How To Prepare


Those who aspire to become Marines must first pass the Initial Strength Test (IST), and all Marines are required to pass an annual Physical Fitness Test (PFT) and Combat Fitness Test (CFT). This information will help you prepare for all three.

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How To Prepare

Recruit Training

12 Weeks

This is the ultimate proving ground for those who are driven by purpose, guided by values and aspire to earn the title reserved only for the Few.

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Recruit Training


Endure the training. Witness the transformation.

Those who desire our title must first endure our training, and undergo an everlasting change that is external, internal and undeniable. The transformation will not happen overnight, but will last a lifetime.

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A finish line. And a starting point.

For twelve arduous weeks you are known and treated as a recruit. It is only after every demand has been met that a senior drill instructor will stand eye to eye and address you, and your platoon, as a Marine. 

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A Bold Step Forward

Meeting with a Recruiter

There is no better way to get a clear picture of life in the Marine Corps than with a knee-cap to knee-cap conversation with a recruiter who's served.

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A Bold Step Forward



Becoming an Enlisted Marine requires the ability to meet the highest standards of moral, mental and physical strength.

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There is a distinct pride that comes with becoming, and being, an officer of Marines.

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Ready to supplement the active-duty forces when needed, the Marine Corps Reserve is critical to the Marine Corps' ability to provide a balanced, prepared force.

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    U.S., Tunisia Work to Improve Counter Terrorism Operation - News

    U.S. Marines with Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa, trained their counterparts with Tunisia's Groupement des Forces in vehicle maintenance and convoy operations, making this the first training engagement between the two military units.

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    Robotics Help Explosive-Handling Marines Reduce Risk - News

    The new Remote Fuse Disassembly System was introduced for the first time to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Marines with 9th Engineer Support Battalion during a five-day course at Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan April 4-8.

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    Blood, Boxing, Corps: Father, Son Bound by More than Family - News

    For Teddy Randolph Sr. and his son Teddy Randolph Jr., bloodlines are not the only thing that binds them together. Both men are also bound by the title 'Marine' and the love they share for boxing. 

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    Embassy Reinforcement: Crisis Response Marines Sharpen Skills in Portugal - News

    The U.S. Marines kept their weapons trained on the suspect as they closed in on him in the parking lot of the embassy. One Marine cautiously approached the man to search him for weapons while the other Marines in the unit kept their weapons up, ready to engage the intruder and protect embassy personnel.

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    Why the Marines? The Pride, Skill and Challenge - News

    Winston Churchill said, "I am convinced there is no smarter, handier or more adaptable body of troops in the world [than the United States Marines]. Always spick and span, ready at an instant's notice for duty. The nation owes them a great debt."

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    Passions Followed, Music Made in the Marine Corps - News

    A dedicated musician is a driven artist; most look for the opportunity to perform under bright lights on stage in front of large crowds for the rest of their lives. Every steadfast musician, no matter the instrument, waits for the day when they can say the countless hours of practice, the performances big and small, the blisters and callouses formed on their hands, and the dedication it took to put their music above anything else finally paid off.

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    Former Marine Astronaut Leading Flight Plans For NASA's Mission - News

    Though a great and many challenges tried his determination, Charles "Charlie" Bolden, the 12th and current Administrator of NASA, rose among the few and proud to become one of the most successful Marines in modern history.

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    Marines Bring Fight in Close - News

    Marines of Company A, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, honed their skills in a close quarter battle team trainer at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, March 8, 2016.

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    New Marine Joins Marine Corps to Help Others in Need - News

    Private First Class Armando Sajbin, Echo Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, realized that joining the Marine Corps would provide him an opportunity to make a difference in dangerous places around the world.

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    Marine Veteran Finds Second Act in Classroom - News

    Ask Sequoia Aldridge what prompted her to join the Marine Corps, she'll quickly tell you that as a high school senior in 1984, unsure of where she was going, it was the recruiter. Introduced by a friend, she says the sharp and decisive nature of the recruiter was what convinced her that becoming a Marine would be the right choice.

  • Breaking and Entering Combat engineers with II Marine Expeditionary Force blast their way through Camp Lejeune's urban breaching ranges

    Fire Away Marines with Combined Arms Company, Black Sea Rotational Force, fire downrange in an M1A1 Abrams tank for the tank live-fire exercise during Platinum Lion 16-3 at the Novo Selo Training Area, Bulgaria, May 12. (Photo by Cpl. Immanuel Johnson/Released)

    Give us 20 seconds, and we'll give you all the motivation you need for the week ahead. This week Marines from 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit get some trigger time.

    Casualty Evacuation Marines move a simulated casualty onto a landing zone outside of Robertson Barracks, Northern Territory, Australia, May 20, 2016. Marines with Marine Rotational Force - Darwin simulated causality evacuations with a UH-1Y Venom helicopter. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Mandaline Hatch/Released)

    One Minute of Hell (U.S. Marine Corps video by Sgt. John C. Lamb)

    Snake Attack A UH-1Y Venom helicopter hovers above a landing zone outside of Robertson Barracks, Northern Territory, Australia, on May 20, 2016. Marines with Marine Rotational Force - Darwin simulated causality evacuations with a UH-1Y Venom helicopter. MRF-D is a six-month deployment of Marines into Darwin, Australia, training in a new environment. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Carlos Cruz/Released)

    This week, 2nd Lt. Virginia Brodie and 2nd Lt. Katherine Boy didn't just become the first-ever female Marines to graduate the U.S. Army Field Artillery Basic Officers Leaders Course — they did so with honors. Ooh-rah, Marines. Brodie placed top of the class as distinguished honor graduate, and Boy finished sixth out of 137 students. They, along with 17 other Marine graduates, must now complete Marine-specific training to earn the 0802, field artillery officer MOS. Read More: (U.S. Marine Corps video by Cpl. Thor Larson)

    You voted and this week's top shot comes from Sgt. James R. Skelton at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He captured this photo of a Marine running to cover during a field training exercise at the Military Police Basic Course.

    Sea Air Space is an annual event where military officials discuss and develop balanced, lasting solutions for national security issues. This week at Sea Air Space 2016, Marine Corps officials brought to light current issues the Corps is facing. Watch More:

    The week's best photos from around the Corps. Help select the "Corps Top Shot" by liking, commenting on or sharing your favorite image. The image with the most combined hits by the end of the day will be crowned as our photo of the week.

    MCAS Miramar and 3rd MAW CBRN Marines suit up for training to respond to the most dangerous situations.

    Round Released Special Purpose MAGTF - CR - CC Marines and sailors train, enable and increase our partner nations' security forces and militaries to strengthen our vital relationships in the region.

    No valley low enough, no mountain high enough. 7th Engineer Support Battalion breaks through obstacles to accomplish their mission. Watch full video at:

    Combat engineers with I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF) prove that no obstacle can get in their way.

    THE DESCENT Marines assigned to Maritime Raid Force 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit conduct jump and recovery training near White Beach, Okinawa, Japan, May 5. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Cpl. Darien J. Bjorndal/ Released)

    City Jump Recon Marines with III MEF Marines prepare for a night jump at Yokota Airbase, Japan. (U.S. Marine Corps photo IIIMEF /Released)

    Give us 20 seconds, and we'll give you all the motivation you need for the week ahead. This week, Marines practice their marksmanship skills in Darwin, Australia.

    This week's headlines include Expeditionary Energy Concepts 2016 in Camp Pendleton, California, the Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida, and preperation for Fleet Week New York. Full Video:

    U.S. Reconnaissance Marines enjoy our beautiful Kaneohe Bay during a Reconnaissance Team Leader's Course conducted aboard the base.

    Provide Security Marines from across I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF) post security during fast rope inserts May 9. Marines and Royal British Commandos practiced these techniques on a rappel tower prior to fast roping out of helicopters hovering nearly 40 feet off the ground. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jonathan Boynes/Released)

    "Marines, all that you achieve comes from your hard work. Nothing is given. Always protect what you’ve earned." — Gen. Robert Neller, Commandant of the Marine Corps

    You voted and this week's top shot comes from Lance Cpl. Brandon Maldonado at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. He captured this photo of an MV-22B Osprey during a casualty evacuation drill taking place as part of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit's exercise.

    ROAD WARRIOR U.S. Marines with the Maritime Raid Force, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit fly in a U.S. Marine Corps UH-1Y Huey helicopter during a vehicle interdiction exercise at the Jungle Warfare Training Center, Okinawa, Japan, on April 22, 2016. The team of Marines are able to stop enemy vehicles and secure them quickly with the assistance of helicopters and military working dogs. (U.S. Marine Corps video by Lance Cpl. Jorge A. Rosales/ Released)

    Helicopters, K-9s, and Firepower. Recon Marines with the 31st MEU know how to stop an enemy vehicle.

    Settling Down An AV-8B Harrier II with 22 MEU, lands on the flight deck of the USS WASP LHD 1 during the MEU's onload for composite training unit exercise May 8. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Ryan G. Coleman/Released)

    The week's best photos from around the Corps. Help select the "Corps Top Shot" by liking, commenting on or sharing your favorite image. The image with the most combined hits by the end of the day will be crowned as our photo of the week.

    Intense, Grueling, Rewarding: Earning the Red Tab