The Chaos and Fog of the First Night of Marine Corps Boot Camp


On Day 1, scores of young men and women arrive at Marine Corps boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina, to begin the process of becoming Marines. The first night is particularly tough. From the moment the recruits arrive, they are under constant verbal assault: yelled and screamed at by drill instructors; One instructor will tell a recruit to do one thing, another will tell the same recruit to do the exact opposite.

Drill instructors create a kind of fog of war and chaos to see how recruits react, says Drill Instructor Sergeant Jennifer Duke.

“We need to break them down to basically nothing so we can build them back up, not as one, but as one team, one element to join our Marine Corp. It’s not my Marine Corp, it’s not his Marine Corps, it’s our Marine Corps.”

Watch the video above for a window into that first night. And tune in to tonight’s report on how women are striving to enter previously closed combat jobs in the military.

BY DAN SAGALYN December 8, 2016 at 5:23 PM EST
PBS News Hour

Show commentsHide Comments

Latest Defense Videos

Video Archives