We entered the receiving building and for the next 96 hours were a whirlwind of no sleep, standing, sitting, being quiet, and getting yelled and screamed at by strangers wearing the “Smokey” hat and camouflage uniforms. We were collectively afraid, scared, confused, tired, sleepy, and questioning every movement we made and our decision for joining. Some ground rules were quickly established – no looking around, eyeballs straight; no talking, and when asked, use only third person speech, and move rapidly as possible when commanded.
All recruits enter the same way and have been for decades and so it is a strategy that still works today – strip each individual person of their background, identity, regardless if you come from the farm or urban jungle, rich or poor, married or single, American citizen or immigrant, everyone must earn the title, US Marine the same way.
The MCRD is the official bootcamp for recruits who live east of the Mississippi River and all female training; the other is located in San Diego for those living west of the Mississippi River.