Marines march across the parade deck during a graduation ceremony at Marine Corps Recruit Depot

Here’s What Happens after Marine Boot Camp

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.

Related ArticleMarine Corps Boot Camp Graduation Gift Ideas

What Happens Immediately After Marine Boot Camp?

Transitioning from Civilian to Marine is what happens 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.

Remember, 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 Check-In

Please note that scheduled graduation events may differ depending on whether you attend boot camp at Parris Island, SC, or San Diego, CA.

Parris Island Recruit Depot

At Parris Island, Marine boot camp graduation starts on Wednesday, when family members can check in at the visitor’s center any time between 7:30 am and 4 pm.

They can attend “Marine Corps 101” and take a tour of the facilities. A family orientation briefing follows.

During the family orientation, the family learns what to expect after graduation and what resources are available to Marines and family members. 

San Diego Recruit Depot

At San Diego Recruit Depot, graduation begins on Wednesday evening with a Family Meet & Greet dinner. During this event, they’ll meet their recruit’s drill instructor as well as other families new to the Marine Corps life.

Thursday: Family Day

Thursday is Family Day at both facilities, although the order of events may differ. 

Parris Island Recruit Depot

On Thursday, Parris Island recruits hold a motivational run at 7 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 ends no later than 3:00 pm. Afterward, the new Marines prepare for the following day’s graduation. 

At 4 pm, the Depot Commander hosts a meet and greet for the recruit’s friends and family members. 

San Diego Recruit Depot

At the San Diego Depot, the family welcome orientation is held at 8:30 am and the Motivational Run at 9:30.

The Marine Corps 101 family orientation takes place on Thursday at 10:15, when family members learn more about Marine Corps resources. 

The company commander’s brief and liberty formation is held at 11:00 am. Recruits are then released to enjoy base liberty with their friends and family members. 

At San Diego Depot, liberty runs till 5 pm in the winter and 6 pm in the summer. The new Marines and their guests are free all day to enjoy the base facilities for some well-deserved R&R. 

Friday: Graduation Day

The schedule at each depot is only slightly different on Graduation Day.

Parris Island Recruit Depot

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.

Liberty for recruits begins at 10 am and ends at 4 pm.

San Diego Recruit Depot

Graduation Day begins slightly earlier at San Diego Depot. The gate for visitors opens at 6:30 am for registration.

The Color’s Ceremony begins promptly at 7:30 and lasts about an hour.

Graduation seating begins at 8:30 am and the graduation ceremony begins at 10 am. It lasts approximately 1.5 hours. 

At both facilities, new Marines may take up to 10 days of leave before attending School of Infantry training.

What is the School of Infantry (SOI)?

After 10 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.

Marines destined for an Infantry MOS are assigned to the Infantry Training Battalion (ITB), and those in non-infantry occupations are assigned to the Marine Combat Training (MCT) Battalion.

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 ArticleMarine Infantry MOS Guide

What is Infantry Training Battalion (ITB)?

Marines attend the School of Infantry as part of what happens after marine boot camp

Marines with an Infantry MOS are assigned to the Infantry Training Battalion (ITB). ITB trains Marines as riflemen (0311), antitank missilemen (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 their infantry-related 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 are assigned to 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 marksmanship, patrolling combat formation, warfare basics, 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 ArticleMarine 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 10 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.


See Also

Marine Corps Bonus List 

Benefits of joining the Marine Corps

Marine Ranks and Pay

List of Marine Corps Bases in the US

Levi D.
Latest posts by Levi D. (see all)
After Marine Boot Camp

After Marine Boot Camp

4.9 out of 5 (77 Ratings)

After Marine boot camp, Marines will head to either Marine School of Infantry (SOI), Infantry Training Battalion (ITB), or Marine Combat Training (MCT).
Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you click and purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products I have personally vetted. Learn more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *