Tips for Preparing Your Son or Daughter for Boot camp

Is your son or daughter contemplating a career in the Marine Corps? Has he or she seen the many advantages of serving such as the opportunity to serve one’s country, see the world, learn a specialty and carve out an upward path for his or her life? Well, as our readers know it takes more than the desire to join the service to become a vital part of this nation’s military. First, Marine recruits must go through 13 of the most grueling weeks of their lives. We know that parents who have served will want their sons and/or daughters prepared for such a challenge. Here are some ways to prepare your child for boot camp.

The Physical Preparation

Perhaps no organization places a higher priority on physical fitness than the US Marines. First and foremost, your son or daughter should prepare to be tested physically. We recommend that you first educate your son or daughter about Marine Corps testing standards. For example, he/she should know that they will have to take the Initial Strength Test (IST) which of course includes pull-ups/flexed-arm hangs, crunches, and a timed run. If your son or daughter is a natural athlete this will be helpful. If that is not the case, suggest to them that they may wish to start a workout routine in the months leading up to joining the Corps. Also, be sure that he/she eats healthy meals for the nutritional support they will need.

Preparing Your Son/Daughter Mentally

Of course the preparation for becoming a Marine involves more than just a test of one’s physical stamina. It also involves a test of one’s intelligence, focus, and character. Be sure that your child knows that a great deal of discipline and willingness to follow orders/instructions is a key part of basic training. Otherwise, his/her time with the Corps will be short, uncomfortable and unproductive. Also, be sure that your child is someone who can take responsibility for his/her actions and is a team player. Iconoclasts do not do well in the services.

In short, even civilians have heard about the rigors of boot camp. It is a grueling and demanding experience that tests one’s mettle and sorts out who will become a valuable asset to his/her unit and country and who will not. Make sure that your child reflects your pride in the Corps before joining what may be a family tradition for you. You will also want to be sure that he/she is prepared to face the physical and mental rigors that lie ahead. Also, show your pride in the Corps with our USMC items and Marine Corps products.boot camp

The Marine Corps and Toys for Tots

There is a saying and a song that goes “Christmas is for Children.” And with this saying comes the image of children all over the country who will awaken on Christmas morning to gleefully unwrap their presents after a restless night of sleep. However, as painful as it is to imagine, this is not how Christmas morning will play out in every home in the nation. Some families struggle hard to provide themselves with life’s necessities let alone the luxuries of the season. Children in such homes will sadly not share in the joy of opening a shiny new present on Christmas morning. Knowing that this is the case with many families, Major Bill Hendricks founded the Toys for Tots program in 1947.

The History of Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots began back in 1947 when, inspired by his wife, Major Hendricks, gathered reservists to collect and distribute thousands of unwrapped toys to children. Eventually celebrity support was also gained and since then the organization has been designated as an official mission for the Marine Corps Reserves. Moreover, since its inception the program has collected and dispensed more than 512 million toys. That is a lot of joy delivered to a lot of children.

The Toys for Tots Mission

The mission of Toys for Tots is to collect and distribute unwrapped toys for less fortunate children in the vicinity of the collection sites. These collections take place from October to December of each year. You can go to ToysforTots.org to find the drop off site nearest you. You can also go to that same site to inquire how you can be of assistance by making your location one of those sites. We have many seasonal USMC gifts that will go well right alongside the rest of your Christmas decorations. Marine Corps items for sale on our site include festive, affordably priced ornaments that demonstrate pride in the Corps. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at eMarine PX.

Hollywood Comes to the Marines Corps

No person who has not served can sum up the experience of being a Marine. But Hollywood has tried on occasion – with the help of military advisors – to sum up the experience for those who have not served in our armed forces. Our Marine Corps clothes perfectly match the look of the Corps with our uniforms, medals, decals, stickers, headwear etc., but Hollywood often tries to sum up the experience as best it can. Here are a few movies that come close to relating to the public part of what the Marine Corps is all about. (Dramatic license must be allowed in each.)

  • Heartbreak Ridge (1986): This movie features Clint Eastwood as a Marine gunnery sergeant who clashes with his recon platoon.

  • Full-Metal-Jacket1987): This film features R. Lee Ermey who is a former United States Marine Corps staff sergeant and an honorary gunnery sergeant

  • Sands of Iwo Jima (1949): This John Wayne picture even features cameos by three Marines – Rene A. Gagnon, Ira H. Hayes and John H. Bradley – who raised the flag over the island.

  • Flags of our Fathers (2006): Speaking of the flag raising over Iwo Jima, this movie tells the story of three of the six flag raisers who were killed in battle

  • Rules of Engagement (2000): This movie, which begins in Vietnam, demonstrates the camaraderie that is shared among within Marines.

Yes, these films and others have shaped the public’s perception of the Marine Corps. But as anyone who has served knows, only those who have been or are a Marine can accurately relate the experience. Some movies come closer than others in doing this. Our Marine Corps clothing is ideal for those who have served and wish to honor the Corps in their own way.

Famous People You Didn’t Know Served as U.S. Marines

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Here’s one to get you started.

Drew Carey enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in 1980 and served for six years. Since then, he’s had his own successful sitcom, hosted the improv show Who’s Line Is It Anyway? and currently is the host of The Price Is Right.

What famous person do you know served in the Marine Corps and those who are rumored to have served? Let us know and get the conversation started.