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Marine Basic Training

Discussion in 'Military Training, Doctrine, and Planning' started by WWIIGUY, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. WWIIGUY

    WWIIGUY Member

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    Howdy, just wondering if anyone can write, in explicit detail, what the basic training of a marine would be. Not sure if it differed between the ones bound for Europe and the ones going to the Pacific Theatre, but if it does, please write for the Pacific. Thank ya'll. :salute:
     
  2. Mark4

    Mark4 Ace

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  3. obxgyrene

    obxgyrene Member

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    The Marines of World War II were trained primarily at two places: Parris Island, SC, and; San Diego, CA. As the Marine Corps was not integrated, there was also a location to train blacks at Monford Point, NC.

    Training then was much different than the Marine Corps of today. In some ways, it was more brutal. However, keep in mind that the brutality was used as a vehicle to teach the "boots" lessons in doing things the correct way (the Marine way). Here's a clip of an example of the consequences of shaving improperly:

    YouTube - MCRD Parris Island, SC Inspection, 1940's

    Much less time was devoted to academics during WW-II than in the Marine Corps of today. The "boots" were also under the direct supervision of combat veterans who had returned from the Pacific. There was little involvement or interference from the officers, so the drill instructors could pretty much deal out punishment as they deemed appropriate. Not so in today's Marine Corps.

    In addition, due to the large influx of recruits, many boots were billeted in tents rather than barracks. Here's a clip from the era showing these tents and some Quonset huts. Also note the firing going on at the rifle range and that the boots are all wearing pith helmets.

    YouTube - Parris Island Rifle Range, 1943

    I hope this helps. If not, let me know and I'll do the best I can to answer your specific questions.
     
  4. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

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    The Basic Training of the 1940s was exactly that, 'basic'. Then it was a six week course to convert the recruit to military discipline & teach him the bare essentials needed for the real training that came after.

    Once finished with Basic the recruits were sent to either specialty schools, or in some cases to replacement companies. Most went to some sort of specialty training. A few more weeks of infantry schooling, aviation mechanic, motor transport, whatever. The top few in each class might be selected for more advanced training, if there was a need seen. Otherwise the Marine went to a replacement company or directly to a unit. The serious training came in the unit. No one expected the privates or PFC just out of the lowest level specialty school to know much, so the squad leaders & section chiefs started in on the hard grind that would bring them up to a really proficient level. In not all cases was this possible. Sometimes circumstances prevented decent training in the unit before combat. More often the companies & battalions had weeks or months to conduct small unit training before the next battle.

    The bottom line is the few weeks of USMC boot camp instilled some relatively harsh discipline into the recruits, but it was not the training that made them skilled infantry. That came later in the sequence, mostly in the actual rifle company & battalions training.
     
  5. WWIIGUY

    WWIIGUY Member

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    Thanks people, but what I'm really looking for is what marines went through on a daily basis, how they trained, ect.
     
  6. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    There are a couple of movies you should watch:

    1. "Battle Cry"
    2. "The DI" starring Jack Webb
    3. "Gung Ho" excellent scenes of MCRD San Diego in 1943
    4. "To the Shores of Tripoli"

    Books:

    1. "Battle Cry"- Leon Uris
    2. "With the Old Breed" - Eugene Sledge
     
  7. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    formerjughead likes this.
  8. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    Good find!!....for some reason that site rolled out of my favorite places.
     
    Takao likes this.

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