Marines confirm they’re adding a fourth phase to USMC boot camp


    Parris Island drill instructors boot camp

    WASHINGTON — Recruits arriving at Marine Corps Recruit Depots in late November will be the first to go through an additional period of training, which will be known as fourth phase, designed to better prepare them for success as Marines.

    The Marine Corps has reorganized a portion of the current 13-week recruit training to afford drill instructors additional time to mentor and lead new Marines.  Among the slight modifications, recruits will tackle the Crucible, the demanding 54-hour challenge, a week earlier and then spend the final two weeks of training as ‘Marines’. The Crucible remains the culminating event for recruits as they earn the title ‘Marine.’

    “Making Marines is one of the most important things that we do,” said Gen. Robert Neller, Commandant of the Marine Corps. “Earning the title is, and will remain, difficult.  Our standards and requirements have not changed but as recruit training evolves we want to ensure we are preparing Marines for success in their follow-on training and service to our great country.”

    Fourth phase will utilize the six F’s of Marine Leader Development framework: Fidelity, Fighter, Fitness, Family, Finances and Future.  Marines will be in small groups covering subjects that are critical to success and growth in all aspects of their personal and professional lives.

    Neller added that the Corps is seeking more time for these new Marines to get used to the idea that earning the title ‘Marine’ is just the beginning.

    “We thought it was important that the drill instructor, the key figure in the development of these new Marines, had a role to play in the transition,” said Neller. “They were their drill instructors, but now they have to be their staff sergeant, their gunnery sergeant and we thought that was very powerful.”

    As drill instructors transition from trainers of recruits to mentors of Marines, the expected result is a more resilient, mature, disciplined and better-prepared Marine.

    “This is a normal evolution of the recruit training experience,” said Neller. “We are trying to keep the very best of what we do now [in recruit training] and add something to make it even better.”

    Recruits at both Marine Corps Recruit Depots Parris Island, South Carolina, and San Diego will first tackle the fourth phase in early February 2018.

    By Sgt. David Staten

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    1. Do not shorten actual training time. It is really not long enough now. Add two weeks at the end of the 13 week established training if you feel that this politically correct class time is necessary.

    2. I like the idea a lot but I’m not so sure this is where to do it. I can see how this is seen as a “politically correct” class but honestly this kind of indoctrination was forbidden in the past due to political correctness. Anyone remember Commandant Mundy getting slammed for suggesting (in Marine speak) young Marines should not get married? We have all experienced new boots come into our units and all the usual trouble they get into. Maybe 2 weeks should be tacked onto the MOS schools to focus on these important skills and try to get our new brothers and sisters to not be boots that make stupid mistakes when they get to their first duty station. If it’s to be done before MCT then I’d do in a separate station outside of the MCRD because they aren’t recruits anymore and they need to get that recruit mindset out of their head to learn these important skills.

    3. When I joined the Marines in 1978, 8 of every 10 recruits were familiar with guns and shooting or hunting activities. Today, we’re lucky if 2 out of 10 applicants have ever shot a weapon. Amazingly, many are familiar with military type weapons from video games, but lack enough knowledge or ability just to get started. The single greatest advantage the Marines have always had is the tools and knowledge to shoot straighter and longer than the enemy.
      It’s not the burst nor the smoke of our weapons that matters, it’s HITS that count!
      We need to ensure our training is the best and adding a week to marksmanship is needed.

      I hear it’s much worse in the Army and soldiers have been out gunned from time to time.

      Semper Fi

    4. I can understand why they are doing this, since most of those who join any military branch today are for the most part really unprepared to be real men in every way, since our society now thinks awards should be given for just being part of something instead of a reward for excelling.

    5. I agree with John above about not shortening the current time and adding two, or so, weeks but I disagree the additional class time is for political correctness. When I was a company Commander over 50 percent of my time was dedicated to issues related to those 6 F’s. I really like the idea of easing recruits from the unrealistic boot camp into the general Marine population. I think this’ll aid the new Marine in many areas they were not prepared to function for either at home or in the various school systems.

    6. I feel that the core should not lessen there training time at all in any way no teach them to be marines the way the core has always made a boy to a marine .why would the core change the training now the marine core is strong and proud an I don’t think the training the making a marine should be changed at all my son is a marine an I’m proud of him I feel it’s his training boot camp that keeps him alive when he gone to Iraq please change nothing stay strong and keep making strong boys into stronger marines

    7. I’m sure it will be a good fit to help turn recruits into Marines. The larger issue in my humble opinion was always assisting the combat veteran Marine turn back into a civilian. Tons of readjustment issues when left to ones own accord. Lots of time and effort put into making a civilian a Marine. Zero time and effort into turning a Marine back into a civilian. Just food for thought.


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