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MCRD Parris Island


MCRD Parris Island

Eastern Recruiting Region

"We Make Marines"

The mission of the Series Commander Course is to train, educate and indoctrinate newly assigned company grade officers with information required to be a successful series commander. The assistant director of Drill Instructor School serves as the primary instructor for the course and coordinates the development and accomplishment of the training schedule. The course is approximately ten training days, and the frequency of courses is determined by class size and the needs of the Recruit Training Regiment.

This is an evolving course that is guided by the fluidity of recruit training and the subsequent guidance of the RTR commanding officer. The course consists of introduction and orientation to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, guided discussions, classes, close order drill (including sword manual), physical training, recruit training observation, practical application and briefs from agencies that support the mission of RTR. The preponderance of the course is spent covering the Recruit Training Order and lessons learned through experiences and case studies. The information and training covered in the course is vital to successfully performing the duties of a series commander.

Graduation from the course is a requirement by Marine Corps Order 1510.32. The series commander must display mastery of every obstacle on the obstacle course and Confidence Course; demonstrate mastery of the Drill Instructor Pledge; achieve a first class score on the physical fitness test; achieve a passing score (80 percent or higher) on the Recruit Training Order exam; and pass close-order drill evaluation, which includes sword manual.

Each course is time intensive and demanding. In addition to the class schedule, students will receive homework assignments in the form of reading, speech memorization and uniform preparation.

  • Have your personal affairs in order. It is imperative that all billeting, TMO, and personal issues are taken care of before or after the course.
  • Arrive prepared for rigorous PT; leadership by example is essential for your success.
  • Bring at least two sets of combat utilities (desert and woodland MARPAT [regardless of season]) and all service and dress uniforms ensuring proper fit and appearance including barracks and garrison covers; you are guaranteed to wear them.
  • Bring your sword and all its trappings (service belt, frog, sling, etc.); ceremonial participation is a way of life aboard the depot.
  • Bring an open mind and a positive attitude; recruit training is a dynamic and demanding process for all involved.

Welcome to Drill Instructor School, Series Commander Course.  Here are some preparation considerations and things you should have before you are underway:


·        Read the book:  Pride and Discipline: The Hallmarks of a United States Marine by Colonel Donald J. Myers, USMC (Ret).  Be prepared to discuss the book during the Series Commander Course.


·        Physical Conditioning: As a series commander, you are expected to set the example for Marines and recruits.  You are also expected to execute the obstacle and confidence courses prior to your series executing these events.  During the Series Commander Course, you will be required to achieve a 1st class PFT and CFT score and be within height and weight standards.  You will also be required to successfully negotiate each obstacle of the obstacle course and confidence course.


·        Uniforms: Ensure all of your uniforms, to include covers, are serviceable, well-fitted, presentable, and in accordance with uniform regulations.  A clean, polished appearance is expected.


·        Mameluke Sword: You will use your sword often while at Parris Island.  Bring your sword and all its trappings (frog, sling, knot, etc.).


·        Black belt: You will need this for OOD and graduations.  You can check out black belts, to include the entire Sam Browne belt ensemble from Organizational Clothing.


·        Organizational PT Shirts: Sign for 2 short sleeve shirts and 1 sweatshirt from O-Clothing marked with your billet on the back.


·        Name Tags: Order name tags and your hatch plate from the Engraving Shop on base (or through your Battalion S-4).  They are the black and white name tags with two prongs.  The Engraving Shop has the forms for you to fill out and will know what you need.  It is suggested to order, at the very least, four name tags.  Your hatch plate is your identifier as Series Commander outside the series office.  It takes roughly two to four days for this order to be complete.


·        Duty Shirts: (Females) You will tuck in your shirts while standing duty or participating in graduation.  Ensure your service and dress trousers have belt loops sewn on.  Belt loops for the black belt should be on the sides and the back of the trousers.


·        Shirt Stays: (Females) Shirt stays will assist in keeping your service shirts tucked into your trousers and keep them from creeping up.


·        Pictures: You will need to have command photos taken at the Office of Communications Strategy and Operations.  These are taken in the Service A uniform.  You will also need to go to Recruit Photo for a picture for the Recruit/Series Cruise Book.  Ensure your pictures match the rest of your company.


·        Glow Belt: Suggested to have more than one on hand, you can keep one on your pack so it is always ready to go and one in your locker, camel back, or wherever else you find it handy at the last minute.  Plastic yellow glow belts only…no stretch/fabric glow belts.


·        Supply Issue: You will need your ILBE pack from Bucket Issue prior to beginning the Series Commander Course.


·        Personal Affairs: It is recommended that all billeting, TMO, and personal issues are taken care of before or after the course.  The course is time intensive and demanding.