It’s official: changes are being made to training at Marine Corps Recruit Depots Parris Island and San Diego.
According to a Marine Corps news release Thursday, recruits arriving in November will be the first to experience the changes, which include the addition of a fourth phase and moving up the Crucible in the training cycle.
The Crucible, the grueling 54-hour teamwork and combat skills exercise that is a recruit’s final test before earning the title of Marine, will still occur near the end of the 13-week training cycle, but a week earlier than it does now.
The “fourth phase will utilize the six F’s of Marine Leader Development framework: Fidelity, Fighter, Fitness, Family, Finances and Future,” according to the release. “Marines will be in small groups covering subjects that are critical to success and growth in all aspects of their personal and professional lives.”
The addition of the fourth phase, the final two weeks of training, came in response to Marine Corps leadership’s observations “that Marines were struggling both physically and mentally at training after boot camp,” and had not adjusted to their new identities as Marines.
“We ask these young men and women to grow up really fast,” Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller told the Marine Corps Times in an exclusive interview Thursday. “They’ve made the transformation from recruit to Marine and then we shoot them out the door. What we’re trying to do is give them a little bit of time to get used to that and understand that OK, you’ve got your eagle, globe and anchor, you’ve earned the title ‘Marine,’ that’s just the beginning.
“Now it’s actually going to become more difficult because more and more of the responsibility to live up to being a Marine, to live a life of honor, courage and commitment, is more and more going to be on your shoulders,” Neller continued.
The graduation requirements and number of training days remain the same, according to Neller.