Receiving: Training starts here

SOUND OFF:
Many recruit parents are familiar with the recruit training matrix that outlines what their son is doing on a daily basis. For the next three months, this object whether a hard copy, a desktop screen saver or a simple PDF file will most likely become a lonely, but proud, parents’ best friend. It will be the first thing they will look at when they wake up (reveille) and the last thing they will look at before bed (hitting the rack, maybe lights out, whatever you wish).

The first thing that stands out is the week titled “Pick-up.” This week is separate from Week 1 and training days don’t actually begin until then. I can already imagine the disappointment in your face, cheer up. By the time you read this they will have already received a few hours of sleep. So they are there for a total of 13 weeks. What needs to be understood is that the first week (of non-training days if you will) is so crucial to boot camp. In my opinion, the very fundamentals used Marine Corps-wide are being learned as soon as they step on those footprints, not a week later. Maybe you should all take you’re training matrix and add R1-R3 on Mon-Wed because they are not a lost cause. Here’s why.

Recruit training starts from the moment they leave the USO. Getting on that bus and dropping their head could be the most nerve-racking moment they have ever anticipated. Little do they know,it’s going to be much worse than they ever expected.

After spending two extremely long nights at receiving, I watched more than 500 recruits run off the bus and put their feet on those yellow footprints (which are much larger than the average Joes’ feet, by the way). Sweat beads started forming on their foreheads. The fear and anxiety was so strong I could almost feel it.

And then the moment comes, when they finally consider themselves a recruit. They are “briefed” and instructed to get off the bus. That is the first time they scream (and they better have screamed) “aye, sir.”

The yellow footprints have such a significant meaning when arriving to recruit training; it amazed me to realize how little time was actually spent standing on them. Thinking back on my past, it had to be the longest two-minutes of my life, and probably your loved ones, too. Until they got to the contraband room, I’m sure. They were told about the UCMJ and the things they could be charged for just so they know what’s expected of them (always nice to be scared out of your mind when you are already scared out of your mind, eh?).

The recruits were then rushed in front of a red bin, giving them their final chance to empty their pockets and get rid of the nonsense many show up with (don’t worry moms, they are able to keep bibles and stamps). Their first test of integrity started here.

And the moment you’ve been waiting for… The phone call. Didn’t get one? No worries, neither did my parents. Recruits are lined up in front of phones and urged to call and proceed with speed and intensity. Needless to say sometimes things go wrong (my phone was broke, but like everyone else, you just read the script and kept on moving). They always say no news is good news, especially in this gun club so get used to it.

Ever heard of hurry up and wait? So have we. Recruits stood in line waiting for their first weekly haircut while the receiving company drill instructors begin to instill discipline into them. They stood tall and not one whisper unless spoken to, all the while executing orders without question (if they dared to speak to the DIs anyway). Each recruit sat in a chair and watched their hair fall to the deck.

The take away from receiving: Drill Instructors give recruits their first taste of what is considered controlled-chaos. Then break them down to the very bottom and making them look the same. Doing this puts all the recruits in a fatigued mindset and on the same level. It doesn’t matter where they came from or what they have done. They are now exactly alike with a clean slate. At the end of the week they will be transferred to forming, where each and every recruit will be rebuilt from the ground up, mentally, morally and physically.

GET SOME:
The Marine Corps has 14 leadership traits. Most Marines will use the acronym JJ DID TIE BUCKLE to remember them. The first trait is JUSTICE, defined as the practice of being fair and consistent, whatever the case may be. Perhaps when writing your next letter to your son, you can incorporate what you have learned.

SCUTTLEBUTT:
Rumor has it I will be at the Initial Strength Test and Pick-up tomorrow.

P.S. – Saw your recruits this a.m. (Aug. 25) dark and early. They went through recruit clothing for uniforms. A little tired, but looking motivated. Hang in there because they are too!

P.S.S- I know the video is blurry, working on it, but it will do for now.

[Editors Note: Opinions expressed are not to be considered an official expression of the DoD, DoN, or the USMC.]

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About echo5fox

Sgt. Frasier enlisted in the Marine Corps July 2005 from Florida at the age of 18. After completing boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, she proceeded to Marine Combat Training in North Carolina. In 2006, she attended the Personnel Administration Course aboard Camp Johnson, N.C. She was stationed at Camp Lejeune upon graduation of her military occupational specialty. After deploying to Iraq with 3/10 in 2008, Sgt. Frasier reenlisted with the option to lateral move into another occupation, combat correspondent. Sgt. Frasier has worked at The Globe, the base newspaper aboard Camp Lejeune; The Convoy, the group circular for 1st Marine Logistics Group and The Chevron, the base paper for Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. Sgt. Frasier served as the Community relations and Media noncommisioned officer in charge for the Public Affairs Office aboard the depot. Currently she is the Marketing and Public Affairs Director for Recruiting Station Chicago, 9th Marine Corps District. Her awards include the National Defense Service Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism, Good Conduct Medal (2), Iraqi Campaign Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2) and the Navy Unit Commendation Medal.

36 thoughts on “Receiving: Training starts here

  1. Wow. Seeing my husband made my heart skip a beat..even if it was just for 5 seconds on here..I can’t wait to see the next post…this blog is literally gonna get me thru the next 13 weeks 🙂

    • This is on Golf Co. It is a special the Sgt is doing it is not done on each unit. If your boy left last Monday for San Diego he is Golf Co. and you might get to see him in these weekly posts.

  2. My son is half way through boot with India Co. This blog is fascinating and will definitley help me relate to what he has been through so far!
    Thanks for this!11
    Martha

  3. Thank you so much for posting this. I think I saw a glimpse of my son and even that means a lot to me. I look forward to future postings.

  4. What a Gift to have you doing this video Sgt. Frazier..I truely appreciate it.. I think I saw the back side of my son..cant wait to see tonight video..May God be with you and our young men..Thank you from the bottom of my heart…

  5. Thank you for taking the time to share this with all the parents that miss their young men so much, I found my son in the video emptying his wallet for 3 seconds!!! Thank you for my biggest smile all week!!! But really, do you have to yell so loud??? jk 🙂

  6. Thank you for the blessing of this website! Although I didn’t see my son, it is comforting to know he has a strong group of brothers there with him! Our family is praying for all these men!

      • So, if I understand this correctly, if I saw my son standing in line to make his phone call during this video, he is in Platoon 2156? I can’t wait to start sending him letters! Thank you!!!

      • No, that is not correct. They are not assigned platoons until after the phone calls are made so he could be in a different platoon.

  7. Thank you Sgt. Frasier for documenting Golf Company thru Boot Camp. What a gift this is! My son is in 2nd BN, Golf Co. Plt 2149. I have not seen him yet, but I am so happy that other parents have found their son on your videos. Even just seeing them for a second is precious! May God give you & our sons grace & strength to make it through each day and determination to become US Marines!

  8. Just curious as to how this site works. My son is in Golf Co. Plt 2154. Are you able to follow any plt.? Thanks so much for all you do for our men and women Marines recruits. I am a little confused on this site. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    • I use this site to write about what I feel the recruits are experiencing as they go through bootcamp. I don’t plan to pick a single platoon, as the companies complete their training as teams (follow series and lead series). When I arrive at an event, only half the company will be there and then they are rotated throughout the day. Seeing your loved one is hit or miss.

    • Glad to see another parent from PLT 2154! Will be following along with you and the other recruit’s parents! 🙂

  9. My son is in this Company and is plt 2156 and I thank you and ex-specially my wife it means a lot to her to finally got his address yesterday she already had him 2 letters wrote and sent them off so thank you Sgt Fraiser for these precious moments to see love ones only i did not see my son I know he is going to do great so to the families that are going through this we do have something to grasp. Go Joshua Law it is your moment to shine.

  10. Thank you for posting this. I got to see my Husband and was able to show our Daughter her Daddy. The insight is priceless.

  11. Watching my son leave me for a visit to “hell on earth” has got to be the hardest thing I have ever endured. Somehow watching him in the receiving video, I am comforted. Thank you so much and Cody, I am so very proud of you.

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