Recruit Training Survival Tips
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  1. #1

    Recruit Training Survival Tips

    I have taken the thread below by PerXes originally posted in Poolee Hall and removed the comments. These are the best and latest recruit training survival suggestions that I am aware of and will be of great help for those about to ship for one of the MCRD's. OORAH!!! Jim

    Boot Camp Observations by Pfc Rob Jones USMC

    When I was a poolee, I was always concerned with what I liked to call the "little stuff." Like head calls, and the everyday things. Well, I went and found out first hand, and I will now pass the info on to you. Most of you will pick a lot of this info up, or be told it by your DI's, but it doesn't hurt to know ahead of time.

    1. Head Calls. When I was at RT, I accomplished more unfathomable feats of the bladder than I ever imagined I could. I'm talking about REALLY having to go, and then holding it for another hour or two. So if I can do it, you can too. Not that asking to make a head call isn't allowed, but you have to be smart about it. If you're platoon is in the middle of something, you'll only be holding them up, which is lame. Drill, for example. If you're out there drilling, the platoon has to wait on you while they could be tightening up Present Arms from Left Shoulder Arms. You've all gotten used to the ability to go whenever you want. Trust me, you CAN hold it. On the other side of the fence, though, if you do know you're going to **** yourself, you might want to ask. Another thing: don't be too shy to get really close to the guy next to you, cause when you only have 30 seconds, that giddy stuff goes right out the window.

    2. Hygiene. Obviously a very important thing that recruits don't get a lot of time to do. 120 seconds to shower, 120 seconds to shave/brush your teeth, while 75 other recruits are all trying to do the same's tricky. Here's what I did: usually it would only be half the platoon in there at a time. The DI says, "Port side shower up, Starboard side scuzz em up(your boots)." So, Port side rushes in. Here's where you can get ahead: freaking GO FAST. There are only a few sinks, and a lot of people just slime in there. Get in there and get to a dang sink. My advice is: shave/teeth first. Most of the time, there is a huge rush to the shower, and there are plenty of sinks open. Thus, if you go fast at shaving and brushing, you can get in the changeover line quick, and get your own shower too. Just because it's "your" shower doesn't mean you shouldn't let the guy next to you rinse off while you soap up though...gotta look out for eachother. Another thing I suggest is not using shaving cream. I found it to be a huge waste of time, since I could get plenty close without it, and it kept the sink a lot cleaner. In the shower, you don't have time to wash everything, so MAKE SURE you wash all your cuts and rashes first, then wash the areas where skin contacts skin(behind the knees, armpits, elbows, etc), then on from there.
    On another note for hygiene, make sure you use hand sanitizer all the time. Also, DON'T SCRATCH, you undisciplined POS! Scratching will only spread germs, and could lead to cellulitis(you don't want this, it eats your skin/muscles in the late stages). And keep your nasty hands out of your face, too. Oh, and don't cough either, nobody wants your freaking germs(you WILL get sick). And if you can't help it, cough into your damn elbow and not all over the other recruits around you.

    3. Chow. Obviously, you have little time to eat chow. Two things you should ALWAYS eat are bread and fruit. These two things are also the only things you should eat for breakfast when you have PT or a PFT. You need the carbs. Plus, some of the greasy foods they serve will dehydrate you. Speaking of dehydration, stay the hell away from milk and ESPECIALLY ice cream and the fruit juices they have. Just drink Powerade and water. Now, as far as chow goes: you'll need to pick something good, but also pick something that you can eat fast. For example, given the choice between pasta and rotisserie chicken, take the pasta, it eats much faster. One way to eat faster is to make sandwiches out of your stuff. This way you can eat your main course and your bread at the same time. And make sure you put salt on your food to avoid hyponeutremia(not enough sodium to retain your water), and thus don't become a heat case.

    4. Boot laces. No offense to any other Marines who do this, but laces that are wrapped around your boot just look nasty. Lace them left over right, pull them tight, put knots in the end, pull the loops until the knots are at the end, and tuck those babies in.

    5. In the early stages(receiving/forming) especially, but also in the later stages, it is a freaking excellent idea to make sure you know where all your trash is. When your DI says, "go back there and get your whatever and get back on line, 20, 19, 18.." and you spend 10 of those seconds trying to think about where it IS, you're screwed("oh, you want to take your own sweet time? good, face feet. We'll play this game until every recruit is on line with whatever"). Plus, it just plain made me more secure, knowing where everything was at all times.

    6. When you first get into your squadbay, you'll most likely just pick the first open rack you see, but consider this, if you can manage to somehow maneuver and choose a rack: the DIs like to talk from the middle of the squadbay. So, if you are hard of hearing, and/or want to make sure you hear what they say, you will want to position yourself in the middle. Also consider: if you're near the rear hatch on either side, you'll be able to get out faster, but if you're near the front quarter deck, you'll be able to get in the head faster, but you'll be more visible to DI's. As far as port side vs. starboard side goes, you will always do a "wagonwheel right," so if you're on port side you're near the end of the line. This is especially important for PT showers, where everyone is SUPPOSED to walk through the showers and keep going, but some retards like to stop in the shower and hold everyone up. You'll see what I'm talking about when your DI is at 30, and you haven't even made it to the rain room yet. However, if you're on Port side, at least in my platoon, you got to shower/shave first.

    7. Marking gear. You'll have to mark a lot of gear with your marking kit. Most of the time you'll mark white tape, and put clear tape over it. The problem is: if you put too much ink on your marking thing, it will become a blob when you put the clear tape over it. The two solutions are, first, you can stamp a piece of paper with your stamper until there is barely any ink on there, OR you can just color the stamper with an el marko(marker). Either one works.

    8. More on hygiene. This may be irrelevant now, since recruits are being issued MOLLY gear instead of cantenes, but make sure you keep what you drink your water out of clean. I would bleach my cantenes every Sunday. This just involved putting a drop of bleach in my full cantene and swishing it around, and then i would wash off the mouth too. I don't know if you can do this with a camelback, but i'm sure there is some way to do it. This will further help you stay healthy. If you think about it, you are sick, and you drink from a pool of stagnant water, so the germs just stay in need to get rid of them.

    9. This probably isn't a good idea in the beginning, but as the cycle goes on, you will get into the swing of things, and know what your DI is about to order you to do. Thus, it can be a good idea to "get ahead," as I like to call it. For example, when we prepared for hygiene time, if I had any extra time after getting all my stuff out, I would unblouse my trousers and loosen my boots. Now, this can also get you in trouble, as it did me("did he say unblouse your trousers? Good, pick up your foot locker, hold it out in front of you. Squat. Lower, back straight.") You gotta have common sense. You can also get ahead in other ways that won't get you in trouble, such as rolling your sleeves once you get your cammies back from laundry, and making grunt rolls when you get your fresh skivvies. Use your dang free time for squaring away your trash, not writing freaking damn letters. You'll see these people in 3 months anyway.

    10. Shut the hell up. Seriously. Just shut up. Close your damn mouth and stop getting your platoon in trouble. If everyone listened to this advice, their cycle would be SO much easier. "Good, you want to talk? Did I say run your nasty fat mouths? *commence punishment*" Also, OPEN YOUR FAT MOUTH as well. Scream for your life you lazy recruit! Oh, and don't act all hurt when you get in trouble, and if you are in pain don't show it. If you are wincing and ****, your DI will just say, "NOBODY CARES! JUST DIE ALREADY! IF you're going to faint, then faint so I get to watch you bleed!" Example: sometimes for some reason, recruits would throw up after getting out of the chow hall. The DIs would simply say, "Did I tell you to throw up?" Oh yeah, and DON'T SPIT LIKE A NASTY THING. "Who just spit?" "THIS RECRUIT SIR!" "Good, pick it up. Put it in your pocket." Plus, it's just plain nasty. I swallowed more loogies than I can remember, and I'm fine, so you can do it too.

    Before I continue, I forgot something with the showers: make sure you remember where you put your trash. Personally, I would usually take one of the corners, and arrange my trash in such a way that I would be able to recognize it. You know how many times I saw people that were unable to find their stuff.

    11. The Gas Chamber. There's not much advice I can give you here besides practice holding your breath after doing 15 sidestraddle hops. The gas burns your face and your throat and eyes, but it goes away pretty quickly and really isn't that difficult to bear. Don't sweat it, and don't get freaked out by the pathetic weaklings who have to barge out of the chamber discipline.

    12. CWS 3 Qualification. Easy, but there is one annoying thing. After you do the first part, you are lined up in the pool for a pretty long time. After that, you have to survival stroke for a while.'ve been standing around in cold water for like..half an hour and now you're swimming. Can you say TIGHT muscles? Jesus I thought my legs were falling off or something. Make sure when you're standing in that line you keep your legs loose or it'll be a painful 50 meters.

    13. Pulling Targets. Stuff can get hectic in the pits. It takes a little time to get used to it, too. But, if you and your partner organize who will do what job, it'll be really helpful. Also, there is a distinctive noise when a round goes through your target. You will be able to tell that it was your target without even looking. Not that you shouldn't look, you should always have your eyes on your target. The sound is louder than the other sounds around you, and you will hear it in BOTH ears, and it will usually kind of make your ears ring. It's different from the sounds to your right and left, because usually you only hear those in one of your ears.

    14. Hydrate. All the time. And make sure you hydrate BEFORE you need water. For example, if you have PT in the morning, you'd better drink at least 2 cantenes the night before. Don't be like Recruit Art and go down 3 times with a temperature of 107 and get sent home. Be smart. They say to drink 12-14 cantenes a, that's not really possible, but the minimum of 6 is definitely reachable. There's no reason you should go down due to lack of water.

    No better friend/No worse enemy

  2. #2
    These tips are very helpful.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by jinelson
    10. Shut the hell up. Seriously. Just shut up. Close your damn mouth and stop getting your platoon in trouble. If everyone listened to this advice, their cycle would be SO much easier. "Good, you want to talk? Did I say run your nasty fat mouths? *commence punishment*" Also, OPEN YOUR FAT MOUTH as well. Scream for your life you lazy recruit! Oh, and don't act all hurt when you get in trouble, and if you are in pain don't show it. If you are wincing and ****, your DI will just say, "NOBODY CARES! JUST DIE ALREADY! IF you're going to faint, then faint so I get to watch you bleed!"
    Oh so true!! I can't remember how much time I spent on the quarterdeck because of the nasty recruit who wanted to talk (yes, I was nasty at times, too, I was a recruit for crying out loud... but I was slightly older than the "typical" recruit and found I had a bit more discipline than most). Oh well, at least I got some extra time to work on my PT.

    GET SOME!!

  4. #4
    When i was in ROTC thats how it was, there was always someone that just couldn't keep there month close, it was like they didnt care that they was getting the platoon in trouble.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by WJason777
    When i was in ROTC thats how it was, there was always someone that just couldn't keep there month close, it was like they didnt care that they was getting the platoon in trouble.

    you know a sock and a bar of soap will fix that

  6. #6
    haha, i would of got kicked out of school for that.

  7. #7
    What are some of the Academic Requirements for Boot camp?

  8. #8
    High School Diploma and pass the ASVAB. Correct me if I'm wrong, Marines.

  9. #9

    You Dont Have To Be An Einstien

    Thats Correct!

    No better friend/No worse enemy

  10. #10
    I don't know what you mean by "keeping up with your trash." Does that mean your clothes? And also, I can't swim. Will i have to know how to before i leave, or do they teach you how to swim during RT?

  11. #11
    First of all, Bball, most Marines on this forum do not answer anyone until they have a completed profile. And about the swimming...Im not trying to be harsh, but seriously man, you need to wake up and smell the coffee, and get your butt out to your nearest YMCA or other swim club with swimming lessons ASAP. If I was a Drill Instructor, and I had a recruit who couldnt swim at 17 years or older, you know what I would be thinking? I would be thinking, "GREAT! A RECRUIT WHO CANT SWIM YET! Hell, if he didnt take the time to learn to swim in those 18+ years, why should I believe that he will use common sense and go out of his way to accomplish things, let alone be prepared to learn life-saving skills?" No, that is not how I see your situation- but I am pretty sure a Drill Instructor WOULD see it like that. If you research just a little more and talk to some of the Marines on this forum, you will quickly realize that you need to know how to swim WELL beyond the basic stuff, like just moving through the water. This is the United States Marine Corps. You will hear words to describe it along the lines of "Tough, Hard as Hell, 'No BS', etc...."...and thats what it is- its not easy, and it takes alot of knowledge- not just academic related knowledge, but also knowledge about important physicall attributes, such as advanced swimming, endurance while running, being alert, knowing how to take care of your body in a stressful environment... there is so much you need to know in the USMC- and if you expect to be taught how to swim at USMC bootcamp, well, your gonna have second thoughts during those 13 weeks.....

  12. #12
    Well i didn't fill out a full profile because i don't just give out names and number of people without asking them. I wouldn't want then doing the same to me, just putting my name and number online for anyone to see. And i've heard from countless Marines that thet teach you in bootcamp how to swim. And how to do everything else basically. They taech you literally everything you need to know is how i've heard it is by countless people that have already been through. They say bootcamp swimming isn't a big deal. And a surprising number of recruits don't know how to swim. I was just wondering if they teach you by throwing you in or what. And believe me, i've already gone to the local REC center and the YMCA, the YMCA offers adult lessons starting October 16th, which is my ship date, and the local REC is closing its pool for the Fall already.

    But i'm wanting to know what is meant by "the trash?"

  13. #13
    bball21, you seriously need to fill out your profile. You won't be taken seriously in here unless you do. You don't have to give out your life's story and facts but give us an idea of who you are and you will get better responses out of us.

    Trash is all your crap, clothes, razors, whatever you own is your trash...

    Now fill out that profile if you want any more answers. I believe your time in here will be short unless you do it.... Read the rules for Poolees and Wannabe's

  14. #14
    They teach you 5 different strokes at CWS. The breast stroke, the side stroke, the back stroke, the doggy paddle, and another kind of back stroke that is easy or something. For those who can't swim, they get sent to remedial training. CWS-4(the minimum to continue in RT) is simply swimming across the pool, 25 meters, I think, in cammies and boots using one of those strokes. Then, you jump off the 10 foot tower, and swim to the side, and you are taught how to fill your cammie blouse with air so that you will float(it involves bending at the waist in the water, and blowing air into your blouse).

    Now, for those of you who don't pass the first day, you'll get like...god, who even knows, half a billion freaking tries at it. I think it's somewhere around 5 or so tries, and if you keep failing, you'll keep getting remedial training all day.

    One thing you want to remember at the pool is, they will not hesitate for half a millisecond to send you home if you don't do what they pay attention, and watch yourself.

  15. #15
    bball21 you keep that attitude and your time in bootcamp wil either be real long or real short. Either way you will not enjoy it.

    Yes everyone I know looks back at boot camp as one of the best memories of their lives no matter how tough it was at that time.

    If you get yelled at and don't know why its because your Drill Instructor doesn't have to have a reason. You are there for one reason only; their enjoyment.

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