stressed. But there is more.From the first moment you arrive, you are now neck deep in terror. This is a video showing exactly what it is like for every recruit before they even get off the bus at the Recruit depot. Before you watch I want to make a few points.Everything the drill instructor does has purpose; everything. It may seem funny to you, but it is all crucial and instructional in some way.They are being yelled at before they ever set foot off the bus. You can hear this if you begin listening immediately.Within 5 minutes, 200+ individuals with no group training at all have been trained by drill instructions on how to: Listen and learn while at bootcamp, respond to instruction, stand in formation, and move as a unit. They have also all been read their rights and responsibilities as recruits and in single file moved to a different area. You will not appreciate the magnitude of this.Every word the drill instructor is saying is http://memorized.No recruit will be physically touched by a drill instructor. In fact, they won’t be touched by one, ever. Surprised?This is a ceremony that has taken place every week for every new group of recruits for decades. It is very well rehearsed and very well engineered. As I said before, everything a drill instructor does has http://purpose.As I said, this is just the first 5 minutes. There are three more months of this.Later that night a recruit will do something else that is transformative in a rather impactful way.Why is the haircut so important? It is part of the erosion of individuality. What? Yes, the erosion of individuality. Why should a warrior lose his individuality? It is what makes him special and unique. It is what makes him valuable. Well that’s the problem. Individuality makes them special and unique. It makes them feel that they might be above someone or something else. They are better than the orders they might receive. They are too good for something. Not at boot camp. From day one, everyone is the same. In fact, during my time, being called “an individual” was an insult as it meant that you were a person who couldn’t put the needs of the unit first. Yes, individuality is repressed as they will spend the next three months dressed the same, act the same, and look the same.Now we move on to something else very important and why I say that it is “psychological” retraining. You go through the next few days running from place to place, doing this, that, this, that and you won’t even realize… you haven’t slept in three days. Yeah, you will go through about three days without sleep upon arrival. The whole time you are completely exhausted while running on adrenaline and hearing over and over, that you are inferior. Inferior to real Marines, which you aren’t yet. You aren’t thinking about it, but it is sinking in. You are completely tired and these things build up. Without realizing it, you start to believe that that which is being told to you is true, that there is a weakness in you and that you are less than perfect. In your current state you believe them and that you must change to be good enough. But there is something important you as the reader need to Know.TO – Riverdale, Playter Estates, Danforth be a Marine and to go to war, it is true.There are many habits that kids and civilians have that have to be unlearned. Like we said, they have to run into battle and that sense of self preservation is damaging to the mission. At this point we are still less than one week into bootcamp. The recruits are about to experience Training Day One, known as Black Friday. After receiving and from this point and over the next three months, the recruits will face exercising in endurance, arts of war, and learn to act and think as a unit. These are some of the more important things that are trained.I remember the first night that I was able to go to bed after what amounted to a few days of not getting to sleep. It was one of those, “What the hell am I doing here?” nights. I stayed awake and tried to write a letter home to Jennie. It was my first letter to her from boot camp. I remember another time I tried to sneak the chance to write home at night. We weren’t allowed to write letters at night by the way, that time was for sleeping. I hadn’t been able to write a letter for quite some time, so I wanted to this night. I was exhausted though. I wrote a few paragraphs and then started to drift off. You can actually see where I fell asleep while still writing. The writing becomes more and more illegible, slowly falls off the line and then turns into a streak across the page. I woke up suddenly and stuffed the letter in an envelope and sent it home. Jennie made fun of me for that one.2) The Arts of War:Marine recruits go through several different training cycles and will learn skills in Martial Arts, Small Unit Tactics, Hand-to-Hand Combat, Emergency First-Aid, and marksmanship. They will also receive nutritional training, maintenance of gear, and physical training. While I said that boot camp is not really about the skills, they are important and a necessary part of the training evolution. The uses of them in warfare are obvious and necessary for survival for some of the future warriors.All Marines will by the end of boot camp receive the first belt in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP). This is a special form of combat martial arts designed by the Marine Corps.During the second phase of recruit training, more than two full weeks are dedicated to marksmanship. It is so important that the drill instructors actually lighten-up to allow the recruits to focus. Marines are fanatical about marksmanship and that starts at boot camp.Physical training takes many forms, but generally centers on building instant obedience to orders over actual exercise. Most of the time it centers on listen and do what you are told, get through the exercise and get out of the situation before you are yelled at. This is really as much as a I want to get into the skills. Information on them is much more available on the internet and not pertinent to the question being asked.I remember that I was so anxious about shooting well on the range. I had just gotten married the week before shipping out to bootcamp and my new father-in-law was a gun nut. I just had to impress him. I had to make expert. On qual day I was so nervous. We did all of our shooting and got down to the 500 yard line. I was good at this, but I had to do well to make the score I needed. It came down to my last shot. I had to hit the black or I would be a sharpshooter. I made expert by one point and mailed home my badge the next chance I got to send home mail for Jennie to give my new father.3) Act and Think as a UnitThis is some of the most overlooked aspects of the Boot Camp process. This is refined groupthink where an entire unit of 80 men or women are able to act in perfect unison. They know the movements by heart and are always performed the same way and at the same speed. This is Drill. It is the reason for term “Drill Sergeant” and is both a time honored tradition and a valuable learning aide that’s reasoning has been all but forgotten.Modern Drill was a tool first recorded being utilized by the Greeks to maneuver large armies in necessarily tight formations to fight in close quarters. It was necessary as far back as our Civil War. It still has relevance today in that it trains Marines to focus on the instructions of their leader and to gain unison in their actions. It teaches the importance of individual action in teamwork and is instrumental in training instant obedience to orders. This is a platoon of female recruits a few weeks from the end of their training.learned the maneuvers well, but still have a few more training sessions before they are perfected.Below is a platoon in what is called Final Drill. This is a performance review of their abilities to carry out drill as a unit. It is one of the most important training events as a platoon.Some things to note:Once again, these are 18 year old men fresh out of high school. There are 80 of them and they have learned to carry out actions involving several steps and intricate footwork… in perfect unison.Both the recruits and the drill instructor are being evaluated by the Marines carrying clipboards.There is a point in boot camp where a platoon “comes together”. This is the moment where they stop acting as individuals and begin to truly become a team. For my platoon it was very hard. We were right in the middle of the summer and made up almost entirely of kids straight out of high school. We were young, selfish and immature. Individuals stood out and made life a bit more difficult for all of us. Towards the end though it happened. I think the first of it was on the parade deck. We were practicing for final drill. There are two orders you do called “Inspection Arms” followed by “Order Arms.” You have to lock the weapon’s bolt to the rear bring the weapon up to your face, inspect the barrel from chamber and return it to the Port Arms position. In order arms you send the bolt home and close the ejection port cover. This may all sound like jargon if you don’t get what I am speaking about, but basically you have seven movements that need to be done exactly the same way at exactly the same time by 80 different people. Think about that… 80 different people doing exactly the same thing at exactly the same time. If done wrong it sounds like shaking a can of rocks, but if you do it right… If everyone can do it exactly together then it will make this harmonious echo throughout the parade deck, a small boom, a second sound that tells every single individual that they did perfect. It took every single one of them to be perfect and because they all were able to they were perfect. If a platoon can do it it is a special moment. We did it the week before Final Drill. It was awesome. We talked about it that night. I really think that was the moment we came together.After that I would say it might have been when the drill instructor started the nightly quarterdecking. You would get quarterdecked if you screwed up really bad that day. It is the most intense barrage of physical exercise that one can endure. It was awful. A funny thing happened though on one of our last nights. A few people were being quarterdecked. Then one guy went over and volunteered… WTH? He started to go over and just being quarterdecked with everyone else. The drill instructor yelled at him to go back, but he wouldn’t. He did the push ups and the side straddle hops and everything else and wouldn’t leave. And then another guy went up there too, and then another and another. Now a funny thing is that we noticed that they never had more than 10 of us on the quarterdeck at any given time. We kind of believed that they limited the number on purpose because of abuse rules or something else. This time, however, the drill instructor had collected before he knew what do half the platoon quarterdecking themselves. It was the oddest sort of rebellion really. In a way it was hilarious. Did I take part? Hell no. I was kept cleaning my weapon. I wish I had though. It was a fun moment. A graduation of sorts I suppose. No one ever got quarterdecked again though.4) Endurance trainingAmong the many training elements that recruits must endure, the largest obstacle they all must face is one of immense magnitude and endurance. It is aptly named “The Crucible”. This is the final of several training hikes, and it is a three day march totaling at around 60 miles with little sleep, little food and numerous stops to do obstacle course workouts, carrying a huge amount of extra gear and equipment and a climactic day-long final march up a mountain, called “The Reaper” and 10 miles downhill before returning to their barracks. By this time the recruits are all physically in shape enough for the exercise, but the mental aspect is what is being pushed here. The entire ordeal is also made all the worse by carrying massive packs with all the recruit’s gear and supplies, along with body armor. In total the recruit will be carrying around 70 extra pounds with him on this journey. It will not be easy, but when they reach the top of the mountain, they will have completed the most important major obstacle and last right of passage to becoming a Marine.By enduring long hikes like this, recruits are trained to overcome obstacles like pain or fatigue if given proper motivation. I for one learned that, even under these conditions, you can still run carrying all this equipment for more than a few hundred yards with a cramp in your leg. The pain doesn’t actually stop your body from working, you just keep running and somehow the pain will go away just as fast as if you stopped and cried about it. This mental training is necessary as it will give them the strength to survive much harder and longer training once they reach the fleet, and missions that will test them physically and mentally.I think the Reaper was one of my proudest moments in life. I had done well throughout the Crucible and now we had this last hike up the mountain. I pushed through and kept pace. I had a friend Lobo who wasn’t doing so well. I told him that he could hold on to my pack and I would pull him up. I was fine doing it for Lobo, he was my first rack-mate at boot camp and one of my friends. Still though, after a few miles of assisting him it started to get really hard to pull both of us. I looked behind me and saw that not only was Lobo holding on to my pack, but someone was holding on to his, and someone to his! I was the engine of a four person train. The last guy wasn’t even in our platoon! I got mad and told and told them all to get off. It was pretty cool to think about that I was able to do that though.On the way down it was much harder than we expected. We had been told as much by the recruits who went before us, so it wasn’t really a surprise. People were exhausted. I was just looking forward to the Warrior’s Breakfast and kept telling myself just a few more steps. I actually had a lot of energy for most of us. I think I just had the right body type back then for that sort of thing. As we got about half way down members of my platoon started to falter. The drill instructors would yell at them to keep up. I started to yell at them too. I was angry. What excuse did they have to tire out? I am pretty sure that was when one of the Drill Instructors stopped hating me. He had hated me for most of boot camp, but that day I was a bit of an asshole who wasn’t weak. You know what’s funny? By Drill Instructor terms he was nice to me after that day.After the Crucible and the Reaper Hike came the warrior’s breakfast. It was the most awesome thing in the world. You get to eat as much as you could and celebrate the awesomeness of what you and the rest of the company had achieved. Eggs, waffles with peanut-butter, cereal, fruit, and a doughnut. Seriously we had hiked 53 miles over 3 days, full packs almost no sleep and two meals. You have no idea how good a bowl of Fruit Loops can taste. You really don’t. We ate like kings. Oh how grand it was.After that though a few of us were sent on a working party to clean up after the Warrior’s Breakfast. My thoughts were, “What the friggin’ hell? After all that I have to go back and do a working party?” When the ten or so of us arrived we were directed to stand over on the side of the building until we were called for. This was normal so we did it. About half an hour went by and we were wondering what was going on and why no one had come for us. We thought we were supposed to be doing work or something. Oh well. About an hour later our Drill Instructor came back and took us back to the platoon. That was really strange. Then we got back to the squad bay and everyone else looked sick as dogs. I asked my rack mate Kruger what had happened. He said that the DIs made them drink water… 8 canteens worth of water. He said that everyone in the platoon basically vomited the entire Warrior’s breakfast out. Perhaps it justifiable in that they helped them get re-hydrated. All I could think was how lucky I was that I was at a working party. Years later I thought about that working party and I realized what it was. The Drill Instructors were protecting us. For some reason the few of us had been selected to not be punished that day. I thought about how cool that was and learned an interesting lesson from that day. Sometimes in life you should be happy if your only reward is a lack of punishment.5) Isolation from the OutsideWhat you may not know is that in some branches of the military, the Marines for example, communication lines are completely severed from friends and family during boot camp. There is no internet, no phone, no distractions. The only thing you really get is hand written letters once a week during your only “me time” for four hours on Sunday morning once a week. Does it seem cruel? Well, I had just been married one week before boot camp so I think I am best to answer this. There are no distractions. All the aspects I told you about are never interrupted by distractions from the outside world. It helps to engross new recruits in the mentality that they are being absorbed into, but for a few months it completely shuts them out from their friends, families, and the outside world. For a few months, the Marine Corps is your entire world.One thing that happens for everyone is that immediately upon arriving at boot camp you get to call home. It isn’t a real call. You have a short script where you basically say that you’re there and you’re alive. That is all. A few weeks in though, our Senior Drill Instructor found out that we didn’t get ours. About a month in he made sure that we got ours. As a platoon we got to go down to the phone center and speak with our families. I remember the day. It was July 7th, my birthday. I called my wife’s phone. Oddly my Mom answered. That’s a whole other story. We talked for a few minutes and then I asked to speak to Jennie. It was great. I told her that I would have to leave soon and that we just get cut off and that would be it. We needed to use the time as best we could. I think I got about 10 minutes to speak with them. It was really a blessing. After a month of boot camp it was good to hear her voice again. I think of her as rain when I walk through the desert. As I knew it would our time ran out. The line went dead. I was prepared for it, but still for a moment your heart breaks again. Still I was happy. There were a few tears that rolled down my face as I returned to the platoon. I know a few of them noticed. I was the only married recruit in the platoon and I think they all knew how hard it was for me. No one ever said a thing to me about the tears. I was happy. It was my best birthday present ever.On the other end of the line it was a completely different story. The phone cut out abruptly as we knew it would, but Jennie thought she had somehow hung up on me. She was already crying a bit, but then tells the story that she completely broke down. “I hung up on him! I hung up on my baby! I only get to talk to him once in a whole month and I hung up on him! And on his birthday!” The way she tells the story she was completely irrational. My mom was trying to console her and remind her that we had just ran out of time, but Jennie knew that she had hung up on me. She even tried to call back the number, obviously to no avail. Now that I know we laugh about that all the time, but that was not a good moment for Jennie.6) The YellingI am pretty sure this is what brought on the question in the first place. In the Marines, bootcamp instructors are actually trained on how to manipulate their voices so that they can yell for extremely long periods of time without damaging their vocal cords. This is known as the “Frog Voice” and it is as real as the weapons we use. The fact is that once you enter the military, people are literally screaming at you all the time and you adapt. Eventually you will be a leader and screaming will be part of your job too. This video actually shows a great deal of things that are important. It is a video of a charity golf tournament where some Marines were invited to give a show for some of the competitors. Listen at the very beginning and you can hear a Marine using a strange voice to speak to the victim/participant. This is Frog Voice. You will also see what is known as the “Omnidirectional Ass Chewing” in which multiple D.I. will be screaming at you in unison as you attempt to make sense of the universe around you.”Why do all these things you ask?” Because it is the easiest way to get a human being who is unaccustomed to performance under stress to take action while being placed under an extreme and sudden stress environment (combat). It trains them to block out the noise and the fear and the stress and just do what they need to do. We can’t actually shoot at the kids you know. (Oh God, that actually does make sense.) So the Omnidirectional Ass Chewing is one of the most important parts of onboarding that most militaries go through, and the yelling really never stops after that. What is extremely important to know is that just as quickly as these men started yelling they can turn it off just as quickly. It is mostly an act by these drill instructors to instill aggression and help military people cope with combat stress without actually experiencing combat. These men aren’t bullies. What you just saw was extremely important training, mental training. No one in the comments section will ever dissuade me from this position it is one of the most important things a Marine Corps Drill Instructor can do for a young recruit.Now that I say that I am reminded of that one Drill Instructor, the truly evil one. The one you wrote home about. Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant Tucker (Yes, that is how we had to say their name every time.) He was the one I talked about on the reaper hike who hated me until that day. I was larger than the other recruits and one day I had a dessert with my lunch. He called me “Treats” for the next month. After the reaper he didn’t focus so much on me anymore, I am going to consider that a sign of respect. No now he was evil to everyone. He actually wasn’t the yelling type as much as the sadistic one. Absolutely a nightmare. He was like one of those evil geniuses who knew how to make people do mundane things that caused massive amounts of pain. I remember that it was so bad that a year later I was in Iraq and joked with Jennie on the phone one night,”Hey Babe, you’ll never guess who joined the unit? Tucker!””What? You’re kidding!””Yeah that would suck though wouldn’t it?”Well guess what. A few months later we got back home and were holding inspections. We were all wearing our alphas and I look over and see this Staff Sergeant. Hmm… he looks familiar. Then he reaches over and straightens the belt of the guy in front of me. Where have I seen this before? That hand? That mannerism? That… that…”Dear God! It’s Tucker!”I stood there in shock for a few minutes. I looked at him several times and he saw me do it. He looked over at me for a few seconds.”I know you from somewhere…””… I believe you called me Treats through all of second phase.”…”Davis!”That night I got back home and had to tell Jennie.”Jennie you’re never going to guess who joined the unit!””Tucker?””How’d you know?!””Yeah right. You already tried that on me back when you were in Iraq.”Want to hear the rest of this story? Jon Davis’s answer to What are some of the most memorable things your drill sergeant ever said?SummaryThe logic is there. It is terrifyingly present in every subtle action of the Drill Instructors. As I said before, everything they do is for a reason. Boot camp, and particularly that of the Marines, is made to psychologically change a child into someone capable of performing under combat situations. In most cases it is intended to take from them the aspects of their civilian lives that will make life harder for them in the military, and sometimes get them killed, no longer part of the calculation. The yelling, the sleep deprivation and being cut off from friends and family are part of the process of becoming a warrior. It is also part of becoming a cult. And that is what it is. Normal people can’t do the things warriors are asked to do. They can’t imagine it and shouldn’t be forced to. But there are those that do. For these people though, there must be a transition from “civilian” to “warrior”. Boot camp is the means of that evolution and every part of it is necessary.This answer also appears in Military Boot Camp: What is the logic behind why Military bootcamps are so intensive? If you’re interested the United States Marine Corps you can also be found on The Marine Corps Board. Everything I write is completely independent research. I am supported completely by fan and follower assistance. If you enjoyed this post and would like to see more like it, follow my Quora blog The War Elephant. You can also show your support by visiting my support page here: Support Jon Davis creating Short Stories and Essays in Military, Science Fiction and Life. Thanks for reading and Semper Fidelis.

t is not about the skills you acquire. The shooting is an important part. Learning to march is somewhat important, though you aren’t sure why. The swimming… well that is just awful. And if we think about it, we haven’t fought in a non-desert in how long? The training is not about the skills. The tactics used in training are too extreme to train skills. In all honesty, most recruits are too stressed to actually learn. A much better environment would be a college or a school house. As I said though, boot camp is not about school.Recruits do not go through hell together. After boot camp they will leave each other and go to different training and then on to other training for their actual military occupational specialty. Then 3 months to a year later after all their actual skills training is done they will join their real unit. This is the unit they will be a part of when they go on deployments and who will go through war with. You will likely see only a few of the guys you went to boot camp with a few more times in your life when you see one another at the PX on Mainside. You won’t go through “Hell” together.Drill Instructors/Drill Sergeants don’t physically touch recruits. They don’t hit or physically assault recruits, ever. They come close as the picture above shows, but they never physically hurt or even touch recruits. Another thing that is important is that everything they do is for a purpose; a rehearsed, manufactured, and engineered PURPOSE.IT is about something else http://entirely.As for why bootcamp training tactics are so important, you need to imagine what is expected of someone who goes there. In modern warfare you have people too young to drink fighting the wars that we go through year after year. This has been the practice for centuries. The need for warriors and the nature for who has to fight hasn’t evolved much and likely won’t change in any near future. Drones, stealth, atomic warfare, and high tech weaponry won’t change this. There will always be the need for young men who are willing and able to run to the sound of imminent danger and many, to their death. Nations need this. You need this. It is a horrible thing, but the sanctity and security of every nation on Earth requires young men and women capable of doing Look @t This To… do this, however, we need a form of psychological training that is able to forge individuals who can do this. That is why boot camp has evolved to become such a potent tool in today’s military machine.Brigadier General S.L.A. Marshall in his book Men Against Fire described well the fundamental flaw which must be overcome by a warrior society which is itself, borne from a society in which violence is not understood and, in fact, looked down upon:” The army … must reckon with the fact that he comes from a civilization in which aggression, connected with the taking of life, is prohibited and unacceptable. The teaching and ideals of that civilization are against killing, against taking advantage. The fear of aggression has been expressed to him so strongly and absorbed by him so deeply and pervadingly–practically with his mother’s milk–that it is part of the normal man’s emotional make up. This is his greatest handicap when he enters combat. It stays his trigger-finger even though he is hardly conscious that it is a restraint upon him.”The most important single thing to know about boot camp is that it is 100% designed to reprogram children and civilians into warriors. It places within them a sense that they are expected to do important things, far more important things than could be expected from other 18 year olds. This is all happening during one of the most intensely stressful periods of your life where you are kept isolated from contact from your family and friends and taught that everything you were before entering the Marines was weak and lacking any real value until you too are a Marine. Cults are made this way too. I’m just saying. But in all seriousness, the psychological transformation of boot camp is a very intense and intentional effort by the Marine Corps to make warriors able to fight and kill out of kids who have just barely left high school. From the point that you graduate boot camp you will be different and have parts of the Marine Corps culture as part of your psyche.Some of the ways that this is done is through a series of extremely well planned and timed events that, by themselves, are meaningless, but when strategically combined together will change a person.

1) ReceivingReceiving is a period before training. You arrive at boot camp, but for the first week or so you don’t actually train. You are just doing paperwork to get into the federal documentation system. You will receive all your gear and start your initial process into “getting ready” for bootcamp. But it’s the way you do it that is important. The entire time you are yelled at, screamed at, hurried and stressed. But there is more.From the first moment you arrive, you are now neck deep in terror. This is a video showing exactly what it is like for every recruit before they even get off the bus at the Recruit depot. Before you watch I want to make a few points.Everything the drill instructor does has purpose; everything. It may seem funny to you, but it is all crucial and instructional in some way.They are being yelled at before they ever set foot off the bus. You can hear this if you begin listening immediately.Within 5 minutes, 200+ individuals with no group training at all have been trained by drill instructions on how to: Listen and learn while at bootcamp, respond to instruction, stand in formation, and move as a unit. They have also all been read their rights and responsibilities as recruits and in single file moved to a different area. You will not appreciate the magnitude of this.Every word the drill instructor is saying is http://memorized.No recruit will be physically touched by a drill instructor. In fact, they won’t be touched by one, ever. Surprised?This is a ceremony that has taken place every week for every new group of recruits for decades. It is very well rehearsed and very well engineered. As I said before, everything a drill instructor does has http://purpose.As I said, this is just the first 5 minutes. There are three more months of this.Later that night a recruit will do something else that is transformative in a rather impactful way.Why is the haircut so important? It is part of the erosion of individuality. What? Yes, the erosion of individuality. Why should a warrior lose his individuality? It is what makes him special and unique. It is what makes him valuable. Well that’s the problem. Individuality makes them special and unique. It makes them feel that they might be above someone or something else. They are better than the orders they might receive. They are too good for something. Not at boot camp. From day one, everyone is the same. In fact, during my time, being called “an individual” was an insult as it meant that you were a person who couldn’t put the needs of the unit first. Yes, individuality is repressed as they will spend the next three months dressed the same, act the same, and look the same.Now we move on to something else very important and why I say that it is “psychological” retraining. You go through the next few days running from place to place, doing this, that, this, that and you won’t even realize… you haven’t slept in three days. Yeah, you will go through about three days without sleep upon arrival. The whole time you are completely exhausted while running on adrenaline and hearing over and over, that you are inferior. Inferior to real Marines, which you aren’t yet. You aren’t thinking about it, but it is sinking in. You are completely tired and these things build up. Without realizing it, you start to believe that that which is being told to you is true, that there is a weakness in you and that you are less than perfect. In your current state you believe them and that you must change to be good enough. But there is something important you as the reader need to Know.TO – Riverdale, Playter Estates, Danforth be a Marine and to go to war, it is true.There are many habits that kids and civilians have that have to be unlearned. Like we said, they have to run into battle and that sense of self preservation is damaging to the mission. At this point we are still less than one week into bootcamp. The recruits are about to experience Training Day One, known as Black Friday. After receiving and from this point and over the next three months, the recruits will face exercising in endurance, arts of war, and learn to act and think as a unit. These are some of the more important things that are trained.I remember the first night that I was able to go to bed after what amounted to a few days of not getting to sleep. It was one of those, “What the hell am I doing here?” nights. I stayed awake and tried to write a letter home to Jennie. It was my first letter to her from boot camp. I remember another time I tried to sneak the chance to write home at night. We weren’t allowed to write letters at night by the way, that time was for sleeping. I hadn’t been able to write a letter for quite some time, so I wanted to this night. I was exhausted though. I wrote a few paragraphs and then started to drift off. You can actually see where I fell asleep while still writing. The writing becomes more and more illegible, slowly falls off the line and then turns into a streak across the page. I woke up suddenly and stuffed the letter in an envelope and sent it home. Jennie made fun of me for that one.

2) The Arts of War:Marine recruits go through several different training cycles and will learn skills in Martial Arts, Small Unit Tactics, Hand-to-Hand Combat, Emergency First-Aid, and marksmanship. They will also receive nutritional training, maintenance of gear, and physical training. While I said that boot camp is not really about the skills, they are important and a necessary part of the training evolution. The uses of them in warfare are obvious and necessary for survival for some of the future warriors.All Marines will by the end of boot camp receive the first belt in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP). This is a special form of combat martial arts designed by the Marine Corps.During the second phase of recruit training, more than two full weeks are dedicated to marksmanship. It is so important that the drill instructors actually lighten-up to allow the recruits to focus. Marines are fanatical about marksmanship and that starts at boot camp.Physical training takes many forms, but generally centers on building instant obedience to orders over actual exercise. Most of the time it centers on listen and do what you are told, get through the exercise and get out of the situation before you are yelled at. This is really as much as a I want to get into the skills. Information on them is much more available on the internet and not pertinent to the question being asked.I remember that I was so anxious about shooting well on the range. I had just gotten married the week before shipping out to bootcamp and my new father-in-law was a gun nut. I just had to impress him. I had to make expert. On qual day I was so nervous. We did all of our shooting and got down to the 500 yard line. I was good at this, but I had to do well to make the score I needed. It came down to my last shot. I had to hit the black or I would be a sharpshooter. I made expert by one point and mailed home my badge the next chance I got to send home mail for Jennie to give my new father.

3) Act and Think as a UnitThis is some of the most overlooked aspects of the Boot Camp process. This is refined groupthink where an entire unit of 80 men or women are able to act in perfect unison. They know the movements by heart and are always performed the same way and at the same speed. This is Drill. It is the reason for term “Drill Sergeant” and is both a time honored tradition and a valuable learning aide that’s reasoning has been all but forgotten.Modern Drill was a tool first recorded being utilized by the Greeks to maneuver large armies in necessarily tight formations to fight in close quarters. It was necessary as far back as our Civil War. It still has relevance today in that it trains Marines to focus on the instructions of their leader and to gain unison in their actions. It teaches the importance of individual action in teamwork and is instrumental in training instant obedience to orders. This is a platoon of female recruits a few weeks from the end of their training.learned the maneuvers well, but still have a few more training sessions before they are perfected.Below is a platoon in what is called Final Drill. This is a performance review of their abilities to carry out drill as a unit. It is one of the most important training events as a platoon.Some things to note:Once again, these are 18 year old men fresh out of high school. There are 80 of them and they have learned to carry out actions involving several steps and intricate footwork… in perfect unison.Both the recruits and the drill instructor are being evaluated by the Marines carrying clipboards.There is a point in boot camp where a platoon “comes together”. This is the moment where they stop acting as individuals and begin to truly become a team. For my platoon it was very hard. We were right in the middle of the summer and made up almost entirely of kids straight out of high school. We were young, selfish and immature. Individuals stood out and made life a bit more difficult for all of us. Towards the end though it happened. I think the first of it was on the parade deck. We were practicing for final drill. There are two orders you do called “Inspection Arms” followed by “Order Arms.” You have to lock the weapon’s bolt to the rear bring the weapon up to your face, inspect the barrel from chamber and return it to the Port Arms position. In order arms you send the bolt home and close the ejection port cover. This may all sound like jargon if you don’t get what I am speaking about, but basically you have seven movements that need to be done exactly the same way at exactly the same time by 80 different people. Think about that… 80 different people doing exactly the same thing at exactly the same time. If done wrong it sounds like shaking a can of rocks, but if you do it right… If everyone can do it exactly together then it will make this harmonious echo throughout the parade deck, a small boom, a second sound that tells every single individual that they did perfect. It took every single one of them to be perfect and because they all were able to they were perfect. If a platoon can do it it is a special moment. We did it the week before Final Drill. It was awesome. We talked about it that night. I really think that was the moment we came together.After that I would say it might have been when the drill instructor started the nightly quarterdecking. You would get quarterdecked if you screwed up really bad that day. It is the most intense barrage of physical exercise that one can endure. It was awful. A funny thing happened though on one of our last nights. A few people were being quarterdecked. Then one guy went over and volunteered… WTH? He started to go over and just being quarterdecked with everyone else. The drill instructor yelled at him to go back, but he wouldn’t. He did the push ups and the side straddle hops and everything else and wouldn’t leave. And then another guy went up there too, and then another and another. Now a funny thing is that we noticed that they never had more than 10 of us on the quarterdeck at any given time. We kind of believed that they limited the number on purpose because of abuse rules or something else. This time, however, the drill instructor had collected before he knew what do half the platoon quarterdecking themselves. It was the oddest sort of rebellion really. In a way it was hilarious. Did I take part? Hell no. I was kept cleaning my weapon. I wish I had though. It was a fun moment. A graduation of sorts I suppose. No one ever got quarterdecked again though.4) Endurance trainingAmong the many training elements that recruits must endure, the largest obstacle they all must face is one of immense magnitude and endurance. It is aptly named “The Crucible”. This is the final of several training hikes, and it is a three day march totaling at around 60 miles with little sleep, little food and numerous stops to do obstacle course workouts, carrying a huge amount of extra gear and equipment and a climactic day-long final march up a mountain, called “The Reaper” and 10 miles downhill before returning to their barracks. By this time the recruits are all physically in shape enough for the exercise, but the mental aspect is what is being pushed here. The entire ordeal is also made all the worse by carrying massive packs with all the recruit’s gear and supplies, along with body armor. In total the recruit will be carrying around 70 extra pounds with him on this journey. It will not be easy, but when they reach the top of the mountain, they will have completed the most important major obstacle and last right of passage to becoming a http://Marine.By enduring long hikes like this, recruits are trained to overcome obstacles like pain or fatigue if given proper motivation. I for one learned that, even under these conditions, you can still run carrying all this equipment for more than a few hundred yards with a cramp in your leg. The pain doesn’t actually stop your body from working, you just keep running and somehow the pain will go away just as fast as if you stopped and cried about it. This mental training is necessary as it will give them the strength to survive much harder and longer training once they reach the fleet, and missions that will test them physically and mentally.I think the Reaper was one of my proudest moments in life. I had done well throughout the Crucible and now we had this last hike up the mountain. I pushed through and kept pace. I had a friend Lobo who wasn’t doing so well. I told him that he could hold on to my pack and I would pull him up. I was fine doing it for Lobo, he was my first rack-mate at boot camp and one of my friends. Still though, after a few miles of assisting him it started to get really hard to pull both of us. I looked behind me and saw that not only was Lobo holding on to my pack, but someone was holding on to his, and someone to his! I was the engine of a four person train. The last guy wasn’t even in our platoon! I got mad and told and told them all to get off. It was pretty cool to think about that I was able to do that though.On the way down it was much harder than we expected. We had been told as much by the recruits who went before us, so it wasn’t really a surprise. People were exhausted. I was just looking forward to the Warrior’s Breakfast and kept telling myself just a few more steps. I actually had a lot of energy for most of us. I think I just had the right body type back then for that sort of thing. As we got about half way down members of my platoon started to falter. The drill instructors would yell at them to keep up. I started to yell at them too. I was angry. What excuse did they have to tire out? I am pretty sure that was when one of the Drill Instructors stopped hating me. He had hated me for most of boot camp, but that day I was a bit of an asshole who wasn’t weak. You know what’s funny? By Drill Instructor terms he was nice to me after that day.After the Crucible and the Reaper Hike came the warrior’s breakfast. It was the most awesome thing in the world. You get to eat as much as you could and celebrate the awesomeness of what you and the rest of the company had achieved. Eggs, waffles with peanut-butter, cereal, fruit, and a doughnut. Seriously we had hiked 53 miles over 3 days, full packs almost no sleep and two meals. You have no idea how good a bowl of Fruit Loops can taste. You really don’t. We ate like kings. Oh how grand it was.After that though a few of us were sent on a working party to clean up after the Warrior’s Breakfast. My thoughts were, “What the friggin’ hell? After all that I have to go back and do a working party?” When the ten or so of us arrived we were directed to stand over on the side of the building until we were called for. This was normal so we did it. About half an hour went by and we were wondering what was going on and why no one had come for us. We thought we were supposed to be doing work or something. Oh well. About an hour later our Drill Instructor came back and took us back to the platoon. That was really strange. Then we got back to the squad bay and everyone else looked sick as dogs. I asked my rack mate Kruger what had happened. He said that the DIs made them drink water… 8 canteens worth of water. He said that everyone in the platoon basically vomited the entire Warrior’s breakfast out. Perhaps it justifiable in that they helped them get re-hydrated. All I could think was how lucky I was that I was at a working party. Years later I thought about that working party and I realized what it was. The Drill Instructors were protecting us. For some reason the few of us had been selected to not be punished that day. I thought about how cool that was and learned an interesting lesson from that day. Sometimes in life you should be happy if your only reward is a lack of punishment.

5) Isolation from the OutsideWhat you may not know is that in some branches of the military, the Marines for example, communication lines are completely severed from friends and family during boot camp. There is no internet, no phone, no distractions. The only thing you really get is hand written letters once a week during your only “me time” for four hours on Sunday morning once a week. Does it seem cruel? Well, I had just been married one week before boot camp so I think I am best to answer this. There are no distractions. All the aspects I told you about are never interrupted by distractions from the outside world. It helps to engross new recruits in the mentality that they are being absorbed into, but for a few months it completely shuts them out from their friends, families, and the outside world. For a few months, the Marine Corps is your entire world.One thing that happens for everyone is that immediately upon arriving at boot camp you get to call home. It isn’t a real call. You have a short script where you basically say that you’re there and you’re alive. That is all. A few weeks in though, our Senior Drill Instructor found out that we didn’t get ours. About a month in he made sure that we got ours. As a platoon we got to go down to the phone center and speak with our families. I remember the day. It was July 7th, my birthday. I called my wife’s phone. Oddly my Mom answered. That’s a whole other story. We talked for a few minutes and then I asked to speak to Jennie. It was great. I told her that I would have to leave soon and that we just get cut off and that would be it. We needed to use the time as best we could. I think I got about 10 minutes to speak with them. It was really a blessing. After a month of boot camp it was good to hear her voice again. I think of her as rain when I walk through the desert. As I knew it would our time ran out. The line went dead. I was prepared for it, but still for a moment your heart breaks again. Still I was happy. There were a few tears that rolled down my face as I returned to the platoon. I know a few of them noticed. I was the only married recruit in the platoon and I think they all knew how hard it was for me. No one ever said a thing to me about the tears. I was happy. It was my best birthday present ever.On the other end of the line it was a completely different story. The phone cut out abruptly as we knew it would, but Jennie thought she had somehow hung up on me. She was already crying a bit, but then tells the story that she completely broke down. “I hung up on him! I hung up on my baby! I only get to talk to him once in a whole month and I hung up on him! And on his birthday!” The way she tells the story she was completely irrational. My mom was trying to console her and remind her that we had just ran out of time, but Jennie knew that she had hung up on me. She even tried to call back the number, obviously to no avail. Now that I know we laugh about that all the time, but that was not a good moment for Jennie.6) The YellingI am pretty sure this is what brought on the question in the first place. In the Marines, bootcamp instructors are actually trained on how to manipulate their voices so that they can yell for extremely long periods of time without damaging their vocal cords. This is known as the “Frog Voice” and it is as real as the weapons we use. The fact is that once you enter the military, people are literally screaming at you all the time and you adapt. Eventually you will be a leader and screaming will be part of your job too. This video actually shows a great deal of things that are important. It is a video of a charity golf tournament where some Marines were invited to give a show for some of the competitors. Listen at the very beginning and you can hear a Marine using a strange voice to speak to the victim/participant. This is Frog Voice. You will also see what is known as the “Omnidirectional Ass Chewing” in which multiple D.I. will be screaming at you in unison as you attempt to make sense of the universe around you.”Why do all these things you ask?” Because it is the easiest way to get a human being who is unaccustomed to performance under stress to take action while being placed under an extreme and sudden stress environment (combat). It trains them to block out the noise and the fear and the stress and just do what they need to do. We can’t actually shoot at the kids you know. (Oh God, that actually does make sense.) So the Omnidirectional Ass Chewing is one of the most important parts of onboarding that most militaries go through, and the yelling really never stops after that. What is extremely important to know is that just as quickly as these men started yelling they can turn it off just as quickly. It is mostly an act by these drill instructors to instill aggression and help military people cope with combat stress without actually experiencing combat. These men aren’t bullies. What you just saw was extremely important training, mental training. No one in the comments section will ever dissuade me from this position it is one of the most important things a Marine Corps Drill Instructor can do for a young recruit.Now that I say that I am reminded of that one Drill Instructor, the truly evil one. The one you wrote home about. Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant Tucker (Yes, that is how we had to say their name every time.) He was the one I talked about on the reaper hike who hated me until that day. I was larger than the other recruits and one day I had a dessert with my lunch. He called me “Treats” for the next month. After the reaper he didn’t focus so much on me anymore, I am going to consider that a sign of respect. No now he was evil to everyone. He actually wasn’t the yelling type as much as the sadistic one. Absolutely a nightmare. He was like one of those evil geniuses who knew how to make people do mundane things that caused massive amounts of pain. I remember that it was so bad that a year later I was in Iraq and joked with Jennie on the phone one night,”Hey Babe, you’ll never guess who joined the unit? Tucker!””What? You’re kidding!””Yeah that would suck though wouldn’t it?”Well guess what. A few months later we got back home and were holding inspections. We were all wearing our alphas and I look over and see this Staff Sergeant. Hmm… he looks familiar. Then he reaches over and straightens the belt of the guy in front of me. Where have I seen this before? That hand? That mannerism? That… that…”Dear God! It’s Tucker!”I stood there in shock for a few minutes. I looked at him several times and he saw me do it. He looked over at me for a few seconds.”I know you from somewhere…””… I believe you called me Treats through all of second phase.”…”Davis!”That night I got back home and had to tell Jennie.”Jennie you’re never going to guess who joined the unit!””Tucker?””How’d you know?!””Yeah right. You already tried that on me back when you were in Iraq.”Want to hear the rest of this story? Jon Davis’s answer to What are some of the most memorable things your drill sergeant ever said?

SummaryThe logic is there. It is terrifyingly present in every subtle action of the Drill Instructors. As I said before, everything they do is for a reason. Boot camp, and particularly that of the Marines, is made to psychologically change a child into someone capable of performing under combat situations. In most cases it is intended to take from them the aspects of their civilian lives that will make life harder for them in the military, and sometimes get them killed, no longer part of the calculation. The yelling, the sleep deprivation and being cut off from friends and family are part of the process of becoming a warrior. It is also part of becoming a cult. And that is what it is. Normal people can’t do the things warriors are asked to do. They can’t imagine it and shouldn’t be forced to. But there are those that do. For these people though, there must be a transition from “civilian” to “warrior”. Boot camp is the means of that evolution and every part of it is necessary.This answer also appears in Military Boot Camp: What is the logic behind why Military bootcamps are so intensive? If you’re interested the United States Marine Corps you can also be found on The Marine Corps Board. Everything I write is completely independent research. I am supported completely by fan and follower assistance. If you enjoyed this post and would like to see more like it, follow my Quora blog The War Elephant. You can also show your support by visiting my support page here: Support Jon Davis creating Short Stories and Essays in Military, Science Fiction and Life. Thanks for reading and Semper Fidelis.