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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.
  • Read the book:
    • The U. S. Marine Corps in Crisis Ribbon Creek and Recruit Training by Keith Fleming.
  • Mameluke Sword:
    • You will use your sword often while at Parris Island.
  • 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 O-Clothing.
  • Organizational PT shirts:
    • Sign for two short sleeve shirts and one sweatshirt from O-Clothing marked with your billet on the back. It is recommended (especially during hot weather conditions) to have an additional short sleeve shirt.
  • 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 (get with your company to see if your plate is all capitalized or not). It takes roughly two to four days for this order to be complete.
  • Duty shirts: (Females) To look nice and squared away, it is suggested your service Bravos and Charlies be tailored to fit to be tucked into your trousers/skirt. You will tuck in your shirts while standing duty/graduation and a tailored shirt creates a polished look. Do not have your items tailored too tight as to where you could not wear it untucked.
  • Shirt stays: (Females) Shirt stays will assist in keeping your service shirts tucked into your trousers and keep them from creeping up. The stirrup shirts stays (ones that wrap around the entire leg) are recommended however the sock to shirt stays are available as well.
  • Pictures: You will need to have command photos taken by Combat Camera. Speak with your battalion with regard to the uniform requirements. 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.
  • Arm band: Purchase an ID card arm band (or two). You will use this for PT events to hold your ID card and count cards. TIP: put electrical tape at the end of the Velcro strap to prevent snagging of your PT shirt.
  • 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.