Graduating from Marine boot camp is a monumental event, and many new Marines wonder what happens after Marine boot camp.
The end of boot camp is the beginning of a career as a Marine.
However, before getting to the first duty station, there are a few more events and training to consider.
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What Happens Immediately After Marine Boot Camp?
Immediately after Marine boot camp is boot camp graduation followed by multi-day events where new Marines can visit with family.
Marine boot camp graduation begins on Wednesday, so visiting family is encouraged to arrive the night before.
Also, there are usually long lines at the gate, so it is vital to remind guests to arrive early for each day of events.
Wednesday: Family Orientation
On Wednesday, there is a family orientation event beginning at 10:00 am.
During the family orientation, the family learns what to expect after graduation and what resources are available to Marines and family members.
In the afternoon, there is a meeting with visitors to explain the weekend’s events.
During this day, the Marine Corps Exchange and the food court are open, as is the engraving shop.
Visitors need to sign up for tickets for seating at the Douglas Visitors Center and a tour.
The tour shows guests behinds the scenes on the base.
Thursday: Family Liberty
On Thursday, visitors arrive early at the visitor center, and the traditional Motivational Run occurs at 7:00 am.
The Motivational Run is 2.7 miles long and the Marines run in formation, all while calling cadence. Also, they ring their battalion bell to signify the end of their time in training.
After the Motivational Run, there is a Liberty ceremony. This ceremony happens just before the new Marines are released for the rest of the day for on-base liberty.
It is an opportunity to welcome families and dismiss the Marines so they may spend time on-base with family.
Liberty begins at 10:00 am, and it ends no later than 3:00 pm and is followed by a meet and greet with base command. However, new Marines do not attend the meet and greet because they prepare for the following day’s graduation.
Friday: Graduation Day
The visitor center opens early, and those attending the graduation must register.
At 7:45 am there is the Morning Colors ceremony to begin the day.
The graduation ceremony begins at 9:00 am and lasts about an hour where the Marines march in formation across the Peatross Parade Deck.
The day after graduation, a new Marine may take their ten days of leave before School of Infantry training.
What is the School of Infantry (SOI)?
After ten days of leave, Marines report to the School of Infantry because every Marine is considered a rifleman.
While all Marines must have the same basic training level in the infantry, there are two different school versions.
Some Marines attend the Infantry Training Battalion (ITB), and others attend the Marine Combat Training (MCT).
The School of Infantry (SOI) has two locations.
SOI east is Camp Geiger in North Carolina, while SOI west is attached to Camp Pendleton in California.
Related Article – Marine Infantry MOS Guide
What is Infantry Training Battalion (ITB)?
Marines with an Infantry MOS attend the Infantry Training Battalion (ITB). ITB trains Marines as riflemen (0311), antitank missileman (0352), assaultmen (0351), machine gunners (0331), and mortarmen (0341).
The course is 59 days long, and the beginning of training is the same for all Marines regardless of MOS.
However, after a while, the Marines in training split off to learn skills related to their individual infantry-specific MOS.
For instance, a person with a mortarmen MOS has different training than a machine gunner.
What is Marine Combat Training (MCT)?
Since all Marines need the same basic infantry training level no matter their MOS, Marines without an infantry MOS attend the Marine Combat Training Battalion (MCT).
This training still falls under the School of Infantry, however.
The training is 29 days in length, and Marines learn combat skills before going to job-related technical training.
Combat skills include weapons training, convoys, warfare basics, explosives, and basic navigation.
What Happens After Marine School of Infantry (SOI)?
If you are an Infantry Marine, you receive your assignment to your first Permanent Duty Station (PDS).
If you do not have an infantry MOS, you continue to additional schooling.
For instance, if your MOS is in Aviation, you fall under the Marine Aviation Training Support Group.
This MOS training occurs in either Mississippi or Florida, depending on your area of aviation.
On the other hand, for those looking at Legal Services Specialist (MOS 4421), the school is in Newport, Rhode Island.
The length of your school depends on the nature of your job. Also, some careers in the Marines include other schools beyond MOS training, although most careers have on-the-job training instead.
Related Article – Marine Aviation Operations Specialist (MOS 7041): Career Details
What Happens After MOS School?
At this point, all Marines done with their MOS-specific training receive their Permanent Duty Station orders.
Marine Permanent Duty Stations are located worldwide, and you might receive orders for any one of them.
When you arrive at your first PDS, it is vital to explore the base and attend the briefings that welcome Marines and families.
Also, you want to register for your benefits and meet with your advisor and access any other resources that will help you transition.
Deployment schedules in the Marines depend on the mission and the military’s needs.
Deployment types include training, support, humanitarian missions, and military force readiness.
All recruits attend the initial training, and many question what happens after Marine boot camp.
After boot camp, there is a graduation ceremony open to visitors.
There are a couple of days leading up to the graduation ceremony where new Marines have the opportunity to spend time with their family.
Once graduation is over, Marines may take ten days of leave with one travel day.
After leave, Marines attend the School of Infantry.
Some Marines receive their MOS-related infantry training through ITB at this point of training, while others go through MCT.
After combat training, Marines go to school to learn how to do their specific jobs.
Lastly, Marines receive their orders to their first duty station.