The Marine Corps Crucible
The title U.S. Marine is not given, it is earned. A young boy or girl, upon entry into Marine boot camp at MCRD, is called a recruit, not a Marine. Thus the name Marine Corps Recruit Depot. They must earn the title during 13 weeks of rigorous training during boot camp. It is not until the completion of the Crucible the recruits are finally called Marines.
The Crucible is the last test of Marine recruit training and held during Phase Three of training. It is 54 hour test over 45 miles of marching teamwork and leadership. It epitomizes endurance, a brotherhood, and a no man left behind mentality among the warrior.
Recruits use problem solving skills to maneuver and accomplish tasks at challenging stations which replicate real world situations, named after famous Marines and battles. They survive on only a few hours of sleep during the Crucible, eating a a few MRE’s to sustain themselves and if lucky they get tossed an apple or orange, which they devour.
If you would like to try an authentic MRE meal and get an idea of what the military eats in the field you can actually buy them for yourself. Your Marine may think your nuts, ok I guarantee it, but I know younger brothers and sisters of Marines would get a kick out of eating like their big brother on deployment.
At the end is the last 12 mile march ending with “The Reaper*”, a hill so intimidating it is a legend among Marines. Up it they hike, with 60 lb packs, trying not to be last in line and helping their buddies along the way who falter. It’s a right of passage to climb the top, onto the parade deck, see the flags waving, music playing and to have placed in your hand, the Eagle, Globe and Anchor which indicates they have finally earned the right to be called a United States Marine.
*The Reaper a hill unique to the San Diego MCRD boot camp experience
Related Marine Recruit Training Articles
- What to Give Your New Marine at Graduation
- I Am a Marine Mom
- Marine Corps Graduation
- The March to Marine (from a PI Marine)
- Marine Recruit Training (www.marines.com)
- Get Ready for Marine Boot Camp – a summary of each week of Marine boot camp (militaryspot.com)
If you have experience as a Marine Corps recruit I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or follow me on Twitter by clicking on the right. Thank you for visiting and Semper Fi!
Marine Corps Training