Letters Sent Home from Recruits


Recruits receive one hour of free time each day to give them a break from the close, constant association with their drill instructors. This free time is often used to write letters, unwind and prepare for the next day.

  —Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Vanessa Austin. 2015.

You may be a lucky parent and receive a lot of mail from your recruit. Many are not so lucky; your son or daughter is very busy and is likely using every moment they can spare to study and catch-up on work they need to do to become a Marine. They are given time to write, however your recruit will be free to choose what s/he needs to do at that time.

Don't be surprised and try not to worry if your recruit sends letters that express a feeling of being overwhelmed, sad, homesick. About the 4th week or so of boot camp, your recruit may write a letter home telling you that s/he's made a mistake and doesn't want to finish boot camp. This is a turning point for most recruits; don't despair. Continue to write and encourage your recruit and let him/her know how proud you are. This is a normal reaction from many recruits; this phase will finish almost as quickly as it started.

For additional information on sending mail to your recruit, Click here...

Recruit Writing

  —Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Vanessa Austin

    Sharing What Your Recruit Writes In Letters

    1. Respect Your Recruit's Privacy
      Your recruit is going to write home and likely share the events of the days and the multitude of emotions that he or she is experiencing in this new and very different lifestyle called boot camp. Your recruit does not intend for you to share parts of those letters in a public message board community.

    2. Your Recruit Needs to Share His/Her Experiences with You
      Your recruit is very careful about what he or she shares with other recruits in verbal communication as well as body language. Your recruit would never complain to a drill instructor. But your recruit is going to share everything with you in his/her letters home. Those letters are your recruit's private conversations shared with you in confidence. For 13 weeks you are your recruit's sounding board for pride in accomplishments, fear of meeting performance expectations, worry about testing, trials of the day, and the myriad of both positive and negative physical and emotional challenges he or she is being tasked with during recruit training. You are the "safe" place for your recruit to share everything.

    3. Drill Instructors DO Read the Message Boards

      Your recruit does not want his/her DI to read his/her letter or even get a little snippet of the conversation from that letter. That's YOUR letter, from YOUR recruit, written during private time, and intended for family and friends, not a public message board and certainly not for the DIs. Please respect your recruit's privacy and refrain from sharing information from his/her letters on ANY public message boards.

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