Graduation Requirements
Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island
Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island
Each recruit will face his or her own challenges at Parris Island, but there are some requirements every recruit must overcome before claiming the title of Marine.

Swim Qualification PhotoAfter several weeks of training, recruits face their first graduation requirement -- swim qualification. As a part of the test, recruits learn to quickly shed heavy equipment that could pull them underwater, safely leap into deep water, use issued equipment to stay afloat and keep their heads above water while wearing a full utility uniform.


Rifle Qualification PhotoDuring phase two of training, recruits spend two weeks training with the M16-A4. The recruits fire from different shooting positions at the 200-, 300-, and 500-yard lines. Later, the recruits are also tested on combat marksmanship techniques. They must quickly identify their targets and hit moving targets from 100 yards away. The scores from these two tests are added together for the recruits' final rifle qualification scores.

Marine Corps Martial Arts Testing PhotoAll recruits undergo training in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program throughout training. After passing a final test, they earn a tan belt, the entry-level belt of the five-level system. Later in their careers, they will be able to receive more advanced training.

Academic Testing PhotoRecruits are tested on all the knowledge they have been taught during training. This includes knowledge on Marine Corps history, customs and courtesies, and application of first-aid techniques.

Physical Fitness Test PhotoThe physical fitness test is a measure of a recruit's general physical fitness. It consists of a maximum set of pullups for male recruits and a flexed-arm hang for female recruits, two minutes of crunches, and a 3-mile run.

Combat Fitness Test PhotoThe CFT is designed to simulate a wide range of physical challenges one might face in combat and evaluates strength, stamina, agility and coordination. It consists of an 880-yard sprint, two minutes of 30-pound ammunition can lifts, and a timed 300-yard shuttle run in which recruits perform a series of combat-related tasks.

Crucible PhotoThe final challenge recruits face is a grueling, 54-hour exercise known as the Crucible. The recruits must apply everything they have developed throughout recruit training, including physical strength and endurance, mental fortitude and moral character. The recruits must work together to overcome the many challenges of the Crucible. The last portion of the test is a 9-mile hike from the training area to the Iwo Jima flag raising statue at Peatross Parade Deck, where those who have completed the challenge are awarded the Eagle, Globe and Anchor and officially claim the title of U.S. Marine.

Battalion Commander's Inspection PhotoPart of being a Marine is always being ready for inspection. A few days before graduation, the new Marines prepare their uniforms and weapons and are inspected by their battalion commander. The commanders inspect each Marine for proper wear of their uniform, discipline, bearing and general knowledge.

Training Matrix Image

Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island