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Marine Corps Boot Camp

Week 7: “Grass Week” Weapons Training

This week is the first in a series training with weapons in boot camp. Marine Corps recruits learn the four shooting positions; standing, kneeling, sitting and prone. They also train and practice with an M16 without ammunition, discover how to fire a weapon properly, firing a known distance course, and experience field firing range.

Rifle Range boot camp shooting a gun
Photo from DVIDS, by Cpl. Caitlin Brink

Week 8: Firing Week

After mastering the basics of weaponry in Marine Corps boot camp, recruits are given an opportunity to experience live fire. Recruits begin firing slowly, just one shot at a time and move eventually to 10 shots in a row, what is known as rapid fire. All recruits will be tested, what is known as qualification and either earn the Rifle Marksman badge, the Rifle Sharpshooter badge or the coveted Rifle Expert badge.

Week 9: Confidence Course

All the training the recruit has received up to this week will be applied in the Marine Corps  Confidence Course which consists of 11 obstacles, where each obstacle is designed to get harder than the last. The course is designed to take each platoon 45 minutes to complete.

Week 10: Day Movement

Field Training is practice war. Recruits will operate and live in a simulated combat environment and learn all of the fundamentals. During the 3-day Basic Warrior Training, recruits will learn basic field skills, patrolling, firing and more. Recruits are also required to go through the gas chamber: where approximately 30 recruits enter a room where a riot control agent is gassed into the room which irritates the eyes, nose and mouth.

Week 11: The Crucible

Recruits compile all the information and knowledge learned this week to complete in the most demanding and arduous task in boot camp: the Crucible. This grueling test lasts 54 hours with little food and sleep. All the recruits must come together as a team to finish strong and receive the Eagle, Globe and Anchor and title Marine upon completion. Recruits are finally given an hour of free time each evening this week and will receive and wear their assigned rank earned.

Globe and Anchor earning the title Marine boot camp crucible
Photo from DVIDS, Lance Cpl. MaryAnn Hill


The most amazing week of all! Recruits will finally graduate from Marine Corps boot camp, the most difficult and longest of all the boot camps across the services. Awards are received, the graduation ceremony is practiced, and graduate earning the title of United States Marine.