Up and Over on Flickr.Rct. Daniel Guarente, Platoon 2069, Hotel Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, weaves through a Confidence Course obstacle July 1, 2014, on Parris Island, S.C. The course is comprised of 15 obstacles designed to help Marine Corps recruits build confidence by overcoming physical challenges. Guarente, 18, from Quincy, Mass., is scheduled to graduate Sept. 5, 2014. Parris Island has been the site of Marine Corps recruit training since Nov. 1, 1915. Today, approximately 20,000 recruits come to Parris Island annually for the chance to become United States Marines by enduring 13 weeks of rigorous, transformative training. Parris Island is home to entry-level enlisted training for 50 percent of males and 100 percent of females in the Marine Corps. (Photo by Cpl. Caitlin Brink)

Up and Over on Flickr.

Rct. Daniel Guarente, Platoon 2069, Hotel Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, weaves through a Confidence Course obstacle July 1, 2014, on Parris Island, S.C. The course is comprised of 15 obstacles designed to help Marine Corps recruits build confidence by overcoming physical challenges. Guarente, 18, from Quincy, Mass., is scheduled to graduate Sept. 5, 2014. Parris Island has been the site of Marine Corps recruit training since Nov. 1, 1915. Today, approximately 20,000 recruits come to Parris Island annually for the chance to become United States Marines by enduring 13 weeks of rigorous, transformative training. Parris Island is home to entry-level enlisted training for 50 percent of males and 100 percent of females in the Marine Corps. (Photo by Cpl. Caitlin Brink)

Water Survival on Flickr.Recruits of Golf Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, prepare to shed their gear underwater during water survival qualification June 9, 2014, on Parris Island, S.C. Recruits have 10 seconds to remove pieces of heavy equipment before resurfacing, a process used to prevent drowning. Golf Company is scheduled to graduate Aug. 8, 2014. Parris Island has been the site of Marine Corps recruit training since Nov. 1, 1915. Today, approximately 20,000 recruits come to Parris Island annually for the chance to become United States Marines by enduring 13 weeks of rigorous, transformative training. Parris Island is home to entry-level enlisted training for 50 percent of males and 100 percent of females in the Marine Corps. (Photo by Cpl. Caitlin Brink)

Water Survival on Flickr.

Recruits of Golf Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, prepare to shed their gear underwater during water survival qualification June 9, 2014, on Parris Island, S.C. Recruits have 10 seconds to remove pieces of heavy equipment before resurfacing, a process used to prevent drowning. Golf Company is scheduled to graduate Aug. 8, 2014. Parris Island has been the site of Marine Corps recruit training since Nov. 1, 1915. Today, approximately 20,000 recruits come to Parris Island annually for the chance to become United States Marines by enduring 13 weeks of rigorous, transformative training. Parris Island is home to entry-level enlisted training for 50 percent of males and 100 percent of females in the Marine Corps. (Photo by Cpl. Caitlin Brink)

Civilan to Marine-Pineda on Flickr.See the #transformation of a young man into a #Marine.

Civilan to Marine-Pineda on Flickr.

See the #transformation of a young man into a #Marine.

I just spoke with a recruiter a few days ago and, as long as I can get my weight in check, I'll be ready by March. My question is: should I start going to a firing range to practice or allow the Corps to teach me their way? I've got no fear of guns and shot a rifle a few times when I was young but I still consider myself new to guns since it's been years! Thank you.

The Marine Corps is going to teach you our way whether you like it or not! Recruits spend about a week learning and practicing the fundamentals of marksmanship before they get handed a single live round. We have marksmanship instructors whose soul function is to ensure recruits know how to shoot, and our instructors are some of the best in the world. You’d be wise to pay attention and let them do their job ;)

Good luck with your weight! Just make sure you’re training smart!

I'm thinking of becoming a marine, I have 2 questions. 1) they're called "the few" does that mean not everyone makes it through boot camp, can you be removed for not qualifying? 2) if you mess up on Paris island, ie. obstacle course or combat training, is that serious or do they just help you correct? I do understand there'll be a lot of yelljg

1. We’re called “The Few.” because only 1/3 of all Americans are even eligible to enlist. Of those who do enlist, they go through the nation’s toughest boot camp, so yes, you can be sent home for failing to complete a required portion of boot camp. 

2. It really depends on what you mess up. If you can’t qualify with the rifle, you can’t be a Marine. If you can’t qualify in the pool, you can’t be a Marine. However, you get plenty of instruction and assistance along the way, and our drill instructors are great at motivating their recruits, even when the recruits have given up on themselves.

Hope this helps!

Pickup on Flickr.Drill instructor Sgt. Abraham Miller waits with Platoon 1056, Delta Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, moments before the recruits meet their new drill instructors June 7, 2014, on Parris Island, S.C. Miller, from Trenton, N.J., supervised the platoon for several days before handing them over to the team of DIs responsible for the rest of their training. Delta Company is scheduled to graduate Aug. 29, 2014. Parris Island has been the site of Marine Corps recruit training since Nov. 1, 1915. Today, approximately 20,000 recruits come to Parris Island annually for the chance to become United States Marines by enduring 13 weeks of rigorous, transformative training. Parris Island is home to entry-level enlisted training for 50 percent of males and 100 percent of females in the Marine Corps. (Photo by Cpl. Octavia Davis)

Pickup on Flickr.

Drill instructor Sgt. Abraham Miller waits with Platoon 1056, Delta Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, moments before the recruits meet their new drill instructors June 7, 2014, on Parris Island, S.C. Miller, from Trenton, N.J., supervised the platoon for several days before handing them over to the team of DIs responsible for the rest of their training. Delta Company is scheduled to graduate Aug. 29, 2014. Parris Island has been the site of Marine Corps recruit training since Nov. 1, 1915. Today, approximately 20,000 recruits come to Parris Island annually for the chance to become United States Marines by enduring 13 weeks of rigorous, transformative training. Parris Island is home to entry-level enlisted training for 50 percent of males and 100 percent of females in the Marine Corps. (Photo by Cpl. Octavia Davis)

PUSH!!! on Flickr.Sgt. Victor Sierra, a drill instructor with Platoon 3050, encourages Rct. John Taylor, Platoon 3050, Kilo Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, to complete a set of pushups during a physical training session June 11, 2014, on Parris Island, S.C. Physical training sessions like this help recruits like Taylor, 18, from Canton, Ohio, prepare for physical fitness and combat fitness tests, which they must pass to graduate. Sierra, 23, is from Covina, Calif. Kilo Company is scheduled to graduate July 11, 2014. Parris Island has been the site of Marine Corps recruit training since Nov. 1, 1915. Today, approximately 20,000 recruits come to Parris Island annually for the chance to become United States Marines by enduring 13 weeks of rigorous, transformative training. Parris Island is home to entry-level enlisted training for 50 percent of males and 100 percent of females in the Marine Corps. (Photo by Cpl. Caitlin Brink)

PUSH!!! on Flickr.

Sgt. Victor Sierra, a drill instructor with Platoon 3050, encourages Rct. John Taylor, Platoon 3050, Kilo Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, to complete a set of pushups during a physical training session June 11, 2014, on Parris Island, S.C. Physical training sessions like this help recruits like Taylor, 18, from Canton, Ohio, prepare for physical fitness and combat fitness tests, which they must pass to graduate. Sierra, 23, is from Covina, Calif. Kilo Company is scheduled to graduate July 11, 2014. Parris Island has been the site of Marine Corps recruit training since Nov. 1, 1915. Today, approximately 20,000 recruits come to Parris Island annually for the chance to become United States Marines by enduring 13 weeks of rigorous, transformative training. Parris Island is home to entry-level enlisted training for 50 percent of males and 100 percent of females in the Marine Corps. (Photo by Cpl. Caitlin Brink)

Over the Wall! on Flickr.Staff Sgt. Christian Barroso, a drill instructor for Platoon 1042, Bravo Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, motivates Rct. Mark Wilson, Platoon 1041, as he struggles to heave himself over a wall May 14, 2014, on Parris Island, S.C. Recruits attempt the obstacle course at least four times during training to improve their strength and stamina. Developing overall physical strength is paramount in boot camp, for recruits will be expected to uphold high fitness standards as Marines. Barroso, 28, is from Brooklyn, N.Y. Wilson is a 19-year-old from Boca Raton, Fla., and is scheduled to graduate June 20, 2014. Parris Island has been the site of Marine Corps recruit training since Nov. 1, 1915. Today, approximately 20,000 recruits come to Parris Island annually for the chance to become United States Marines by enduring 13 weeks of rigorous, transformative training. Parris Island is home to entry-level enlisted training for 50 percent of males and 100 percent of females in the Marine Corps. (Photo by Cpl. Octavia Davis)

Over the Wall! on Flickr.

Staff Sgt. Christian Barroso, a drill instructor for Platoon 1042, Bravo Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, motivates Rct. Mark Wilson, Platoon 1041, as he struggles to heave himself over a wall May 14, 2014, on Parris Island, S.C. Recruits attempt the obstacle course at least four times during training to improve their strength and stamina. Developing overall physical strength is paramount in boot camp, for recruits will be expected to uphold high fitness standards as Marines. Barroso, 28, is from Brooklyn, N.Y. Wilson is a 19-year-old from Boca Raton, Fla., and is scheduled to graduate June 20, 2014. Parris Island has been the site of Marine Corps recruit training since Nov. 1, 1915. Today, approximately 20,000 recruits come to Parris Island annually for the chance to become United States Marines by enduring 13 weeks of rigorous, transformative training. Parris Island is home to entry-level enlisted training for 50 percent of males and 100 percent of females in the Marine Corps. (Photo by Cpl. Octavia Davis)

Rifle Fundamentals on Flickr.Sgt. Carl Clegg Jr., a primary marksmanship instructor, speaks to the recruits of Platoon 1044, Bravo Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, about rifle marksmanship May 8, 2014, on Parris Island, S.C. Before shooting live ammunition, recruits spend an entire week, known as Grass Week, with a marksmanship instructor who teaches them the basic, but necessary, skills they will need to fire a weapon accurately. Clegg, 29, is from Whitmire, S.C. Bravo Company is scheduled to graduate June 20, 2014. Parris Island has been the site of Marine Corps recruit training since Nov. 1, 1915. Today, approximately 20,000 recruits come to Parris Island annually for the chance to become United States Marines by enduring 13 weeks of rigorous, transformative training. Parris Island is home to entry-level enlisted training for 50 percent of males and 100 percent of females in the Marine Corps. (Photo by Cpl. Octavia Davis)

Rifle Fundamentals on Flickr.

Sgt. Carl Clegg Jr., a primary marksmanship instructor, speaks to the recruits of Platoon 1044, Bravo Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, about rifle marksmanship May 8, 2014, on Parris Island, S.C. Before shooting live ammunition, recruits spend an entire week, known as Grass Week, with a marksmanship instructor who teaches them the basic, but necessary, skills they will need to fire a weapon accurately. Clegg, 29, is from Whitmire, S.C. Bravo Company is scheduled to graduate June 20, 2014. Parris Island has been the site of Marine Corps recruit training since Nov. 1, 1915. Today, approximately 20,000 recruits come to Parris Island annually for the chance to become United States Marines by enduring 13 weeks of rigorous, transformative training. Parris Island is home to entry-level enlisted training for 50 percent of males and 100 percent of females in the Marine Corps. (Photo by Cpl. Octavia Davis)

I know that during recruit training, every potential Marine must pass a swimming qualification. My question is, if a recruit is not that good at swimming coming into boot camp, what do the Drill Instructors do to improve their ability and what steps do they take to make sure that a recruit can pass the test?

Great question! The Marine Corps has dedicated swimming instructors, so if you aren’t very comfortable in the pool, don’t worry! Our instructors will teach you how to survive in the water.