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Marine Corps Boot Camp Schedule 2022 | Week-by-Week Guide

Marine Corps Boot Camp is undoubtedly one of the toughest basic training programs in all of the U.S. Armed Forces. It is 13 weeks of pain and suffering and you’ll consider throwing in the towel multiple times. Here is the Marine Corps Recruit Training Schedule | Week-by-Week Guide (2022). I urge you to read this article and pay attention!

The United States Marine Corps Recruit Training

All recruits will attend Marine Corps Recruit Training (MCRD) at one of two locations: Recruit Training Depot at Parris Island, S.C., and Recruit Training Depot at San Diego, CA.

Where recruits will go will depend on where they enlist.

Those that enlist west of the Mississippi will likely attend boot camp in San Diego.

Those that live east of the Mississippi will most likely attend boot camp at Parris Island.

Whichever location you attend, you will be there for 13 grueling weeks of pain and suffering.

You will be stripped of everything you own and will learn to become a trained Marine.

It will not be easy, but I can assure you all that with the right mindset you can and will graduate and earn the title of United States Marine.

Marine Basic Training Requirements

  • High School Diploma
  • Legal U.S. residents age 17 to 28
  • Able to pass a criminal background check
  • No felony convictions
  • Able to pass the Initial Strength Test
  • The Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test with a score of at least 31 for high school graduates or 50 plus recruits with a GED

Still up for the Challenge?

If you’ve ever met a Marine they might have told you that Marine Corps Boot Camp was one of the toughest things they’ve ever gone through.

You learn that pain and suffering are all part of the process.

It’s long, grueling, and you will want to quit more times than not.

One thing to keep in mind is what brought you there in the first place.

What was your reasoning for wanting to join?

Knowing your WHY will keep you focused on your ultimate goal of earning the title of United States Marine.

Those who have gone through it will tell you that it was one of, if not the most, rewarding things they have ever done!

When you complete the crucible and are handed that Eagle Globe and Anchor and officially can call yourself a United States Marine, it’ll bring tears to your eyes.

All that pain, suffering, and hard work will have finally paid off!

Phase One

Receiving Week

Recruits will arrive at either MCRP Parris Island or MCRD San Diego late at night.

It’s all part of the process.

Be prepared to be awake for a long, long time.

Once the bus arrives you’ll be greeted by your friendly local receiving Drill Instructors who will aggressively force you off the bus and onto the yellow footprints where you will take an oath.

The next stop is Recruit Receiving where you will be allowed to call your parents or loved ones and inform them that you have arrived safely at the depot.

This won’t be your normal conversation with them, but rather you will read from a script that is very short and sweet.

That will be the last time you hear your loved one’s voice for the next 13 weeks!

Once the phone call home is finished you’ll all be rushed into a room where you will be searched for any contraband and stripped of all personal belongings.

All civilian possessions will be surrendered.


The Marine Corps will issue everything you need!

Once that is completed and basic uniforms and toiletries have been issued recruits will receive their first haircuts.

Buzzed for males and close-cropped for females are the only cuts available to you.

There will be no need for you to have to make any tough decisions as they will all be made for you!

The remainder of the night will be long and stressful.

You will spend your time filling out paperwork, going through medical and dental screenings, and receiving all of your vaccines.

Keep in mind that you won’t be getting any sleep for the first night.

You’ll be so full of adrenaline from all the yelling that it won’t matter.

It won’t really hit you until the next day and even then your emotions will be all over the place and you’ll most likely be contemplating why you’re here in the first place!

After your first night’s sleep be prepared to partake in your first round of Physical Training.

This Initial Strength Test includes a mile and a half run, max pull-ups, and max crunches in two minutes.

Think of this test as a scaled-down version of the Marine Physical Fitness Test (PFT).

It was designed to ensure that you are physically fit enough to start Recruit Training.

Like I always tell you guys, never, under any condition, settle for average.

I don’t give a shit how tired you are, or how unmotivated you are.

Have the mental fortitude and the discipline to give 110% always.

Learn to embrace the suck.

It’ll not only make you a better person in the process, but it will motivate those around you.

Be a leader!

Black Friday

This day is exciting but chaotic. This is the day you meet your Drill Instructors and boy will they be glad to see you!

Marine Corps Drill Instructors are brutal and famous for inflicting pain and instilling discipline.

I still remember meeting mine for the first time.

Their crisp uniformwere s perfectly ironed with not a single flaw, their intensity yet calm demeanor as they entered the room where they were introduced by the commanding officer.

Once the platoon is handed over to the Senior Drill Instructor he/she will deliver their famous Senior Drill Instructor speech.

You will remember this moment for the rest of your lives.

Contrary to popular belief once you “picked up” in your platoon there is no turning back on your decision of becoming a Marine.

At this point-earning, the title of Marine will be your only option, as getting kicked out is fairly difficult!

I saw many guys try to quit, but the Drill Instructors wouldn’t allow it and instead gave those recruits extra special attention (not the attention you want).

Those that tried to quit were glad they weren’t allowed because ultimately they earned the title of United States Marine.

Black Friday is the day Marine Corps Boot Camp officially begins.

Did I mention the Drill Instructors are especially good at instilling discipline?

Well, one of the approved ways of doing so is through Incentive Training (IT).

IT is brutal, nonstop calisthenics did until the Drill Instructors deem it necessary.

Typically only 5 minutes of IT is allowed outdoors, but indoors there are no limits.

The Drill Instructors will find ways around these rules.

Be prepared for endless mountain climbers, pushups, wall sits, jumping jacks, high knees, and every other exercise imaginable.

One thing to keep in mind during basic is everything, down to the smallest things, is done for one purpose or another.

The chaos and stress are designed to mimic combat, the way you hold your cups in the chow hall is the way you’ll rack the charging handle on your rifle, and everything else you’ll experience will have its purpose as well.

Weeks 1

Monday, the start of week one you will be awakened by the sudden screams from your drill instructors. Every little thing you do will be wrong.

You will learn the art of stopping moving as soon as you hear zero. This is where it all begins.

You will learn the Marine Corps Values: Honor, Courage, and Commitment and you will embody them forever.

Weapons will be assigned. You will now be responsible for caring for your best friend, which is your M16A4 Rifle. And you will not only learn but memorize the Rifleman’s Creed.

From this point on, you will go everywhere with a sense of purpose (Run!), scream every time you speak, practice Drill information, and partake in some form of physical activity multiple times a day.

Another large portion of your time will be spent in the classroom, learning Marine Corps Traditions, History, Basic First Aid, Rank Structures, and everything else about the Marine Corps.

Don’t get caught sleeping in class or you’ll quickly find yourself outside in the “pit” with your Drill Instructors who will ensure you never make that mistake again.

At the end of the week, you will be introduced to the Obstacle Course (O-course) where you’ll receive instructions on how to navigate it before running through it with your platoon.

You will also begin the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) which is a combination of various Martial Arts disciplines.

Before the weekend is over you will run your first Combat Fitness Test (CFT) which is designed to test a Marines Combat Fitness capabilities to include, including a fireman carrying a buddy, dragging a buddy, throwing a mock grenade, sprinting, low and high crawls and carrying ammo cans.

While the CFT only lasts a couple of minutes at most, you’ll feel like your lungs are going to explode out of your chest by the time you’re done with it! The CFT is a literal kick in the ass.

Week 2

Week 2 will consist of even more PT, MCMAP, Classroom time, and just sheer chaos (the chaos never stops).

You will be introduced to the Pugil Sticks where you will be put up against other recruits to battle it out. You’ll want to be as aggressive as possible because everyone’s watching and you don’t want to be the loser.

After a rest day on Sunday, you’ll be back at it Monday morning with more MCMAP. After morning PT, of course!

The drill will become an essential part of daily life as a recruit. You will march everywhere you go, practice constantly, and learn to love it. Tight elbows!

Close Order Drill is a large part of Marine Corps Boot Camp. It is designed to build unit cohesiveness and discipline.

Your bodies will hurt, your voices will be hoarse and you’ll be tired like you’ve never felt. Keep in mind you growing and you will slowly begin to get stronger.

All those things you thought were difficult at first will start to get just a little easier as your muscles begin to grow, your endurance builds and your bodies adapt. Just keep pushing!

In the Classroom, during week 2, you will learn Combat Care and Marine Corps History.

Week 3

You’ll begin week three with the introduction to the confidence course, which I’m sure you may have seen pictures of.

This course includes the stairway to heaven, the slide for life, and the tough one. These obstacles are designed to test you both physically and mentally.

As the week progresses can you guess what you’ll be doing? Exactly! More PT!

The training will never stop.

I.D. Cards will be issued during this week as well as your first visit to the dentist.

For those recruits that haven’t yet had their wisdom teeth removed I would HIGHLY suggest you do so before you leave for Basic!

I say this because they will remove them in Boot Camp and I can assure you the healing process is NOT fun.

I saw it firsthand from a few guys in my platoon.

There is not much time at all for days off and therefore your healing time will be minimal.

Be prepared to drill even more than usual this week. This is because on Saturday all platoons will compete in Initial Drill.

This is where your Senior Drill Instructors will either get to show off their hard work or be embarrassed by you nasty recruits.

You don’t want to let him/her down or you will pay with your bodies. An initial Drill is a tool used to test the performance of your Drill Instructors. How well you drill as a platoon directly relates to how well the Drill Instructors are doing their jobs.

Make them proud!

Phase 2

Week 4: Swim Week

Where are my Iron Ducks at? I’m afraid of the water folks? This week in Basic should excite you!

Week 4 of USMC Recruit Training is Swim Week.

I’m sure if you’ve considered joining the Marine Corps for some time you know by now that the Marine Corps is an amphibious force.

Swimming is one of the many requirements of becoming one and you’ll learn to face your fear of the water real quick once you get to basic!

During Swim Week, you’ll learn to jump into deep water from an elevated platform, tread water, utilize issued gear to stay afloat and learn to shed heavier gear in the water that may hinder your abilities to swim.

Be prepared to spend a lot of time in the water.

This time is stressful even for those who are good swimmers due to the constant presence of the Drill Instructors.

Remember, you’re still in Basic Training and they aren’t there to comfort you or hold your hand!

For those of you who aren’t strong swimmers be prepared for some extra instruction.

You will be placed in a group that will focus heavily on getting the basics down.

You should understand that the intent is not to fail you, but rather to give you every opportunity to try and get through it and qualify.

If, for some reason, you cannot then you may end up being dropped from Recruit Training!

What this should tell you is that you should get your ass to the pool and learn to swim before you ship off to recruit training! You wouldn’t want to make it that far and be dropped because of this!

During week 4 you will also pose for Boot Camp photos in Dress Blues, do some more MCMAP, and run your first Physical Fitness Test (PFT).

The PFT consists of a 3-mile run for time, max set of pull-ups, and max set of crunches in 2 minutes.

Give it your all and try and get the highest score you can.

The PFT is run once a year in the Marine Corps and its scores can assist in promotional opportunities.

The recruits that fail to pass the PFT will be dropped.

Before the week is over you will pay another visit to the obstacle course and compete against your peers.

Week 5: Team Week & Interior Guard

You will partake in intense physical training during week 5 which will consist of the famous log drills.

Log drills are where recruits must work as a team to carry the load.

Remember, you’re only as strong as your weakest link and you don’t want to be that weak link!

Team week is where recruits will be sent to various locations around the base to assist with cleaning tasks, laundry, and any other random duties, but not so much so as it used to be when I was in.

Nowadays, you will maintain a sensitive guard around sensitive locations, and you’ll run the barracks like a patrol base.

This is supposed to be more tactical and to get you all thinking like fleet Marines would be.

If there is one piece of advice I can give you, which will apply throughout the remainder of your military career, is someone is always watching.

As a Marine, and even a recruit, you are representing your platoon, your battalion, your unit, and the Marine Corps as a whole.

This shouldn’t be taken lightly.

You should hold yourself accountable, as well as, hold yourself to a higher standard.

This week will conclude with another CFT and you’d better make this one count!

Week 6

Week 6 is exciting because you are almost rounding the halfway point!

This week will consist of another PFT, the bayonet course, more pugil sticks, MCMAP training, and an actual written test on Marine Corps Customs, Courtesies, and Traditions.

Remember when I said you’d better pay attention in class and not fall asleep?

I better hope you listened!

You will continue your time in the classroom learning and doing further testing on Marine Corps history.

You will spend a lot of time learning about our beloved Marine Corps.

Phase 3

Week 7: Grass Week

Physical Training will grow more intense, the hikes 0r “humps” will be longer with heavier packs, but you’ll find the Drill Instructors backing off just a bit to allow you to focus on learning the foundations of marksmanship.

You will learn the proper firing positions that will be used in week 8 (Firing Week) and you will spend countless hours sitting in the grass around a firing barrel “snapping in” on practice targets.

“Snapping in” is essentially dry firing your weapon (practicing that slow and steady squeeze of the trigger) and getting comfortable with the four shooting positions: Standing, Kneeling, Prone, and Sitting.

This week is one you’ll learn to love or hate.

Keep in mind that Grass Week isn’t only done in Basic Training.

You will participate in Grass Week every year you are in the Marine Corps because it is required before you qualify on the Rifle Range.

Grass Week is boring, plain, and simple.

I won’t even begin to sugarcoat it.

The days begin before the sun comes up and they end when it’s down (just as any day does in recruit training).

You will be uncomfortable, fatigued, exhausted, hungry, and just about any other miserable emotion you could feel, but one thing to keep in mind is that it’s week 6, and you’re almost halfway done with Basic Training!

Don’t take Grass Week for granted.

Pay attention to the instruction and techniques provided by your instructors.

You’ll want to shoot well during Firing Week (Week 8).

Which Marksmanship Badge you’ll wear on your dress uniforms will depend on how well you shoot.

You don’t want to be that new Marine, or even a seasoned Marine, walking around with a ‘pizza box’ on your chest (Marksmanship Badge)!

You will wrap up week 7 with an 8 km hike or what Marines like to call, “hump”.

This will be done in your body armor, kevlar helmet, rifle, and your pack.

You will be carrying roughly 45 pounds of gear.

The Drill Instructors will ensure you are keeping at least one arms distance from the recruit in front of you and make sure your feet are moving!

Week 8: Firing Week

Week 8 is all about the range.

This part of Recruit Training should be exciting.

Recruits will finally be able to use the skills learned in week 7 and put rounds downrange!

Before the fun begins, guess what needs to be done?

You guessed it! PT!

If there is one common theme throughout this guide through Basic Training it’s that you will PT A LOT!

The Drill Instructors will also use every bit of downtime to ensure you’re all getting in your IT training as well! (No that this NEVER stops either.)

The Rifle Range will consist of 3 days of live fire and 2 days of Rifle Qualification.

During firing week half of your platoon will spend time firing, while the other half spend time down in the ‘pits’ setting up targets.

If you fire in the morning, you’ll spend time in the ‘pit’ in the afternoon, and vice versa.

The ‘pits’ are where the games will be played.

This is where the majority of the Drill Instructors will be spending most of their time.

They will be bored and as usual watching for any little mistake that you might make.

They love playing games and they play them well!

The Range will consist of firing at the 500, 300, and 200-yard lines and you’ll end at the barricade.

You will fire 10 consecutive shots at each yard line, tally your scores and you’ll utilize all four acceptable shooting positions: Standing, Kneeling, Prone, and Seated (not used at the 300 and 200-yard lines).

Out of all other United States Military branches, the Marine Corps qualifies at the longest distances, thus, living up to the term “every Marine a Rifleman.”

On that Saturday, upon completion of the Rifle Range, you will partake in your longest hike thus far in Recruit Training at 13 km.

Those of you who are unable to complete the hike or keep up with your unit will most likely be rolled back to another platoon where you will spend the next two weeks redoing everything you just did and thinking about how big of a failure you are.

Don’t be that individual!

Don’t think the hikes stop here either.

They are a regular training exercise used in the fleet Marine force.

Week 9: Field Week

This is the week that everything will start to come together.

Your transformation into a full-blown Marine finally begins.

You will have a solid two months of hardened physical training under your belts and your platoon will be as cohesive of a unit as any other.

All of the hard work you will have endured throughout the last 8 weeks will finally start to feel like it’s paid off.

You will be stronger, both mentally and physically, and your endurance will be light years ahead of what it was when you arrived at recruit training.

You aren’t out of the woods yet and there is still much more training and hardships ahead of you!

In the previous week on the Rifle Range, you may have noticed the Drill Instructors seemed to have lightened up on you a little, this is normal.

The Range is stressful enough as it is and combined with the added pressure recruits are already under in Boot Camp, the last thing you need is one flying off the handle with a loaded weapon.

That’s the truth.

But, rest assured your Drill Instructors are back full force in week 9, and boy have they missed you!

You will be challenged on the field courses, including combat assault, low crawl, barbed wire, and various other challenges that simulate a battlefield.

You will conclude Rifle Qualification as well with Table II which focuses more on combat-oriented scenarios.

You’ll be in full kit (flak and kevlar) and you’ll be closer to the targets.

Scores will be tallied and totaled together with Table I Rifle Qualification.

You want to shoot your very best on both Tables I and Table II because your score will be worn in the form of a Rifle Qualification pin on the chest of your dress uniforms for everyone to see!

You don’t want to be the one rocking a “pizza box” when you show up to your first unit!

A “pizza box” is a term we Marines call the Marksmanship Rifle Qualification Badge.

Mind you, the one above is not real, but rather a joke…

Seriously though, strive for the Expert Badge on the range.

Week 10: The Crucible

Arguably one of the most important events in Recruit Training, The Crucible is where you earn the title of United States Marine.

The moment you’ve all been training for!

It is here that you’ll see just how bad you want it.

Monday begins with the final written test on Marine Corps history, customs and courtesies, and rank structure.

Tuesday is the Gas Chamber!

Don’t be the one scared to break the seal when told to do so!

Trust me, you will all pay for it.

There is a saying I remember very vividly from Boot Camp and that is “it only takes one.”

In Basic Training this holds especially true.

One recruit doesn’t stop moving when the DIs get to zero, steals peanut butter from the chow hall, fails to keep those elbows in during drill, or any of the other unlimited ways of messing up, everyone pays.

Back to the Gas Chamber…

The Gas Chamber is designed to teach you how to properly use your Gas Masks, gain confidence using them, and expose you to CS gas (tear gas).

You will feel like you are suffocating and your skin and eyes will burn as if they are literally on fire.

Rest assured that you will not suffocate and while the burning will be extremely intense it is only temporary.

My best piece of advice is to remain calm and try not to rub your eyes or skin.

Just let it happen, get through it, and get your ass outside as fast as you can!

Just as many other main events in Recruit Training, you will visit the Gas Chamber once per year in the Fleet Marine Force!

The Crucible is the event of all events in Recruit Training.

This 54-hour event is designed to deprive you of sleep, while living in the field, operating on a 24-hour operations cycle.

You will have limited rations and will be hungry!

While dealing with everything stated above you will be completing a variety of team-building tasks in your squads.

For food, you will be given two and a half MREs (Meals Ready To Eat) for the full 54-hour event.

You will march upwards of 45 miles during the two and a half-day event and for you Camp Pendleton Marines you will hike up The Reaper which I’ll let you find out for yourself.

Once The Crucible is concluded you will officially be handed your Eagle, Globe, and Anchor and for the first time will be called United States Marines.

This moment is indescribable and one that you will remember and cherish for the rest of your lives.

As I sit here writing this I get goosebumps thinking back to the day I earned the title over 11 long years ago.

It is one of my greatest and most proud accomplishments!

As new Marines, you will be treated to a Warriors Breakfast, where you can eat as much of anything you want from the chow hall.

I remember eating steak, bacon, eggs, and pancakes till I felt like I could throw up.

What makes the Warriors Breakfast so special is not the food.

It’s finally being able to have an actual conversation with your Drill Instructors.

For the first time, you can talk like a normal person and crack a joke or two.

It’s such a surreal experience and one you’ll only understand when you experience it for yourself.

Phase 4: Being A Marine

Week 11: Marine Week

It’s official, you can now call yourself Marine for you have earned the title and the right to do so.

This week will focus heavily on learning how to be a Marine in the Fleet Marine Force.

The penultimate week of Marine Boot Camp. Marines will spend their time learning how to be a Marine in the Fleet Marine Force.

You will continue Physical Training, take a trip to the Museum to learn more about our beloved Corps, and earn your Tan Belt in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program.

You will have the Company Commanders Inspection to ensure you are ready for graduation.

By now, you are used to the heat, discomfort, and standing at attention for hours on end so it shouldn’t be too bad.

But by this time, you’re hardened Marines ready for anything.

As Marines, it won’t feel like Boot Camp anymore.

The Drill Instructors will be more relaxed, but will still light you up if necessary!

Remember, they are your superiors!

Week 12: Graduation Week

Monday will consist of graduation practice.

Tuesday, new Marines will have a liberty brief followed by “Warrior Preservation”, which is a seminar on preserving the history and traditions of the Marine Corps.

Warrior Preservation is designed to encourage you to uphold your values as a Marine and conduct yourself as such both on and off duty.

Wednesday is prepared for the Battalion Commander’s Inspection.

The day will be long and you will be standing at attention for a large portion of it.

The day will end with a final cleaning of your weapons before being turned into the armory.

Thursday is a big day!

You will start it off with a Battalion moto-run before starting Family Day!

This will be your last run of Marine Corps Boot Camp with your Platoons so cherish the moment and enjoy!

This is also the first time you will see your families since you shipped off to Basic Training.

The moto-run is the Marine Corp’s way of showing off its newly disciplined and trained Marines!

You will run around base screaming motivational cadences and showing off for your loved ones.

The emotions will be overwhelming!

The night before graduation Marines will host what is called a “gong show”.

You will laugh and joke with your Drill Instructors and share funny stories and moments you remember during Basic Training.

It’s a great way to end your experience with your Drill Instructors, but sad at the same time.

You’ve gone through so much with them and endured so much hardship that you’ll almost feel sad leaving them.

Friday is the day you’ve long-awaited!

Graduation Day!

Marching across that Parade Deck in front of all those cheering families and loved ones is an incredible feeling.

You simply have to experience it to understand it!

That’s a wrap!

Once graduation is completed you will be released on 10 days of “boot leave”.

You’ll be able to head home with your families for some long-awaited relaxation time.

Take it easy, don’t party too hard, and stay out of trouble!

If you’ve stuck around for this long I’d like to thank you.

I would also encourage you to follow your dreams!

You are reading this for a reason and one reason only, you are curious!

Joining the Marine Corps is not for the faint of heart.

It will likely be one of the most challenging things you have ever done, but I can assure you it will be worth it!

There is no better feeling than being able to call yourself a United States Marine and be a part of the world’s greatest fighting force.

Grab your FREE copy of the Marine Corps Knowledge eBook!

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Thanks for stopping by!

Semper Fidelis,

Sergeant (Marine Corps Veteran)
For The Corps

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