Women In The Marine Corps

Women In The USMC

I spent 6 years in the United States Marine Corps and have to say it was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had.  When I first told my parents about my decision they had mixed feelings, my father seemed happy but my mother had reservations.

I should say, perhaps some of that came from my mother being ex-Navy (Jarheads and Squids traditionally have friendly rivalry). I also think my mother thought the Marine Corps was too tough for a female to deal with. 

The thing about my decision was really that I wanted to do something that not many tried to do, something that was more difficult…..something that would challenge me.  When people found out that I was heading to boot-camp, I think many had an idea that I would fail and be home soon. I wish I had been told about what to expect, a guide or book telling me about all the things I was soon to discover.

People would say things like, “You won’t get through training,” or “Maybe you should look at the Air Force,” or “What about college?”  All in subtle ways to tell me they thought maybe I just couldn’t make it as a Marine.

Well this is the truth; I was worried about my fitness.  I was worried that I couldn’t run, or couldn’t handle the physical fitness.  I was worried that I was simply not strong enough….I was worried that, even I had spent weeks preparing, I was still not in good shape. I went online to look for information before going, but it seemed limited about details of the boot camp, training and more.

These are the facts.  You are never fit enough to think you can go to USMC boot-camp and get through training solely on what you have done to that point.  So then you think what must you do to get fit enough?

The biggest problem for women is that traditionally we have been told not to extend ourselves to the extreme physical workouts.  Not to lift weights.  Not to take martial arts. Not go overboard in the gym…..in other words, not to train like men!

The problem with that is when you go to boot camp; there is no escape from the physical training.  If you think you will be let off the hook simply because you are female….DON’T GO IN THE MARINES!!!!

This is no bullshit…..you will Suffer!  You will want to CRY!  You will want to hide away and try to slip off to medical.  And do you know what will happen if you give the Drill Instructor a passing thought that you might be weak?  That you might be unable to make the grade?  They will break you.  Break your spirit.  You cannot let them!

I am not saying the DI’s are monsters…..it is their job to get rid of those who come and are not the best candidates for the Marines.  They are there to weed out the people who cannot qualify.  Not everyone who goes to boot-camp will succeed.  Some women fall out because they cannot adjust to the living situation, cannot adjust to being told what to do and when; cannot take direction; cannot advance through training.  Some get sent back to do more training with another platoon; some are released from the military.  If you fail the final fitness test chances are you will be let go. 

Still it isn’t just the fitness test; there are many other aspects of USMC boot camp that you need to be aware of.  The inside tips and advice about what to expect in Marine Boot Camp, the USMC way of doing things, the words to know and how NOT to react to the pressure.  Wouldn’t it be nice if you could be prepared? To know about all the different experience you will face?  What you will really face in USMC Boot Camp?

Before I went to boot-camp I could run 3 miles under 30 minutes, could do 65 sit-ups in one minute, could do 20 chin-ups and could do the bar hang for 3 minutes….which wasn’t that good.   I thought it was good enough.  I got my butt kicked……I was exhausted after the first day of physical training.  I spent extra time, when we have a free moment, doing more chins and hangs, more sit-ups and trying to make myself stronger.  I remember wishing that I had spent some time lifting weights, or doing something more productive to get ready for boot-camp.  I remember wishing someone had told me how things really were and what to really expect, but they didn’t.

If you are thinking to join the USMC, trust me, don’t let people bullshit you and say it is easy…..it isn’t!   Get in shape, follow a plan, and eat properly.  

You will have very little sleep your first week or two, your body will be going through changes and adjusting to a new place and you will have many moments of total stress……add to that the fact that you will struggle with the physical side of things….and you will overload yourself with stress.  If you could eliminate one aspect of that adjusting to make your transition a little easier wouldn’t you do it? 

USMC fitness tests are the most difficult physical tests in all of the military, you can ask anyone that…..it is common knowledge.  It is common knowledge that the Marine Corps doesn’t take just anyone, you have to earn your place….you have to earn the right to be called a Marine…..you have to do your time and carry your load…..so if you are a woman, thinking to go into the Marine Corps…..if you don’t want succeed, don’t want the honor of being called a Marine….then keep doing what you are doing….it makes no difference…..the Marine Corps only wants the best.

If you are a woman, wanting to be a Marine…then do something better, get yourself off the sofa and train….push yourself….become what you want…..Semper Fidelis!

 Copyright @ McGibbon 2009                                      http://www.monkeyspeaks.com/USMC.html