Marine Corps

Marine Corps Recruit Training is thirteen weeks long, and takes place at two locations:

  • Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina
  • Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California

If your recruit is from east of the Mississippi, he will most likely be sent to Parris Island. If your recruit is from west of the Mississippi, he will most likely be sent to San Diego. Marine Corps Boot Camp is the longest of all military recruit training and is considered to be the most difficult by many. All Marine Corps recruits go through the same basic training, regardless of their MOS.

Marine Corps Boot Camp consists of four phases. Each has a different purpose in molding your recruits into Marines.

Phase One

Phase One marks the beginning of your recruit’s journey to become a Marine. Within the first day or two, you should receive a scripted phone call saying that your recruit made it to MCRD safe and sound. This is the only phone call you will receive while your recruit is in basic training. The main source of communication you will have with him will be letters. The first one that you will receive will be about two weeks after he arrives at boot camp. Once you receive that letter, you’ll have all of his information so you can begin writing.

During the first phase of training, your recruit will do physical training, martial arts and classes on Marine Corps values, history, and first aid.

Phase Two

Phase Two takes place during weeks five through nine. This part of training consists of close combat and marksmanship training. They will spend most of their time qualifying with their weapons and completing field training exercises.

Phase Three

During Week 10, recruits complete the Crucible, which is a grueling 54 hours of combat drills, little sleep and constant stress. Once he completed the Crucible, your recruit will receive his Eagle, Globe and Anchor and officially become a Marine.

Phase Four

Phase Four takes place during the last two weeks of training, in which your new Marine will adjust to the new title. They will have more responsibility and will be able to ask his drill instructors questions. This all ends with Graduation, where you’ll be able to see your new Marine again.


Once you receive your recruit’s mailing address, you should start sending letters as soon as you can! He’s going through one of the most difficult and grueling experiences of his life and your words will be his encouragement for the next thirteen weeks.

Addressing a letter to your recruit might seem confusing, but once you get the hang of it, it’s actually quite simple. Here is an example of an address to a recruit in Boot Camp:

Recruit First Name, Last Name
X Bn. X Company Office
Platoon XXXX
*Street Address*
*City*, *State*, *Zip code*

Make sure to address your significant other as recruit! In the Marine Corps, recruits do not earn rank until they graduate from boot camp. If you address him as Marine or by rank, he may get unwanted attention by his drill instructors.