Parris Island

Week 7 of Marine Corps boot camp at Parris Island represents a pivotal moment in the transformation of recruits into Marines, embodying the core ethos that distinguishes the Corps. It is a time when the essence of Gen. Alfred M. Gray’s powerful declaration, “Every Marine is, first and foremost, a rifleman. All other conditions are secondary,” becomes a lived experience for the recruits. 

This principle, a cornerstone of Marine identity, is not only taught but ingrained in the hearts and minds of those undergoing training. As they hold their rifle data books—tools critical for their development as marksmen—recruits are constantly reminded of the weight of this responsibility. 

Week 7 is when the rigorous preparation of the previous weeks is put to the test, and the “one shot, one kill” mentality that the Marine Corps is renowned for begins to take shape. This week is more than just training; it’s the forging of a mindset, a commitment to excellence, and the embracing of a legacy that every Marine is expected to uphold.

All Ready On The Firing Line

The rallying cry “Every Marine a Rifleman” echoes throughout the history of the Marine Corps, embodying the fundamental principle that every Marine, regardless of their specialized role, is first and foremost trained and equipped to fight as a skilled marksman. 

This philosophy ensures that every Marine possesses the versatility and proficiency to adapt to any situation and contribute directly to the unit’s success on the battlefield. From the moment they enter boot camp, recruits undergo rigorous training in marksmanship fundamentals, mastering different shooting positions, weapon handling, and accurate fire under pressure. 

This unwavering commitment to weapons proficiency not only empowers individual Marines but also strengthens the collective lethal capability of the entire Marine Corps.

“We Going To Run All Day Until The Running Is Done”

With the scent of saltwater in the air and determination etched on their faces, Marine Corps recruits embark on their final Physical Fitness Test (PFT). Months of strenuous training culminate in this critical moment, where they push their physical limits through pull-ups, a demanding 3-mile run, and planks. Each grunt, each stride, and each rep signifies their unwavering commitment and resilience.

The cheers of their drill instructors and fellow recruits echo across the training ground, a testament to the camaraderie and support forged in the crucible of boot camp. This final PFT is not just a test of their physical progress but a celebration of their transformation into disciplined and physically fit warriors, ready to answer the call as United States Marines.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Ava Alegria)

Your recruit has crossed a major milestone this week—now well past the halfway mark of their boot camp journey! We’ll see you next week for more shooting (Table 2).

Semper Fidelis,
Sgt. Maj. Paul Davis
USMC, Retired