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boot camp

This is it, ladies and gents. My recruiter’s driving me off to the hotel tonight, I’m going to MEPS (Military Entry Processing Station) tomorrow for my pre-ship check-up, and then on Tuesday I’m off to Parris Island. Which I have to say, I’m somewhat relieved about. I did a piss-poor job on my IST on Wednesday, but thank gods I’m shipping.

As for the documentary I’d mentioned previously, that didn’t end up happening. Apparently, it was a legit documentary for the Discovery Channel and my recruiter told me it was “reality show status,” meaning that a camera crew would be following me around for my last three days as a civilian. My recruiter told me that he honestly didn’t really want me to do it, because he wanted me to be able to relax and not have to worry about saying something stupid, which was a valid point. Also, after my IST, I just wasn’t feeling up for it, so in the end, I decided not to do it. I think it was the right move to make, considering it would have been awkward for all of the friends I’d hung out with, not to mention my roommate.

And good thing, because I didn’t do anything that interesting. Mostly watched movies with friends and ate food. And worked out.

Last thing! Because I obviously will not have access to the interwebs while I’m at boot camp, I have enlisted the help of my roommate (soon to be former roommate, sadly…) to help keep my blog going. I’m planning on writing her letters, so I figured I’d get her to type of parts of those letters and post them up here. Huge thanks to ndjmom for suggesting the idea!

Anyway, folks, this is it. I’ll see you in three months.

Pretty much, I would make the best boyfriend to any heterosexual woman. At the moment, that woman is my roommate. Now that I’ve quit my job (to have more time to get ready for boot camp, i.e. move my stuff back to my parents’ and such), I have more time to do stuff, like cook dinner! Which is what I did for my roommate and I the other day. And this was the result: sesame crusted salmon (thank you, Vons and your Five-Dollar Fridays), half-steamed, half-boiled broccoli, and onion and bell pepper quinoa. It was pretty tasty, if I can say so myself.

But, exciting news! I went to go do an official IST (just to see where I’m at) and guess what my hang time was? 24.7 seconds. I am so stoked. I started off not being able to even hold myself up there and now I’m almost at the required 25 seconds. Hell to the yes. And apparently, the guys at the RS were talking about how much I’ve improved, which is awesome because one, that means they actually remember me (which, honestly shouldn’t be that surprising, considering I’m probably one of the only Asian females they have) and two, they’re pleased with my progress. I’m pleased, too. No, not please. Try fucking ecstatic.

I do feel like I’ve neglected my running a little though… My run time kind of got slower. Whoops. But I don’t feel too bad, because my run time is still well within the limit and I just really, really, really, needed to get my hang time up.

And I still have five weeks… Five weeks, guys! Holy hell!

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.

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.