MCRD San Diego

You and your Marine have FINALLY made it to the last week of boot camp.

We know you and your Marine are looking forward to the end of the week, but there are a few boxes that they’ll need to check before then. First, your Marine will learn how to take care of a few administrative tasks. They’ll learn how to pay their bills, and will hear from a few legacy speakers, who will be on hand to offer advice and other words of wisdom as your Marine prepares to embark on their career in the Marine Corps.

Your Marine will also receive their orders for the School of Infantry (SOI). SOI is where Marines go after Marine boot camp to continue their training as a Marine. The School of Infantry is divided into two different schools; Infantry Training Battalion (ITB) and Marine Combat Training (MCT). Your Marine will go to SOI at Camp Pendleton in California.

You can still send letters to your Marine while they are going through SOI. Be sure to update your Sandboxx address book with their new mailing address once they receive it.

Marine Corps boot camp graduation will kick off with Family day the day before the actual graduation ceremony. This gives new Marines a chance to see family and friends for the first time during on-base liberty. During Family Day, you will get the opportunity to learn more about what your Marine went through during boot camp, hear from the battalion commander, and have your Marine escort you around the base showing you where they trained. Learn more about Family Day and graduation on the Marine Corps Facebook page.

The Motivational Run, or MOTO Run for short, is a 2.7 mile run demonstrating unity, motivation, and achievement. Marines run in company formation calling cadence, and ringing each battalion’s bell signifying their imminent departure from the Depot.

Sandboxx Tip: To avoid accidental knife-handing by your Marine, stay on their left side so they are free to salute with their right hand when passing higher-ranking Marines on base.

Graduation ceremonies generally take place on Friday mornings; however, this may be subject to change due to holiday schedules. The graduation ceremony recognizes all recruits who met the required challenge and successfully completed the demanding 12-week curriculum. We understand not everyone will be able to make it to graduation so keep an eye on the Marine Corps Facebook page where there will be a live stream of your Marines graduation. For all updates and the latest information on your Marine’s graduation, visit the official MCRD San Diego Facebook page.

Sandboxx Tip: Head over to the exchange on Family Day and pick up a travel size Kleenex. You may think you can fight back tears, but as soon as you hear the hundreds of new Marines belt out the Marine Corps Hymn, there won’t be a dry eye in the house.

The feeling you get when you see your new Marine for the first time will be more than you could ever imagine. They’ve accomplished a lot and you should be proud of their achievements. Don’t worry, the week will go by quickly, and you’ll see them in no time. For those headed to graduation, safe travels. I wish your Marine the best of luck throughout their career in the Marine Corps.

On behalf of all of us at Sandboxx, congratulations! We’re honored to have been a part of your journey, and are so excited to welcome you all into the military community.

Semper Fidelis,
Sgt. Maj. (ret.) Paul Davis