Welcome to Hell: Three and a Half Months of Marine Corps Boot Camp


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She was far enough away, and I was busy enough that I was focused on what was in front of me. Same for the families. There is a very hard reality, that part of boot camp is intense because recruits must deal with the isolation from the civilian world they knew. Though the recruits may be isolated, they will never be alone. There is a science of warfare, but there are also the arts of the war.

The science of warfare centers on matters of logistics. These are the concentration of Generals and world leaders. The arts of warfare, however, are the acts of combat which must be learned, practiced, and mastered by the individual warriors themselves. It is the resistance to jerk the trigger and break the sight alignment, gently squeezing it slowly until the rifle fires, seemingly on its own. It is the practice of coordinating attacks between individuals and small units, leveraging fewer warriors to exponentially greater effect through the use of fire and maneuver.

It is knowledge to save a wounded friends life when there is literally no one else there to do it better. Recruits in boot camp are introduced to the basic military arts. They will also receive nutritional training, maintenance of gear, and physical education. After their first month, they will progress to learn rifle marksmanship, survival, and the beauty of the forced march. Among the first lessons recruits receive will be in hand-to-hand combat.

The Marines, however, see it as a necessity because of the way they fight. They took this belief so far, that they created their own martial-arts fighting style.

Marine Boot Camp Resources for Parents

This specialized form of combat martial arts is built on philosophies other than self-defense, but actual offense and the ability to deliver lethal strikes with not just the fist, but knives, and an empty rifle, or even, as the moto One Mind Any Weapon states, any common object which happens to be lying around.

Recruits will spend several days training in pits of pulverized rubber tires, perfect for hard landings, practicing the basics of this fighting style. If the Army is a camping trip, and the Air Force is a club, than the Marines are a cult, one whose most important rituals and religious rites center around their rifles. Today, during the second phase of their training, recruits spend more than two full weeks dedicated to the art of delivering deadly fire down range.

It is so important that the drill instructors actually lighten-up to allow the recruits to focus.

Welcome to Hell by Patrick Turley - Read Online

They generally center on building instant obedience to orders over the actual physical stress involved in the exercises. Often, they just need to be pushed. Usually, listening and doing what you are told will get recruits through the exercise and get out of the situation before you are yelled at.


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Some of the obstacles are more mental than physical: a high rope, a pool, a mountain. As important as these, but without the room to elaborate on them each are the many other skills warriors must master to win and come home safely. I remember visceral reactions to the first aid lessons; graphic, gory and unsettling, but responsible for thousands of lives saved throughout the years.

Books about Marine Boot Camp

Military law, customs and courtesies, and military history are also necessary. They are crucial to the continuation of a culture literally built to ensure vital mission accomplishment in a competition between nations at war. It pulls too far from the point of the series, answering why boot camp needs to be so intense.

When a person gains knowledge, they gain confidence.

5th Grade letter response

To make an eighteen year old run to the sound of terrible things, they must have faith in their skills to survive and win, as well as faith in the skills of those around them. The United States invests more into the training of their military than any other force in the world. The real skills come later on dozens of ranges, dojos, and training courses over a period of years. Boot camp is about the process of helping recruits adjust mentally to a life of challenge and one where uncommon stress is a common element to daily life. Therefore, beyond the psychological aspects of recruit training, the skills of combat are an obvious necessity in the training evolution and survival of any would be warrior.

In fact, you never really hear their real voices. In the Marines, boot camp 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. I only really became aware of this once I got out and just so happened to run into two of my old Drill Instructors in the fleet.

It is a weird experience to see these guys as real people after all that they subjected you to for three straight months. This is Frog Voice. A recruit complained about feeling dehydrated during a training evolution. Also, as a warning, many of the following videos have a bit of language because, well… Marines. I met him once at a conference. Moving on, when you really boil it down, why yell at that kid so much for being thirsty and feeling weakened by training? Does that sound rational? The following video shows what is most likely the most terrifying event recruits will ever experience.

It trains them to block out the noise and the fear and the stress and just do what they need to do. Remember that kid who was yelled at for being dehydrated? Was he really being yelled at for being thirsty, or was he being yelled at for trying to skip a training evolution? Was he really being yelled at for trying to feign sickness rather than complete an exercise?

Was he really being yelled for being weak, or for allowing himself to use weakness as an excuse? The depot needs competent Marines, and allowing any of these things to pass would not fulfill that mission. That recruit will think twice before complaining about water again and therefore, he will tougher. The truth is, if you are less afraid of the physical stress than you are the psychological stress, you learn to get tough without complaining about it. IT is creating an extreme stress environment mixed with physical strain and exhaustion where recruits are yelled out, normally by one Drill Instructor on the either the Quarter-deck or the sand pits outside and are forced into a series of calisthenics that are extremely exhausting and physically challenging in the manner in which they are done.

They do this needing to listen to the random instructions of the Drill Instructor and respond in the appropriate manner, or the exercise continues. Outside, they are limited to five minutes of IT in one of the sand pits located around the recruit depot. From someone who has been there, trust me, it works.

Review: Welcome to Hell

The fact is that once you enter the military, people are literally screaming at you all the time and, like so many other things, you adapt. Eventually you will be a leader and screaming will be part of your job too, though acting like DIs in the fleet is pretty much looked down upon by most real Marines. What is extremely important to know is that just as quickly as these men started yelling they can turn it off just as easily. More than psychopaths, these men are actors with the role of taking advantage of specific psychological triggers to instill aggression and help military people cope with combat stress without actually experiencing combat.

What you just saw was extremely important training, mental training. No one in the comments section will ever dissuade me from this position that the yelling is one of the most important things a Marine Corps Drill Instructor can do for a young recruit. Recruits drill endlessly. It seems like one of the greatest wastes of time ever conceived in an era of satellite guided munitions and delivering us to Kuwait the same day we left California.

For that reason, drill is one of the most overlooked elements of the Boot Camp process to nonveterans. 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 when formation fighting in pitched battles allowed the greatest use of the technology of the era.

With the implementation of rifling and field artillery, the marching of formations of troops no longer made sense. Drill, however, still lives on more so as a valuable learning aide for military practitioners, more so even than for being a time honored tradition. The movements are always performed the same way and at the same speed.

The vocal commands of the Drill Instructor initiate, by that point, instinctive reactions in recruits. Secondly, drill still has relevance today by training Marines to focus on the instructions of their leader and to gain unison in their actions.

This practice is instant obedience to orders, following instructions immediately without thought, persuasion, or other action. It also teaches the importance of individual action in teamwork. Drill is a sort of metaphor for many things the military hold important: unity of the group, following strong and experienced leaders, precision and excellence, and experiencing the feeling of shared success not achievable by individuals.

When the overarching goal of boot camp is to train recruits to one day be able to function in extreme stress environments, overriding the fear response is the most important things you can do. There are two ways, realistically, to do this; you can train to the point of muscle memory, or you can train obedience. Fighting gets to be much easier when you see leaders taking action. Battle is an extreme example of this. Young combatants look to experienced leaders. Quite honestly, there is no time, so often when dealing with situations on the ground, the only practical means of resolving a situation is to bank on the person who has the most experience and to do whatever he says immediately.

This is why the military invests so much into ensuring that your brain is hardwired to do just that, listen to the sound of experience and instruction as a default in moments of stress. It is an instinct that saves lives. In time, they are the one with experience and able to lead the new recruits. Why should they? It makes more sense to rationalize things out with charts and review panels when time is a luxury. In almost all military endeavors, this too is true. The military in many ways functions like a huge bureaucratic company. Sometimes though the necessity to have a culture of people who can simply do what they are told immediately, is the difference between your people surviving or mission failure.

USMC Training, Welcome To Hell

For this reason alone, the entire culture of the Marines still devotes countless hours to the art of drill, when most reasoned arguments would argue against it. This is a platoon of female recruits a few weeks from the end of their training. They are learning, but still have some time before they are perfected. Below is a platoon preparing for what is called Final Drill. This is a performance review of their abilities to carry out drill as a platoon. It is one of the most important training events as a platoon and culminates the highest point to test unit cooperation and teamwork.

Once again, these are 18 year old men fresh out of high school.

Welcome to Hell: Three and a Half Months of Marine Corps Boot Camp
Welcome to Hell: Three and a Half Months of Marine Corps Boot Camp
Welcome to Hell: Three and a Half Months of Marine Corps Boot Camp
Welcome to Hell: Three and a Half Months of Marine Corps Boot Camp
Welcome to Hell: Three and a Half Months of Marine Corps Boot Camp
Welcome to Hell: Three and a Half Months of Marine Corps Boot Camp
Welcome to Hell: Three and a Half Months of Marine Corps Boot Camp

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