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Recruits arriving at Marine Corps Recruit Depots in late November will be the first to go through an additional period of training, which will be known as fourth phase, designed to better prepare them for success as Marines.

The Marine Corps has reorganized a portion of the current 13-week recruit training to afford drill instructors additional time to mentor and lead new Marines.  Among the slight modifications, recruits will tackle the Crucible, the demanding 54-hour challenge, a week earlier and then spend the final two weeks of training as ‘Marines’. The Crucible remains the culminating event for recruits as they earn the title ‘Marine.’“Making Marines is one of the most important things that we do,” said Gen. Robert Neller, Commandant of the Marine Corps. “Earning the title is, and will remain, difficult.  Our standards and requirements have not changed but as recruit training evolves we want to ensure we are preparing Marines for success in their follow-on training and service to our great country.”

Fourth phase will utilize the six F’s of Marine Leader Development framework: Fidelity, Fighter, Fitness, Family, Finances and Future.  Marines will be in small groups covering subjects that are critical to success and growth in all aspects of their personal and professional lives.

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Sgt. Michael Vura and Cpl. Austin Cox, Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron (HMLAT) 303 helicopter mechanics, assisted in victim evacuation and casualty care following the mass casualty attack in Las Vegas, Nevada, Oct. 1. 

“Myself and Sgt. Vura headed to the concession area of the festival, which is toward the back of the concert area,” said Cox. “We heard the initial shots and didn’t know if it was the speakers making noise or actual gunfire…then the shots went off again, and we knew there was a threat.”

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From a young age, 1st Sgt. Gilbert G. Oshana knew he wanted to serve his country. He wanted to give back to the nation that had given him so much and had blessed his family. Oshana’s love for the United States and desire to serve led him to enlist in the Marine Corps, and his love for his country has continued to grow throughout his years of service.

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Veteran steals truck, transports dozens to hospital after Las Vegas shooting

Taylor Winston had remarkable poise less than 24 hours after Sunday night’s deadly mass shooting at a Las Vegas country music concert. The Marine veteran ran from danger after a sniper opened fire on the crowd, but instead of leaving, he drove more than two dozen victims to the hospital.

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Always Carried A Swagger Stick

I arrived at MCRD, SD around 9am on the 21st of Sept. 1961 and stood on the yellow footprints outside of the receiving barracks across from the base theatre. At that time the street between the theatre and receiving barracks was off limits to regular vehicular traffic, but that is no longer the case. The yellow foot prints were moved to just in front of receiving barracks sometime in ’62 or ’63. Our basic issue included 2 yellow sweatshirts and 1 pair of red shorts. The shorts were used mainly at the swimming pool and sometimes on Sundays during free time. Our three DI’s were Korean war vets, SDI Gy/Sgt E-6, J N Green, JDI S/Sgt E-5, R P Regalot and JDI Sgt E-4, P J Phelps, and all three were promoted upon our graduation. All three were hard as nails and a little attitude adjustment was not uncommon, but fairly meted out. My platoon number was 275, the second of four in the series and we were the Honor platoon. JDI Phelps was a little unusual as he was British with his father being in the Royal Marines. He always carried a swagger stick though I never saw him use it for anything other than pointing.

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Toughest Old Bird

SSgt J.L. Stelling was my Platoon Commander in 1968. After the first two weeks living in tents, we were the first platoon to be welcomed to the new High rise barracks in San Diego. SSgt J.L. Stelling introduced himself from the top floor while we were outside washing our clothes. From that point on Boot Camp became a whole lot more interesting. He was bad, though, and scared the sh-t out of everyone. The other two D.I’s were p-ssies. SSgt Stelling demanded perfection in everything we did. As a platoon, we won every streamer except the two PT streamers. Believe me, it was hell to pay to the bitter end for not winning them all. Graduating as Honor Platoon we still weren’t good enough to eat with a fork or knife, nor was the smoking lamp lit before we boarded the Busses for Camp Pendleton. He had us by the short hairs to the bitter end. I went from scared, to hating him, to total respect. Before leaving boot camp, I became salty and had developed a mental toughness that I have kept to this day thanks to SSgt Stelling. “There’s always that 10%, there is no excuse, and always do your last order first”. The civilian world hated these Stelling quotes which I live by. He is by far the toughest old bird I’ve ever had the privilege to have known. To this day I still don’t like eating with a spoon.

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2nd Fumble, Stumble, Stagger and Gag

The name of the exercise has changed from ‘CAX’ (Combined Arms Exercise) to ‘Mojave Viper’ (If I’m up to date on that… no guarantees), but it involves infantry battalions, plus attachments and re-enforcements, moving to the Air-Ground Combat Training Center… or whatever they call that particular chunk of California Mojave desert… more commonly known as ’29 Palms’ or, ‘The Stumps’. There might be as many as ten of these exercises in a year, and were about half and half First and Second Division evolutions.

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