When you arrive to USMC Recruit Training, the first thing you’ll experience is the yellow footprints. Every single enlisted Marine that served in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last 13 years has stepped on these footprints, and many more before them in conflicts faraway. Think about that: Medal of Honor winners like Dakota Meyer once stood at the exact same spot, experiencing the same thing you are about to.

Once you leave to footprints, you are now owned by the Marine Corps. And you’ll quickly learn how to “hurry up and wait.” That is, you’ll be rushed from station to station in receiving, where you’ll wait in line for what seems like all night. Then rush to the next station. Things you can expect to do are receive a haircut, give up all your civilian possessions, get a CAC identification card issued, set up a bank account and direct deposit, as well as get all your gear issued.

This is going to take all night. You’ll then be taught how to wear the uniform, basic rank structure, and eat three square meals a day. Also, in recruit receiving, you’ll take the Initial Fitness Test┬áin preparation for training. Do your best! You don’t want to be sent to the physical conditioning platoon, that’s for fatbodies!