This article focuses on the questions that often come up among people who haven’t been a part of the military experience concerning our indoctrination process into that life, i.e., boot camp. Even though boot camp is one of the few commonalities among all veterans, it is still completely misunderstood by those who haven’t experienced. It’s often portrayed methodologically in media as a place that transforms young boys into warrior robots, where lifelong brotherhoods are forged because they have to go through “hell” together, or worse, as an institution for the brainwashing of children into killers.
Since leaving the Corps in 2008, I’ve been fascinated in seeing how boot camp is able to do what it does, namely, by taking kids like me, at the ages of 17, 18, and 19, from a society which prides itself on the values of individualism, self-preservation, personal liberties and personal satisfaction and turning them into a force of warriors willing to run towards the sound of gunfire, danger, and suffer innumerable indignities and sufferings along the way. Once you get through the surface, which is actually quite terrible, you’ll begin to see the place for the marvel of psychological engineering that is.
Hopefully, throughout the next series, you as civilian readers or just nostalgic veterans can read through and gain a deeper appreciation for the foundational training that sets apart the world’s greatest warrior class from everyone else.
This post answers the fundamental question of why is such an insane training environment necessary in a peaceful world.
This post lists off a few of the assumptions that many people have about the recruit experience and what is really happening behind the closed doors of the Marine Corp Recruit Depot.
Here, the basic “welcoming” to boot camp is discussed in how it binds recruits of all living generations, prepares them for the challenges to come, and generally scares the piss out of them.
This section talks about Receiving, the first few days of initial prep work necessary to joining, as well as why they are so crucial to the training that will follow.
Training Day 1, Black Friday. This post focuses on the events and stresses associated with the first day of the official start of Marine Corps training and meeting your Drill Instructors.
Some of the hardest parts of boot camp is the isolation from friends and family for three solid months with nothing but crazy Drill Instructors to keep you company. Find out why this is necessary in the creation of Marines.
Many skills are necessary and not all are mental. There are some skills people need to be able to fight and win battles. Boot camp is where they are introduced to these skills and no proper article on it would overlook their importance.
One of the most terrifying things about boot camp isn’t the fact that you are being trained for war; it’s learning to deal the constant barrage of verbal abuse sent your way. Here we talk about yelling for recruits, how it can be used to train recruits and why it is much more necessary than you probably thought.
The question comes up a lot on why we still drill in an era where armored troop transports carry Marines across the battlefield and 747’s can fly them across the world. Here I talk about the reasoning behind the tradition dating back thousands of years, as it is applied today.
After the drilling, the workouts, and the yelling, you reach a point where you are on your own. You’re still surrounded by the rest of your platoon, but you are relying on your individual mental strength to continue on. This is the point where all the seemingly needless intensity will be required to see if a warrior has been pulled from the rough.
Before closing up the boot camp articles, I felt compelled to do something different and talk about a touchy subject where military training is concerned. The word “Brainwashed” is thrown around way too much, and by people who really don’t understand what the term means, burdening the military with negative stereotypes of being mindless drones. This article confronts that, explains some of the truth behind the myth, and what military training actually does in the way of military cognitive conditioning.
This piece marks the culmination of the series. Thank you to everyone who has joined me for it and I hope you enjoy the final article, the EGA and What it Takes to Make a Warrior.
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