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Letter Six: Letters From Marine Corps Recruit Training

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:

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.

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