If you’ve been following my blog you’ll know that I have two sons who are United States Marines. I admire anyone who serves their country and joins any branch of the military. However, the Marines have the toughest basic training of any branch. Unlike other branches, the men and women train separately. To me this totally makes sense.
Beyond the obvious distraction of men and women training together, is the sheer physicality. During a two mile platoon men will almost always run faster as a unit than women. The ones that fall behind get a drill instructor in their face. Doesn’t matter the amount of yelling, the average female recruit will not run as fast as the average male recruit. The goal is to learn to run, march and move as one.
I’m sure psychologically the intensity is the same, it may even be worse as women can be vicious to each other.
Here is letter number three from a young woman who is taking on the challenge of becoming a Marine. To see the read the whole letter and others visit Devil Doggery and post a comment to give her support. (she is sending letters home that a friend is posting for her)
“And speaking of quals, to answer your question, no, you don’t need to know how to swim before you get to boot camp. They teach you if you can’t and even if you fail the first day, you have the entire week to get your s*** together. Our platoon had 3 people from the earlier platoon who got dropped for swim, but everyone passed this time around. And hellz yeah I’m getting buff! I’ve lost 14 lbs. since I got here and I somehow ended up as a cooler recruit, meaning me and the other 3 have to lug heavy-ass coolers everywhere we go. And do a bunch of other s*** that involves running around with heavy things. It’s not all bad though. We get to go chow earlier than everyone else and most of the time we get back to the squad bay way before the platoon, so we get time to make head calls and socialize. And it’s good exercise, so I’m not complaining. Too much.
But we’ve done a lot since I last wrote. We did the rappel tower and the gas chamber (both terrifying, but not as bad as I thought it would be), our initial PFT (Physical Fitness Test), and… I’m sure some other stuff that I can’t quite remember. We’re seeing a lot more of the males now, although the DI’s are very strict about making sure we don’t look at each other. So mostly I just see backs of shaved heads, haha. It’s kind of cool to think about how they’re going through the exact same stuff as us, though. Especially with Echo Company, which is the male company we’ll be graduating with. They were doing all that stuff I mentioned earlier at the exact same time our company was. And OMG, when we were doing the gas chamber, we were getting the brief at the same time the males were and some people had to go outside to exchange their masks.
I’ve officially shot an MI6A4 service rifle with an RCO attached. Boo-yah. It was pretty awesome, although the sound was nothing like how I expected it to be. It kind of sounds like a cap gun, in all honesty. The recoil also wasn’t bad at all, although I will admit, my face was a little too close to the scope and my eye got slammed a few times. But all in all, shooting is super fun (albeit uncomfortable), and I’m not as nervous about qualifying. Whether I can get expert is an entirely different story, but I’ma do my best, yo. Still have 3 more days to practice, so there’s time. I’m sure by the time I write my next letter, I’ll be able to tell you how I did “