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Boot Camp Information Center

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Complete Care During Boot Camp

USMC Photo
From Health and Wealth to Religious Ministries

Recruits in Marine Corps boot camp receive the best training possible and are very well cared for throughout the course of their thirteen weeks on the Recruit Depot.

From injury prevention and dental treatment to recruit pay and the Thrift Savings Plan, every base is covered, including Religious Ministries.

Injury Prevention

The Marine Corps’ Sports Medicine Injury Prevention program is in place during recruit training to ensure this rigorous training is completed with as few musculoskeletal injuries as possible.

Specialist in the fields of physical conditioning and injury prevention are part of the recruit training staff. These experts coupled with the Navy’s Medical Personnel on Parris Island, provide a force so that the physical training can remain demanding with minimal injury risk.

Note: Recruits also receive a dental exam and, when needed, some dental treatment during recruit training. See below for additional commentary.

Recruit Chapel on Parris Island, USMC Photo
Thrift Savings Plan

Recruits receive a class on the Thrift Savings Plan, or TSP. The TSP is a Federal Government-sponsored retirement savings and investment plan that the U.S. Congress established in the Federal Employees' Retirement System Act of 1986.

The purpose of the TSP is to provide retirement income. TSP is a defined contribution plan, and the amount of retirement income that you receive from your TSP account will depend on how much you have contributed to your account during your working years and the earnings on those contributions. The TSP offers the same type of savings and tax benefits that many private corporations offer their employees under so - called "401(k)" plans.

Religious Ministries

An Integral part of making, and being a Marine, is individual spiritual readiness.

Recruits are provided the opportunity, if they desire, to worship within their individual faith or beliefs. They also learn about religious tolerance, ethical awareness, and how spiritual readiness is a part of their personal understanding and ownership of core Values.

The functions of the Recruit Training Ministry are:

  • Conducting worship services.
  • Pastoral Counseling.
  • Stress Management Counseling.
  • Assisting in the teaching of core values classes.
  • Delivering messages from the Red Cross.

Above information found on the Parris Island web site, October, 2009.

To learn more, visit the Parris Island web site by using the links below:

Injury Prevention

As mentioned above, recruits receive a dental exam and, when needed, some dental treatment during recruit training. In some cases that dental treatment includes having wisdom teeth pulled. Upon hearing this, one recruit mom was shocked and expressed her feeling that this practice is barbaric. See the response “from under the campaign cover” below:

If your son is lucky, they'll pull his wisdom teeth. Every recruit is evaluated on a case by case basis. Pulling them after they hit the operating forces is too late; he should be learning how to kill the enemy and not taking rest days for dental surgery. Recruits get plenty of medication and time off after getting their wisdom teeth pulled. Their "agony" is kept to a minimum in recruit training, since learning to deal with hardship, pain, and loss is something they'll never experience in combat. Don't worry though... if he doesn't get his wisdom teeth pulled I'll make sure the Drill Instructors give him extra attention when other recruits do.

My point is this: Relax. Your son's wisdom teeth (you know, the teeth that humans developed as an answer to our ancestor’s early diet of coarse, rough food, but no longer have an evolutionary need for) are in the capable hands of U.S. Navy medicine. The most barbaric thing the Navy practices is a 12 cup coffee maker in a 15 man shop.

He'll be fine. It's time to take off the training wheels.

-United States Marine and Series Gunnery Sergeant, 2009

Complete Care for Recruits in Boot Camp

November 13, 2014: Rct. Lucas Cline, Platoon 1082, Charlie Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, studies his notes Aug. 25, 2014, on Parris Island, S.C. Recruits receive 58 formal classes covering topics from administrative issues to combat care and Marine Corps history. Academics is only one obstacle these recruits will have to overcome on their journey to earn the title Marine. Cline, 19, from Indiana, Pa., is scheduled to graduate Nov. 7, 2014. Parris Island has been the site of Marine Corps recruit training since Nov. 1, 1915. Today, approximately 20,000 recruits come to Parris Island annually for the chance to become United States Marines by enduring 13 weeks of rigorous, transformative training. Parris Island is home to entry-level enlisted training for 50 percent of males and 100 percent of females in the Marine Corps. (Photo by Cpl. Jennifer Schubert)
— USMC Photo.


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