The Island Packet (Hilton Head Island, S.C.)
Adding a fourth phase of recruit training?
Moving up the Crucible in the training cycle?
These are the potential changes two news outlets reported Wednesday, but that the Corps hasn’t confirmed.
Task & Purpose first reported on Wednesday, citing “multiple sources,” that the Corps “is considering a plan to add a fourth phase to its recruit training regimen.”
That addition would not extend training beyond its current its current length of 13 weeks — Receiving Week kicks off the cycle, and Marine Week finishes it out — according to Task & Purpose. The purpose of the additional phase is to provide “recruits more time to get comfortable in their newfound identity as Marines.”
Similarly, the Marine Corps Times reported Wednesday that the Crucible — the 54-hour grueling test of teamwork and combat training that is a recruit’s final hurdle — might be moved earlier in training so trainees “can have more time for mentoring before leaving boot camp.”
The would-be fourth phase — to be conducted after the Crucible, after recruits have earned their Eagle, Globe and Anchor pin and the right to be called Marines — could “focus on Marine leadership values, fiscal responsibility, and generally, how to act and behave like a Marine and not like a recruit,” according to Task & Purpose.
The Marine Corps Times cited a statement from the Corps that said: “‘The Marine Corps is considering modifications to the sequencing of some recruit training events; however, it is too early to discuss details at this time.’”
In September 2016 — in the wake of former recruit Raheel Siddiqui’s death and the hazing and abuse investigations and scandal that followed — Parris Island’s commander Brigadier Gen. Austin E. Renforth told a group of would-be series commanders — officers who supervise drill instructors during training — that the training processes at the depot and Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego were being reevaluated with the intent of “mirroring” each other.
“So, really, what we want to see is the product coming out of San Diego should be no different than the product here,” Renforth said. “How we do business in San Diego should be exactly the same as how we do business in Parris Island.”
Renforth said the mirroring process was “long overdue” and said he’d seen “a first cut” of revised materials. The gist of those revisions involved clarification, “getting rid of ambiguous words,” such as “approximately.”
Instead of instructing someone to hike approximately three and a half miles per hour, you just instruct them to hike three and a half miles per hour.
“But we’re not changing how we make Marines,” he said. “We’re not changing that.”
©2017 The Island Packet (Hilton Head, S.C.)