Marine Corps Crucible

Training US Marine Corps Recruits

US Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Caleb Eudy crucible recruit training 12 April 2019 [1180]

US Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Caleb Eudy crucible recruit training 12 April 2019

US Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Caleb Eudy, with Charlie Company, 1st recruit training battalion, grimaces during a training event at the Crucible on Parris Island, S.C., April 12, 2019. A native of Arab, Alabama, Eudy was diagnosed with Lymphoma when he went through recruit training for the first time in 2016; after nearly one thousand days in recruit training and on medical hold, he achieved his dream of becoming a US Marine. LCpl. Eudy was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal on April 25, 2019.

The Crucible

US Marine Corps Depot Parris Island logo


At the US Marine Corps Recruitment Depot, Parris Island, the final challenge of recruit training is known as the Crucible. It is a 54-hour training exercise that validates the physical, mental and moral training they’ve endured throughout recruit training. The recruits are broken down into squads to face the challenges of the Crucible. They face challenges testing their physical strength, skills and the Marine Corps values they have learned throughout training. Throughout the event, the recruits are only allowed a limited amount of food and sleep. The final stage of the Crucible is a 9-mile hike from the training grounds to the Iwo Jima flag raising statue at Peatross Parade Deck. Upon completing this challenge, the recruits are handed their Eagle, Globe and Anchors, symbolizing the completion of their arduous journey to become US Marines.

Military Units Featured

1st Recruit Training Battalion
US Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island 1st Recruit Training Battalion

US Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island 1st Recruit Training Battalion

Within 1st Recruit Training Battalion, there are four companies: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta. Each company contains an average of six platoons with 60 to 80 recruits per platoon. The battalion was established on Aug. 6, 1940, 25 years after Parris Island was first designated as a Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Since its origin, 1st RTBn. remains the only battalion on Parris Island that has been in continuous service as a male recruit training battalion. During World War I, the area initially served as the primary training site for first and third phases of recruit training. The battalion’s actual activation began with the building of H-style wooden barracks. One of these barracks, Building 620, remained for many years as the battalion headquarters.

By the outbreak of the Korean War, 1st RTBn. was the only remaining recruit training battalion actively training male recruits. On June 1, 1952, 1st RTBn. was temporarily redesignated as a “Special Training Battalion” in order to train more than 1,000 college students assigned to officer candidate training with the Platoon Leaders Class program.

During that time, 1st RTBn. hit the silver screen. Cpl. J. Brown, a 1st RTBn. drill instructor, so impressed actor Jack Webb that he cast Brown to act as one of the assistant drill instructors in his movie “The DI.” Lt. Col. W. B. Carneal Jr., the commanding officer of 1st RTBn. from March 1956 until January 1957, served as a technical advisor for the film.

From the 1960s to the present, 1st RTBn. has continued in the pursuit of training our nation’s sons into the finest United States Marines. Celebrating many years of developing smartly disciplined, physically fit, basic Marines, the battalion holds special pride in maintaining the professionalism and esprit de corps which has distinguished 1st RTBn. Marines during service to both Corps and country from World War II to present.


Cpl. Andrew Neumann, US Marine Corps.