Marine Training

Basic Training

Basic training lasts for nine weeks and transforms the volunteer from a civilian to a soldier. It is an intentionally challenging and unforgiving system, designed to harden and sharpen the entering class. A new basic training class begins at approximately the four-week mark.

Phase 1

Unofficially known as the Hell Phase, this four-week introductory period breaks down the recruit through a series of impossible tasks and then rebuilds him or her through confidence courses, physical training, and conditioned marches. The recruit is taught unarmed fighting and melee combat. The recruit is also taught protocol (when to salute, the chain of command, proper modes of address), personal attention to uniform and detail, and the history of the Corps. During the first two weeks of Hell Phase, the recruit is not reachable by any individual off-ship in order to increase his or her dependency on fellow recruits.

Phase 2

During the four weeks of Phase Two, the recruit becomes proficient in judging distances, estimating bullet trajectories, and the discharging of all small and heavy arms in the CMC arsenal. Recruits earn three levels of qualification on the service rifle: marksman, sharpshooter, and expert. Those that do not qualify on the rifle do not pass into the next phase.

After becoming personally responsible in Phase 1, Phase 2 stresses teamwork. The recruit learns basic fire team and squad level tactics and practices them in live exercises. There is more conditioned marching, interrupted by close-order drill, and unarmed and melee combat training.

Phase 3

By the time the one-week Phase Three begins, the recruit is now able to independently think, look, and act like a Marine. After a written test and medical physical, the recruit completes his basic training in a final 54-hour final examination called the Crucible. The Crucible tests all of the skills the Marine has learned by rigorous forced marches, sleep deprivation, and supervised malnutrition. To minimize contact with civilians and institute a sense of isolation, the Crucible is conducted on one of the Fleet's cargo ships.

Those that do not pass the Crucible will be remanded to Phase One. Those that pass graduate from recruit basic training continue onto a separate, usually three-week, advanced individual training (AIT).

Advanced Individual Training

AIT teaches the new Marine his or her chosen specialty which determines his or her position in the Corps. This could have previously been any number of things, ranging from intelligence operative to finance technician to tank driver. After the Destruction, however, the training infrastructure is only equipped to specialize recruits in limited roles, which are the following:

Rifleman: Use of the service rifle, grenade launcher (both underbarrel and stand-alone), and squad automatic weapon (machine gun). Additional education in tactics, which qualifies the individual for higher leadership positions. Connects to a fighting position in a squad.
Demolitionman: Use of high explosives. Connects to a fighting position in a squad.
Field communicator: Understanding of the communications net, wireless signal theory, and proper radio protocol. Connects to a fighting position in a squad.
Military policeman: Understanding of the Uniform Code, effective use of non-lethal weaponry, and investigative skills. Connects to a posting in the military police detachment.
Combat medic: Knowledge of emergency intervention medicine. Connects to a posting in the combat medicine detachment.

Marines in AIT become apprentices and combine traditional training and classroom instruction with on-the-job experience. Regardless of specialty, a central dogma of the Corps is that all Marines are riflemen first, so all AIT graduates train for a portion of the time for the rifleman position.

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