So you made your choice. Out of all the branches in the United States Military you decided to be a part of the one branch who is set apart from the rest. You chose the United States Marine Corps. Yes, you will look pretty decent in your uniform, you will be physically and mentally on point, and you will have people left and right respecting you. But before you get there - you have to make it through Boot Camp. Which means you will be heading to either Marine Corps Recruit Training Depot's Parris Island or San Diego. Here's what you need to know before you go.

1. No, you don't have a choice
You will wake up when you are told to wake up. You will put on your socks when told, your trousers, blouse, everything - and you will do it within the Drill Instructor's count. If they tell you to drop in the mud and do crunches, you will do just that. It's this way for a reason. Remember that your Drill Instructor's are already Marines - they know what it takes to make it in their world - you're the one trying to get there.


2. Things get stressful
With the amount of guys or girls that you may have in your platoon, it's no wonder that life can get a little bit crazy. You will have your screw ups - the ones that just won't get on the program. The key is, to make life more bearable (and most don't understand this until later) help them. Help them during free time - if they screw up on marching, practice it with them. The sooner all of you get on the same program, the better it will be for the platoon.


3. Don't waste your free time
You will get an hour of free time every night. Don't waste it. Gear, Weapons, Body. Fix your gear for the next day. Clean your weapon, then worry about yourself. Hell, even work out during free time - if you suck at pull ups, start doing them. You could stretch. You could roll your sleeves and get them looking alright, or you could even work on drill. You're there for a reason and it's not to write 4 or 5 letters a night to your family. You'll see them when it's over. They will understand.

4. If you want to quit - don't
If you're starting to think that your body can't take anymore and if you think that you should just stop running - don't do it. You're body is capable of more than you know. Your mind needs to be strong. You need to tell yourself that whatever you're doing - it has been done before by Marines who have been there before you. Don't let a thought stop you from becoming what you're trying to be.


5. Your Drill Instructor's will hate you
Don't take it personally. Your Drill Instructor's are people. They get frustrated and stressed. You are probably not their first cycle. This is probably not their first ballgame on the drill field. Treat them with respect. They've earned their places.

6, Take pride in what you do
If you make your rack, make that rack to the best of your ability. Roll your sleeves so that you look as though you actually deserve the title Marine. Put your hair up and make sure there are no fly-aways because you want to look like what you're striving to become.


7. It's Gonna HURT
If it didn't hurt, it wouldn't be the Marine Corps. Your body is gonna ache everywhere - your mind is going to attempt to talk itself out of it. Don't let it. Push past the pain.


8. IT IT IT
Incentive Training. Random rapid workouts. There's nothing you can really do but if you want it to go by relatively quickly, do what you're told quickly, without attitude, and loudly. They will drag it on if one person is not screaming or doing it correctly. You WILL suffer as a team.

9. Don't be a Blue Falcon
Excuse the language. Don't be the one to fuck everyone over for a pack of peanut butter. Don't be that one.

10. No one cares
Fun little thing - once you hit the fleet, no one gives a crap. No one wants to hear about your Drill Instructors or that time you thought you were going to die. It's over and done with. Leave it where it lies. Remember what your Drill Instructor's taught you, but leave it all at boot camp. Move on. The Marine Corps needs a Marine, no a recruit.