Boots in the House
Written by Nate Hendren, Cpl. USMC '08-'12. Click here to read about the author.
We here at Marine Parents have recently noticed a lot of our users in the Facebook groups using the phrase, "boots in the house" when their Marine is home. Likely because for the however many days of leave your Marine has, there might literally be a pair of new Marine Corps issued boots somewhere within your home. So "boots in the house" makes sense and it's kind of cute. It's thought to be a sweet sort of congratulations for a newly graduated Marine fresh out of "boot" camp.
But, there's one thing you ought to know.
Calling a Marine a "boot" is actually a disparaging term. It's Marine Corps slang for the new guys. "The fresh meat." It's a slightly derogative expression used by older, more experienced Marines in the fleet to describe those who have just graduated and still sport their boot camp haircuts. There's nothing wrong with it. It's a tradition as old as the Corps itself to always knock on the new guys or gals for a while. Your new Marine is likely already aware of it and what's to come when he or she reports to their final unit. The term will go away after one or two years or a deployment. It's just all in good fun. It's the way 'ol Chesty Puller would still want it.
In the meantime, I would just advise that maybe as parents you don't refer to them in that way. It'll probably make them cringe hearing it from you! Plus, "Marine in the house" has a much better ring to it!