What Does a Marine Boot Camp Ceremony Look Like?


In San Diego at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot you start off by going through the gate and they have people direct you through to go to a station where they  have to search your car. You have to empty everything out of your pockets so that you can walk through a metal detector. Once you are all cleared you are okay to go anywhere you’d like on the base.


The Marine base offers a “family day” for families to see their recruits the day before graduation. The family day starts off with you going to the amphitheater to get some quick background info. They teach you how to talk like a marine and yell “Oorah!” when you are excited. They have breakfast you can buy for a couple dollars out front with coffee. They also offer some shirts, sweatshirts and other apparel; they have shirts that say “Marine’s dad,” and “Proud sister of a Marine.” 


After you get instructions in the amphitheater you go to the Parade Deck, (Remember you can not walk on the parade deck! WALK AROUND!) where you sit on the bleachers and wait to see your recruit run by in a fun run! They all run in order and as a platoon. They have a couple platoons graduating together, so make sure you know the number of the platoon that your recruiter is in so you can see them run by. They will run a couple of times, weaving in and out of the parade deck,(they can walk on it, you can not, so again do not walk on it! The drill instructors will yell at you.) 


After the Fun Run, you once again go back to the amphitheater while your recruit is showering and getting into uniform. You and your family will learn about your recruit’s schooling plan for the next 4 years. Once your recruits are done showering, they will all line up outside by platoon and will be released to you where you can finally talk and hug after that long 13 weeks of them being in bootcamp. 


The San Diego base has many things you can choose to do while you are on base. Your recruit is NOT allowed to leave base. There is a Domino’s pizza that you can order from. They have three food tents that you can choose from. And they also have a cafe restaurant where they serve pastries and other dishes. They have a mini market where you can get snacks and other essentials. There is a museum where you can see earlier war items. And there are two shops with MANY Marine apparel options You can be with your recruit for quite a few hours. Unfortunately you can not bring home your recruit yet.


The next day on graduation you have to go through the same security procedures. They like you to be in your seats by 9 am. You make your way from the entrance to the parade deck bleachers where you sit and wait for your new Marines to march in as a platoon. They all march in together and they stand in order until further instruction. They honor the veterans and the marching band plays some music while marching some more. The drill instructors have some orders from their instructor. Then they officially claim your recruit to be a new Marine! Your new Marine gets released to finally go home with you for 10 days!