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A Marine Remembers Boot Camp: Taking It One Day At A Time

Posted By: Carl Andrews 07-07-11


(Based on conversations with LCpl Andrews about her time as a Marine recruit at boot camp on Parris Island. I will try and recall our conversations as accurately as possible, but I may make a mistake along the way. I'm not going to relate each and every detail, just the parts the two of us felt would be the most interesting. The parts in italics are mine. The rest will be her words, again, to the best of my memory.)

In a previous article, PFC Holly mentioned how when she first arrived at Parris Island, she was going to take boot camp one day at a time. Here she expands upon that a bit.

So as part of our training at boot camp we went through what is called Basic Warrior Training. And as part of this we had to do what is called the Combat Endurance Course. I forget how many obstacles we had to overcome on this monster, I just know I was glad when I was done. Then of course we faced it again as part of the Crucible. Anyway, I'm getting ahead of my story.

We are on our way over to this beast, and one of the recruits in my platoon says "Only (this many, I forget) days until we're Marines." And my response was "How about we just focus on the task at hand, let's just concentrate on getting through today." Another recruit told me that I was being pretty rude. I replied "Excuse the hell out of me for taking things one day at a time, but again I think we should focus on what's facing us right now, because if we don't accomplish what we need to, counting how many days we have left will be pointless."

Sure enough, when we were going through the CRC, one girl went down, It turns out she had developed some sort of respiratory infection, she didn't get dropped but she did wind up getting put on light duty for a few days.

Things like that were why I had the one day at a time mindset. I wasn't too worried about getting sick, but I always kept in mind the possibility that at any time I could get injured and sent to Rehab platoon, which would be bad enough, having to finish boot camp with another platoon.Or have something happen severe enough that I would be sent home. So if anyone asks you what my advice is, I'd say to take things day by day, one step at a time.

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