So, guys, I’ve been very confused. About what, you ask? Well, dear friends, for the longest time I couldn’t figure out what exactly the requirements were for the Initial Strength Test (IST). For those of you who don’t know what that is, pretty much, the Marine Corps requires its recruits to meet certain physical requirements — and not just height and weight/body fat standards like the other branches of military. We’re required to run a mile and a half in a certain amount of time, do pull-ups or a flex arm hang depending on gender, and do a certain amount of crunches in two minutes.
I kept seeing different requirements on various websites I checked and the Marines at the recruiting office were telling me a certain thing and I couldn’t understand why what they said was so much different than what I saw online.
Guys. I finally figured it out.
There is a basic requirement to get into boot camp, but the LA recruiting station is pretty much forcing us to do more than the minimum. Which is understandable. I mean, you can’t expect to do well at boot camp if you just managed to scrape by. So even though the Parris Island website says the female requirements are 1.5 miles in 15 minutes, 44 crunches in 2 minutes, and a 12 second flex-arm hang, to make it boot camp in the LA area, we have to be able to do the run, 55 crunches in 2 minutes, and a 25 second flex-arm hang.
I have no idea why that took me so long to figure out, but I’m proud of myself for finally doing it. Two months before I ship out. Good.
It’s official, folks. The public affairs job is mine. Apparently, Staff Sergeant had to call in a lot of favors to get me that job, so I’m super grateful to him. He was all, “Yeah, so you’d better fuckin’ come back and interview me or some shit.” Staff Sergeant, if I ever get the opportunity, hell yeah I will.
But speaking of Staff Sergeant, we got semi-yelled at yesterday before PT. Well, it wasn’t quite yelling… more like a warning. Apparently, one of the Marines who comes and helps us out sometimes said some shit about one of the recruiters to his girlfriend or whatever and so Staff Sergeant pulled a Scar and told him to leave and never come back. Seems harsh, but I don’t know… I kind of thought it was pretty telling of the camaraderie formed when you join the Corps and how that brotherhood can be both a good and a bad thing. On one hand, it’s good to see that other guys have your back, but on the other hand, I feel like I’m going to run into the issue of moral obligation vs. loyalty.
That’s just something I’ll have to deal with when I’m faced with it now, but it’s nice to have these reality checks once in a while. I think sometimes I romanticize the Marine Corps a little and I need the occasional tap on the head to remind me that once I’m in, things are going to be very, very real.
Mental preparation, I guess you could say.
But mostly I’m just stoked I got the job I wanted. Now I just need to work on passing the IST and I’m set, y’all.
Figured it’d be good to write out how my schedule is supposed to go, both for my own reference and for other people’s benefit. Because, y’know… my life totally affects a whole bunch of peeps. /sarcasm
This is all pretty unofficial though, because dates can get moved around and things can get postponed and all that jazz, but it’s just good for me to lay things out.
- Boot Camp: ship out May 7th, lasts 13 weeks (approx. graduation date is August 3rd)
- Leave: 10 days of leave after boot camp
- Marine Combat Training (MCT): Combat training in NC for 29 days
- Defense Information School (DINFOS): MOS school for 6 months
- Duty Station: Get assigned to first duty station. Likely places: Pendleton (CA), Lejeune (NC), or Okinawa, Japan
And that should do it. There’s a chance that my schedule might get thrown off depending on if I graduate on time from boot camp and if I go to DINFOS right away and all that, but all in all, I’m hoping everything will go smoothly and without crazy shit going down. At least not the bad kind of crazy shit. The good kind is always welcome. Makes for good stories. And pictures.
I realize I have a problem. I keep wanting to make blogs and I always feel the need to make a separate blog for every idea that I have, which is completely ridiculous. And yet I’m doing it again. I’m completely hopeless.
But, in my defense, I wanted to make this blog to sort of trace my journey from civilian to U.S. Marine, because that’s the direction I’m headed. In three months, I’m off to Parris Island to get my ass kicked for thirteen weeks and (hopefully), I’ll emerge harder, better, faster, stronger… (sorry, I couldn’t help myself). I also figured a blog would be a good way to keep my friends and family informed about what’s going down, because let’s face it… I suck at corresponding. Which is unfortunate, considering the fact I’m set to become a combat correspondent, but I’ll figure that out.
Anyway, here’s hoping I can actually keep up this blog. Har. Because we all know that I fail at these kinds of things.