Marine Corps boot camp, also known as recruit training or basic training, is a training course that lasts thirteen weeks and consists of physical training, skills training, and introduction to Marine protocols, language, processes, and so on. Marine Corps boot camp is structured similarly to other military basic training, but it has gained the notoriety as the most difficult boot camp because of its physical rigors and its longer schedule. A recruit who is successful in completing Marine Corps boot camp is then eligible to become a United States Marine.
The first weeks of Marine Corps boot camp introduce the recruit to the terms and exercises they will be expected to use. They learn to march correctly, stand at attention, take care of their personal belongings, take physicals, and do paperwork. They are introduced to the terminology they will be expected to use as Marines, and they are issued a rifle that they must learn to use, care for, and store. The physical activities that will take place throughout boot camp start in the early weeks and get progressively more difficult as boot camp progresses. Recruits are issued specific clothing for physical activities, sleeping, and presentation.
The next few weeks focus on marksmanship and field skills. Drill instructors teach recruits the skills necessary to survive in combat situations. During this phase of training, water survival skills are taught. If a recruit does not perform well in these tasks, they may be sent to another company to begin training again. Marksmanship is stressed during these weeks, and a recruit must qualify at different shooting distances in order to proceed with training. Physical training also intensifies during these weeks.
The last phase of training is intended to help recruits fine-tune their new skills and training. During this phase, recruits are also taught how to properly don a gas mask. They are placed in a sealed room, and gas is introduced to the environment. Recruits must quickly and properly don the mask in order to continue training. Recruits who cannot do so may be dismissed.
Marine Corps boot camp ends with what is known as the Crucible. Battlefield simulations are held, and recruits must march almost fifty miles (about 80 kilometers), participate in challenging exercises that stress teamwork and physical endurance, and deal with a lack of sleep and very little food. If the recruit passes, he will be eligible to graduate from boot camp and become a United States Marine.