Letter Six: Letters From Marine Corps Recruit Training

MCRD San Diego, the Marine Corps Recruit Depot is one of two training site for Marine Corps recruits.

In This Article

Okay ladies and gentleman, we are fully indoctrinated into the Marine Corps at this point and the stress inoculations are working. San Diego in summertime rivals Kuwait. Yeah, the heat ain’t as bad but when you’re choking on the exhaust from multiple jets landing and taking off at San Diego International while you’re running your 130lbs butt off in a PFT while you had extra firewatch last night—things get difficult.

Looks like recruit Perna had a couple of ideas about leadership, as well. Squad leaders are also running on fumes, and true leaders emerge from the exhaust. Frustration and anger and yelling don’t get people behind you when sh*t hits the fan.

Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego is a special place. Yes, the PFT is right next to the runway. You’ll remember landing there and taking quite a circuitous route to the depot if you were a recruit—and the whole time you had to keep your head down like a POW.

I was running about a 26 minute 3-mile PFT—which is pretty heinous. Compare that to the 19 minute 3-miler I could cook off when I was a sergeant and yeah—Marine Corps makes a difference.

Ah, I miss it.

Another fun fact: there is so much drill in boot camp, they even pit the platoons against each other. The culmination of phase one of recruit training is the Initial Drill Competition, where if you when, the entire platoon gets hazed. And if you lose, you get hazed twice. Left shoulder….arms!

Check out the letters and the transcription below. Also, if you haven’t seen our latest apparel, click here: https://thekorengal.com/collections/new-products

Letters From Marine Corps Boot Camp - Letter Six - Korengal Industries - Veteran and 2nd Amendment Apparel

Letters From Boot Camp - Letter Six - Korengal Industries - maker of veteran and 2nd amendment apparel


Dear Family,

I am really starting to enjoy recruit training. The routine takes some getting used to, but the last week really flew by. I think the drill instructors like me, but they won’t show it. I’m one of the best marchers, but I’m still a little slow on the runs. I’m not sure if I’ve gained or lost weight, but I’m going to try and get on the fatbody scale one night.

Our guide and squad leaders are terrible. They’re supposed to lead by example, but all they do is get mad, flustered, and yell at other recruits. They act less like leaders and more like junior drill instructors. I don’t think they’ll have their jobs much longer.

We’re dropping another five recruits on Tuesday, which should clean up our drill for the Initial Drill Competition. We should do well.

It was touching to hear that Max (my sister’s dog) looked all over for me, it really lifted me up.

I can feel myself changing into a more disciplined adult, and the Chaplains and our Drill DI keep motivating us by telling us what an honor it is to sacrifice (i.e. serve) for your country. That really means a lot to me now.

Well I hope Max gets enough exercise, and I will write soon. I might get another phone call before Camp P., but don’t count on it. We’re doing a lot of important things in a small amount of time.

Semper Fi,

Love Mark.

The ultimate guide to preparing for Marine Corps Recruit Training.

Enter your email below and receive a free copy of the Marine Corps Recruit Training Schedule that you can save and print. 

You’ll receive article updates but never spam.


* indicates required

If you buy coffee, please consider supporting Black Rifle Coffee. They support veteran nonprofits with every sale — and the coffee kicks ass. 

Click the image below to buy some and kickback a couple pennies to help the site. 

Out now!

“Surviving Marine Corps Boot Camp” is the definitive guide to preparing for Marine Corps Recruit Training. In this book you’ll learn:

  • The complete recruit training schedule 
  • Games Drill Instructors play
  • A complete 12-week strength training & running guide
  • How to deal with injuries & setbacks

Get the Recruit Training Schedule

Before you leave, download the Recruit Training Matrix for future reference!

The recruit training matrix is a simple guide to Marine Corps Boot Camp events week by week. Enter your email and we’ll send it to you for free. 

marine corps recruit training matrix