Marine Combat Training Schedule (MCT)

Written by Kevin Webb

Marine Combat Training Matrix

Every platoon at Marine Corps boot camp has a few recruits that get a hold of the training matrix/schedule, but finding a schedule for Marine Combat Training (MCT) is another story. I’m not sure an up-to-date MCT schedule even exists. The Marine Combat Training schedule recently just changed from 22 training days to 29 training days.

The below information has been compiled from my first-hand experiences at MCT SOI East Coast at Camp Geiger, NC. I attended MCT from 2010 January 26 – 2010 February 23. I was Second Platoon (Red), Hotel Company.

Graduation Dates For Marine Combat Training

Click to View MCT Graduation Dates (pdf). It is easy to figure out when a Marine will graduate from MCT. Your Marine’s MCT graduation date will be on a Tuesday, 29 days after his check-in date or his class-up date (if he/she isn’t held in a waiting platoon). Check-in dates are on a Monday. Simply add 4 weeks and 1 day to the date that your Marine (or you) classes up, and you’ll have your Marine’s MCT graduation date.

Graduation & Family Day Info

SOI & MCT Address

Rank and Name
Co., Class, Platoon
PSC BOX 20166
Camp Lejeune, NC 28542 – 0166

MCT Arrival

The first day of MCT receiving/check-in is chaotic. You literally hit the ground running. Make sure you know what you need to take to MCT. You’ll change from your Alphas into cammies and start your admin work. You’ll get a bone marrow pitch, go to medical, take a drug test, and then you’ll get assigned a platoon. The platoons on the east coast have about 10-15 females and about 80-85 males. The platoon trains mixed-gender, but the females live in separate barracks.

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Issued Gear

You’ll get issued all of your gear on day 2 or 3 of training. You’ll be issued additional gear outside of the basics that you received at Boot Camp.

Some of the items include:
M16A4 w/ Rail, Pec Laser Sight & ACOG Battle Scope
Tactical Sling
Assault Pack
Sleeping System
Poncho Liner
Fleece Top
Fleece Bottom
Gortex Top
Gortex Bottom
Tactical Vest (duece gear)
Kevlar (1)
Kevlar Cover (1)
30-rd. Magazines (4)
Grenade Pouches (2)
E-Tool (Folding Shovel) (1)
Magazine Pouch (2)
Dump Pouch (1)
Canteens (2)
Canteen Pouch (2)
Canteen Cup (1)
MCT Knowledge

MCT Barracks

The good news is that the barracks at MCT are REALLY nice compared to boot camp. You’ll have real wooden oak racks, wall closets and cleaner heads (bathrooms). The bad news is that you won’t spend very much time in the barracks. You’re in the field for a good amount of time. The chow hall is REALLY nice too. Take advantage of it while you can… you’ll live off MREs for the last two weeks of MCT. The chow hall usually has a minimum of two different lines open, a fast food line and a dinner line. They’ll split you up, but nothing is stopping you from jumping to a different line. It’s not like boot camp where you have to eat with one hand, skip desert, and remain silent the entire time. You’re slightly more free now. You’ll still need to eat fast and be vigilant, but you won’t be out in the sandpit if you get caught trying to open a ketchup packet with two hands.

Week 1a: Classes & Practical Application

The first week of Marine Combat Training you’ll spend doing simple classes and practical application. You’ll take a class in the morning and then do the prac app in the afternoon. The first few weeks of class consist of learning about radios, automatic weapons, first aide, the grenade launcher, the AT-4 and other field equipment. In the afternoon you’ll work hands-on with the equipment to learn its parts and functions. The classes are fairly boring, but the practical application is actually fun. For a lot of Marines, this will be their first time getting to ‘play’ with real military equipment. Pay attention, because everything taught at MCT is real-world, and it may end up saving a life one day.

Week 1b: IEDs, Detainment & Patrolling

The second week is spent learning about improvised explosive devices (IEDs), binoculars, how to detain a suspect, how to search a suspect, how to setup checkpoints, and how to patrol. You’ll hit the classroom first and then do some hands-on work in the afternoon. The hands-on work will consist of performing patrols, spotting IEDs, detaining personnel, and operating checkpoints. The first two weeks are sort of a breeze.

Week 2: Field Exercises & Ranges

Week three of Marine Combat Training starts your field exercises. First comes the range (M249, M240, Grenade Launcher, AT-4, Frag Grenade and Night Fire). You’ll sleep in a small airplane-like hanger with no heat or A/C. Marines at this stage used to sleep in tents, but Mothers of America had that changed by complaining, so now we get a giant tin can. NO SHOWERS HERE… NONE! You’ll hygiene out of your canteen or a puddle of water for a week. On the East Coast, you’ll wake up for a week and hike each day out to the ranges. You’ll hike anywhere from 2-4 miles a day with your assault pack, Kevlar, flak, rifle and deuce gear. The hikes sound easy, but they’ll kick your butt on very little sleep and having to put up with the weather. I went through in the winter, so the snow and below freezing temperatures made my Marine Combat Training (MCT) experience a miserable time. If you’re on the West Coast Marines, then your ranges are right outside your barracks (last I heard), so you won’t be doing as much hiking this week as the East Coast.

Weapons Pre-Training at Marine Combat Training School

Before firing each weapon, you’ll shoot it on a simulated computer system called the IZMIT. You’ll be using the actual weapons hooked into a high-tech computer system that shows your shooting results. They have an air-pressure gauge that produces small amounts of recoil to try and simulate the real thing. You’ll have more jams and failures to feed in the high-tech simulator then you will with the actual weapon system.

On The Range at Marine Combat Training

Now your at the range, waiting in line all day to shoot a weapon for 20 seconds. As fun as the shooting is, the waiting barely makes it worth the trip. You’ll have time to use the head, eat MRE’s and sit on your packs… only after you’ve fired. Try to get to the front of the line, that way you’ll be done and can head back to your pack. Otherwise, you’re stuck waiting in line for possibly up to 5 hours. You can’t head to your pack until you’ve fired. People at the end get screwed because as soon as you’re done firing you’ll police call and head to the next range, or back to camp. Take advantage of any down time to eat chow, use the head, and make friends. Don’t waste your time writing letters – MCT will be over before they get mailed out.

Meal Ready To Eat (MRE)

Be prepared to eat a lot of MREs during Marine Combat Training. The bad news is that you’ll be issued somewhere around 36 MREs for your two weeks in the field. The good news is that they don’t taste too bad, and the new ones come with chemical heaters. There will be a lot of trading, buying and selling of MREs during MCT. Do not get involved in this. Keep your food. If you’re going to be training during the cold months, then take some advice – save your heaters. I went through in February, and there were times when nothing mattered except trying to find heat and stay warm. Sleep did not matter. Food did not matter. I just wanted my fingers and toes to not feel like they were digging through broken glass. You can activate your MRE heaters and put them in your blouse pockets, use them as hand warmers and even put them in your boots to prevent your toes from getting frostbite. Just wait for the steam to simmer off of them before putting them in an enclosed area.

Week 3: Camp Devil Dog & Basic Skills Retention Exercise (BSRE)

After the range, you’ll head to Camp Devil Dog for the second phase of your field week. Here you’ll learn the basics in mounting and dismounting a seven-ton armored vehicle, patrolling, IED detection and procedures, security check points, vehicle and detainee searches, night assaults, ambushes, crossing danger points, map reading and more. After a few days of classes and practical application, you’ll start the BSRE (Basic Skills Retention Exercise) which will test you on everything you have learned during Marine Combat Training. You’ll be split up into smaller squads and put into war-like scenarios for three days on virtually no sleep, no showers and you will shoot a ton of blanks. The blanks dirty your weapon more than actual rounds do, so you’ll be field-cleaning your rifle about 3 times a day. You’ll also get good at putting on cami paint. If it’s cold out and your hands are cold. Fire through a bunch of blanks and then hold the barrel of your rifle. You don’t really need the blanks. Besides, if a Marine runs out of ammo in real life, he or she will still have a bayonet.

After you complete and pass the BSRE, you’ll prepare for your 10 mile hike back to main side. It is pretty comparable to the crucible hike, on less-even ground. The distance is the same, but the MCT hike seemed a bit more demanding than the boot camp crucible hike. Maybe it was due to less motivation, in the fact that in boot camp you earn the title Marine after the hike. You’ll make head calls in the woods about every 45 minutes to an hour.

Week 4: Final Exam, Gear Turn-In & Admin

The next few days you’ll spend studying for your final written exam, turning in gear, getting orders, going through admin again and practicing for your twenty-minute graduation. It’s the worst part of MCT.

Be prepared to be treated like crap at East coast MCT. Yes, you’re a Marine, but apparently part of the training there is to still treat you like a recruit. Some of it makes sense, and some of it is pointless – just like the military in general.

Written Exams at Marine Combat Training

The exams at MCT are similar to boot camp exams. They are a bit tougher as far as the material goes and you’ll have to study more on your own, but they are all multiple choice. You shouldn’t have any worries here.

Phone Calls & Free Time at Marine Combat Training

This isn’t boot camp. You get about 5 hours of free time during your entire month-long training and it will be spent showering and prepping your gear.

As for phone calls. If you’re lucky you’ll get your phones out of the armory every Sunday for about 15 minutes. If you don’t bring a cell phone, then you won’t be able to make a phone call unless you borrow one. Bring your charger too, and make sure your phone is marked.

Combat Instructors at Marine Combat Training

They’re a little lighter on you than Drill Instructors, but you’ll learn quick that they still treat you like you’re still in boot camp. Some refer to MCT as Phase 4 of boot camp. Most of the combat instructors at the Marine Combat Training School of Infantry East are Infantry (03XX). At times you’ll feel like you’re back in boot camp (on the East coast) and you’ll end up getting screwed because of what other Marines in your platoon do. If you’re on the west coast it will be a bit easier. You’ll get weekends off and be treated like the Army 😉

Fire Watch at Marine Combat Training

You still do fire watch at MCT. In fact, it’s much worse than at boot camp. You can get anywhere from a 2-6 hour shift of either fire watch, armory watch, or gear watch. Fire watch is the real deal here too. Get caught sleeping and you’ll have an NJP to look forward to rather than an extra set of push-ups or the sand pit the next morning. You’re not a recruit anymore… don’t act like one.

Graduation at MCT

If your family is within 5 hours (my wife drove 8 because she REALLY loves me), then have them come. They will be able to spend five hours with you the day before graduation and then about 2 hours total the day of graduation. The ceremony is short, so don’t come unless you can make it for family day the day before. There is a pizza joint you can hang out at that is pretty legit, and the PX is fairly nice. Some people just stock up on junk food and stay at the barracks.

Leaving For MOS School

You will leave for your Military Occupational School (MOS) IMMEDIATELY AFTER you graduate. You might, if you’re lucky, have about 30 minutes to change over to civilian clothes, grab your bags, say goodbye and jump on the bus. The buses will be lined up outside your barracks waiting for you. You’ll know the day before which group you are in, and which bus you are supposed to get on. Have some cash for a meal on the way to your school. If you’re flying to your MOS, then the bus will just be taking you to the airport. If your MOS school is within 8 hours of driving, then you’ll be on the bus the entire trip.

You’re not being watched or babysat, so be on your best behavior. You’ll arrive at your school, change over and check-in the same day, or the very next day (depending).

MCT East vs. MCT West

MCT Frequently Asked Questions

Important MCT Downloads

2011 MCT Graduation Dates (pdf)
2013-2014 MCT Graduation Dates (pdf)
Camp Geiger Map (pdf)
MCT Hotels (pdf)
MCT Restaurants (pdf)
Directions to MCT (pdf)

About the author

Kevin Webb


  • I’m on my last day of boot leave before I head out to MCT and I think my rackmate from boot ended up taking my 8-point woodland cover home with him. Is there any time before/after check in that I’ll be able to buy a new one? I really don’t want to have already screwed up.

    • Do everything you can to purchase a cover before you get there. If you can’t, then try to borrow one until you can buy one. Are you east or west coast? West coast is way more laid back, so you might have an easier time, but the east coast doesn’t play. It’s more like phase 4 of boot camp.

  • Great to see this as there was no MCT in the proverbial “old Corps” 😉 …. we’re so old we have a kid who’s graduating boot camp any time now, so good scoop. Although we’re mean and we probably won’t share it 😉

    Semper Fi, Devil Dog!

  • Do you by any chance know the graduation date of the marines that start MCT in Aug? I know her report date is Aug. 15th/16th.


    • If her report date is August 16th (Monday), then her graduation date should be September 14th (Tuesday). All MCT graduations are on Tuesday, 29 days after reporting.

  • I like the idea of close combat training. Sometimes I think that it is not just done to strengthen our military people but also to instill discipline to each of them which could be of great help. Much more to that it would be something remarkable experience after all.

  • What if they have been asked to do recruiters assistance?? Will they still leave straight from MCT to go to their school?

    Thanks 🙂

    • In my experience, if they get Recruiter’s Assistance directly out of MCT, they will go to check in at their MOS school, and then head back to their Recruiting Station location.

  • […] If you are planning on joining the Marine Corps, then you better get used to the idea of hiking everywhere you go. One of the Marine Corps foundational training methods is forced marches and conditioning hikes. What is a forced marching and conditioning hiking? It is putting 150 lbs. of weight into a 90 lbs. pack, grabbing your rifle, your Kevlar and your flak jacket and doing a light run (which the Marine Corps calls hiking). Here’s some details on the hikes that will take place in Boot Camp and during Marine Combat Training. […]

  • @Zandra,

    Yes, West coast has weekends off, and they are granted the opportunity to leave base. East coast works 29 straight days, with not even 1 hour of liberty until the day before MCT graduation.

  • Thank you soooo much!!!! (:
    My boyfriend just left for MCT this week and I was all worried that I wasnt going to be able to see him. lol.

  • Thanks, this was very helpful, i’m leaving for boot camp in December and was wondering what really happens after boot camp. And I guess it is true, those west coast marines are truly “HOLLYWOOD MARINES”. weekends off? you gotta be kidding me…lol

    • Yeah, there is no comparison. I went to MOS school with a guy that went to a baseball game during boot camp, and was able to leave base during MCT on the weekends. East Coast trains 7 days a week, 16 hours a day for 29 days straight.

  • My Boyfriend is curently at MCT east coast…He has been able to call me every week up until his third sunday (yesterday)
    do they work through their breaks on sunday?

    • You don’t really have any breaks during MCT east coast. On Sunday, if they get approval, the platoon will get there phones for a few minutes. Phones are kept in the armory under lock and key. Our platoon got them every Sunday except for the last Sunday there (the Sunday before graduation). It is different for every platoon and every cycle.

  • 16 hours a day?? maybe if you’re lucky on saturday nights but we were lucky to get more then 6 hours asleep a night and thats not even counting firewatch if you have it which is a two hour post sometimes more

    • @dson,

      Yes, we trained for 16 hours a day. The other 8 hours was spent cleaning weapons, doing fire watch, showering, eating chow, etc. This also doesn’t include field weeks where 1-3 hours of sleep a night is normal. Are you East Coast or W. Coast?

  • Hi my son is at camp Lejeune for MCT( east).I know that boot camp was very intense and harsh…my question is that do they get punished as a whole or separately.? My son lost a lot of weight (45lbs)during boot.. mostly from so much exercise from the DI’s crap. their platoon had alot of trouble.I am worried he will loose more after reading how hard it is…. he really cant stand to loose anymore..he is skinny now.

    • He will maintain his current weight. His major source of exercise will come from hiking, but you don’t do any of the stupid day-to-day stuff like at boot camp. He’ll get plenty more to eat too. At MCT you get anywhere from 10-30 minutes for chow, and you can go up for seconds if you wish. Don’t worry, he’ll be just fine.

  • When my son left PI, he had 2 sea bags, another heavy bag with all his dress/service uniforms and his ditty bag. Are they basically bringing all that stuff to MCT and MOS school? I don’t know how he’s going to get all that stuff from the car to the airport etc. if he’s doing it alone unless he makes a couple trips. Too bad they didn’t add wheels to the sea bags to make them easier for one person to transport all that stuff.

  • What time is their base liberty on Family Day at MCT? There is no easy way of me getting there from Western NY without spending a fortune on plane tickets etc. I’m thinking of driving the 2 days or maybe flying to Charlotte and renting a car to drive the rest of the way (6 hrs). What is your opinion? Thanks!

  • I have one ;more question for there a web site that I can find out when my son will graduate from MCT..east coast. we only live 3 hours away and want to go to the family day before graduation. I understand they will have more time to spend with us..but i cant find out when he graduates and when is the family day on any of the regular sites.. I know I read it before but cant remember where..his report date was October 5th..thanks

    • Your son’s graduation date will be 29 days after his MCT check-in. It is always on a Tuesday. “Family Day” for MCT is that Monday before graduation.

  • This has been very helpful. Thank you. I’ve been considering taking my daughter to see her boyfriend’s graduation from MCT but we’re 10 hours away. I know she wants to see him but only being able to see him for 5 – 7 hours just doesn’t make that drive worth it.

  • Hi I have a question..I just received a phone call last week that my son who is at MCT .has been put into the hospital..he supposedly went crazy on a guy that had come up behind him and put a hold on him..i dont know why this guy would have done that but anyway…my son was admitted to the hospital ond put on the psychiatric ward on suicide watch for observation…I dont know if he threaten sucide or they just put all there when they come in on his level..i talked to the doctor several days later on the phone with my son there and the doctor said that he was recommending that my son be released from the military because he cant handle the stress..and that he had received some abuse while at boot..i have talked to other marines who were there with my son and they deny and abuse.. just say it was very intense and harsh…now my questions is…my son is trying to get out on a separation of the this possible and how hard is it..will it hurt his record? I am so concerned about this. my son did not have any problems like this before he went can i help him?

    • I am sorry to hear about this ordeal. Marine Corps Boot Camp and Marine Combat Training can be extremely stressful. The only way to prepare someone for combat is to create the same types of stresses that they may encounter during war. This is how Marines are trained, and it is what makes us the best. Not everyone is cut out to be a Marine, and many recruits and new Marines go through similar situations. Sometimes the stress is not dealt with properly.

      Did he recently have anything happen at home? Girl friend break-up or a death in the family? Your son may have even done something purposefully in order to be released. A lot of recruits and new Marines do that. I would give him the benefit of the doubt, but this is possible.

      Yes, it will hurt his record, and will most likely effect his career down the road. However, in order to make sure that he is stable, he just needs to find support from his family when he returns home. It is not worth him hurting himself over, or doing something worse. He needs to know that.

      The effects it will have will be based on what type of separation they give him. He needs to try and get a general separation. If he gets a dishonorable, then it will potentially hurt his career.

      I’m sorry this has happened. Let me know if I can do anything else to help.

      Kevin Webb

  • Hi Kevin,

    My daughter just arrived at MCT today. I know she is Hotel Company 3rd Platoon, do you think that is enough to write her? Thanks for your help. Your site is great!! 🙂

    • Hello Tricia!

      You could write her today, but she will have far less time for mail at MCT than she did at boot camp. There is a possibility that she could get switched to a different platoon in the first few days as well. I was in 3 different platoons before all was said and done.

      The good news is that MCT flies by much faster than Boot Camp.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions.

      Semper Fi

      -LCpl. Webb

  • Kevin, my daughter called the first sun after she arrived and asked for us to mail her a few things and we have not heard a word or recieved a letter since. She should graduate this tues the 23rd but I don’t know. I am starting to get concerned that we don’t know if she is going directly to mos school or it is delayed. I was hoping to get to see her for at least the thanksgiving holiday. Should I be concerned that I havn’t heard from her? Any suggestions

    • Hello Kelly!

      Rest at ease. There is very little time for communications while at MCT. You don’t have an hour of “free time” every night like you do at boot camp, and you’re lucky to get to call on Sundays. Our platoon did not get to call our last Sunday there either. She will leave directly from MCT to MOS school. They schedule and pay for all of the transportation, so nothing to worry about there. She will graduate from MCT, grab her stuff, and jump on a bus or plane to head directly to MCT.

      Regardless of where she is at, she will have Thanksgiving day liberty… maybe even a 4-day (96 hour). She will be free to call at any time once she is done with MCT. MCT is really the last part of training that has such limited communications. What is her MOS? I may be able to get you more details regarding it.

      Hope this helps.

      Semper Fi, Marine mom!

      -LCpl. Webb

  • Thanks Kevin, her mos is admin but specifically she is aircraft maintenance record keeping (or something like that lol) she is scheduled to go to miss. But her recruiter said there was a poss that her school could be delayed that’s why we have been waiting to confirm our thanksgiving plans. I want to make sure were together if she has the time off. So being that today is family day we should hear from her today right. Or not till she’s off base after Grad tmrw.

  • Hi – My son arrived Tuesday at Camp Lejeune for MCT. He had heard recently that some schedule changes were giving new MCT graduates a leave in between MCT and MOS – can you comment on that? I’m not counting on it, and since I may not hear from him, want to decide how to plan to see him in between at graduation or whatever.
    Stephanie, Proud mom of a new Marine

  • Kevin I wrote you before and told you about my son who lost a lot of weight at boot and when he came home he wasnt acting at all like himself..Well they put him in a plt ( sac)waiting to get out. My son has not been himself at he is being charged with some stuff that he did while in sac company.. I just got word that he might get a summary court Martial and; have to spend some time in the brigg. I tried to explain to his SGT that alex has not been the same since boot. and after while in mct he was put in the hospital on the psychiatric ward for observation and suicidal thoughts. The SGT doesnt want to hear it..what can I do to help my son? and if he does have to spend time at the brigg (up to 30 days) whats it like? He has never spent anytime in jail or anything like it..I just dont no why he has changed so much…

  • My son just graduated 11/19/10 from boot camp (Parris Island). We were so proud to be there for him on family day (Thurs.) and his graduation.(Friday)
    Today 11/30/10 he is headed to NC for his 4 wk. combat training. From your posts it looks like there is another family day and graduation for combat training. (on a Tuesday)
    Please tell me if I am reading this correctly?! also there is college…will there be another graduation then also?
    Thank you.

  • My son graduated today and is off to fort Sill today.. he sounded good and ready for his next step in training…Himself and six other marines are traveling together…they spent last night at the px and then of to have pizza … He’s in his element… I’ve seen him change from a high school kid to a marine… ( amazing ) RCT plt 3081

  • Rank and Name
    SOI – East MCT BN
    PSC BOX 20166
    Camp Lejeune, NC 28542 – 0166

    ^ The address that you posted is it still the same now and will it get to him?
    Its not like boot camp where he has to have a company and a number and everything is it?

  • My son leaves on 12/6. He is going to MCT-East. After reading the posts I assume he will train straight thru Christmas with no break??! I noticed West Coast has practically the whole month of Dec off!!! Thats lame –

  • I just booked my flight and hotel reservations to see my fiance today for his graduation from MCT on December 14, 2010. I live in Michigan, so it’s quite the trip to just see him for a few hours. But it will be more than worth it. (:

  • Have to say~~~Don’t know where all the west coast info. comes from or if things changed from back then to now but my son graduated boot from San Diego MCRD, and it was hard core. No phones, etc., just letters that took 10 days to get to your sons hands, and stories I can’t repeat ever. My son was a very fit 6’2″ and 195lbs, squad leader for a year with his Delayed Entry Prog before he left. What I got back was a 160 lb. fit, yes maam, no sir, Marine who wouldn’t even use the washer or anything else in our home without permission while on his 10 days leave after boot. Now at MCT in Camp Pendleton, says it sucks worse than boot in some ways. They still go 3-4am to bedtime, fire duty, etc., and only liberty he’s seen is 3 hrs in the squad bay on 3rd Sun. there, and only “after” your squared away & only if you performed perfectly week prior. Got to use his cell for 30 min.s, rest of time it’s under lock and key. Next to last week is a final exam, another week out in the dirt: night and day, then a 15 mile uphill hike, before you can pass.

    Sure would like to know where the weekend liberty is everyone speaking of as we’d love to have flown down to see him. THERE IS NO FAMILY DAY HERE. Flying down for graduation so that we can see him a whole 2 hrs. before he’s gone for Christmas and 2 months after that. Not liking this set-up so far… And finally….. my question: How do Marines get to use their “vacation or leave time”? How far in advance does it have to be requested, etc. Please advise (and thanks for letting me straighten-up “our experience” in Cali, er I mean, “Hollywood”) Mom of a “U.S. Marine” (native Cali- Go Giants!)

    • Hello Hollywood Marine Mom!

      Every Marine has my utmost respect. The east coast, west coast argument is more of a fun game we play. It is sort of an inner club, as each coast has there own unique obstacles they must face (i.e. sand fleas on east coast, and hills on west coast).

      The same goes for the argument of service branch. Marines take pride in being the few, but every branch will try to argue why their branch is better. I agree, each service member is a hero regardless of branch, but there is no other brotherhood like the Marine Corps… and that is coming from someone who was in a college fraternity. The difference doesn’t even begin to compare. The Marine Corps is by far the most unique, tight-knit, proud, strong, tip-of-the-spear, brotherhood in the world.

      Semper Fi Marine Mom!


      I would be more than happy to interview a west coast Marine in order to get an updated first-hand account on the training schedule. I also am very aware that each platoon is different, each company is different, and each battalion is different.

  • Forgot to tell you “Great Job” on this site. Very informative and efficient in disseminating information. Only wish I had found it long ago. I wish would add a link to your site on theirs. Would have saved me a lot of time!

    East or West Coast, I hope you consider each other a “brother” in the “Brotherhood of the Marines” when you are stationed or deployed together. One thing that brings me some sort of small solace in becoming a Mom of a Marine, is that I have read over and over on sites, and blogs from other Marines, that it is a family, a brotherhood..Once a Marine always a Marine… I hope it is all true. I was born and raised in California, back when it was a state I was much prouder of before our infiltration… and I still remember as a young girl the G.I.’s coming home from serving in Viet Nam, and how different these young men were from when they left. Some barely spoke, and just drank and smoked looking off into the distance. It seemed the only thing that brought them back to life was having a buddy they served with over there show up to see them. Suddenly, you got a glimpse of the young man that was your neighbor and how funny he was before he went to war. We are going to have a lot of Vets from these dam wars we are in now and I hope you all ban together, regardless of branch served or east or west coasts. You are all heroes and I thank you for serving our country, and I am trying to learn as much as I can about ranks, etc., of all branches, so that I can properly thank each and every active duty and veteran that I encounter, as well as, the families that have sacraficed right alongside you. Thank you again for your service to our country, as well as, the one you provide here with your website. I appreciate it. Semper Fidelis~~~

  • My boyfriend called me while he was MCT and said he’s suppose to have recruitors assitance but then he was told that reservest dont get that.
    Is that true? So does that mean he will miss Christmas? Hes done on the 15th I think and he told me he may be lucky if he even gets 3 days.
    What should I expect and what can I tell his family?

    • East Coast Girlfriend,

      Reservists can get Recruiter’s Assistance. He just needs to check with his local RS to see if they need anyone. There is an RA budget, so if they already have Marine’s helping, then they may not need him.

      There is NO time off between MCT and arriving at MOS school, but he will have a 4-day break (most likely) for Christmas once he gets to MOS school.

  • Thank you so much for your insite to MCT. I have a daughter at MCT and have not heard from her since she got there. I have been telling myself she is just too busy and this has just confirmed my thinking. I was wondering if you think they will get a break for Christmas. Her recruiter was surprised she even went to MCT before the holidays, he thought she would be sent after Christmas. Thank you for your time and service! Anxious Marine Mom

    • Anxious Marine Mom,

      Do not worry. Your daughter is fine… she just has very little time for communication. You get about 5 hours a day to yourself at MCT, and that is mostly spent sleeping. Any “free time” is spent cleaning weapons, guarding the armory, and cleaning the barracks. To be honest, I’m not sure what Christmas is like at MCT, but they will not be training on that day, and they will more than likely get their cell phones for the day to call home.

      Have a Merry Christmas!

      LCpl Webb

  • Hi. I was wondering if you can help me with this. My husband left for his MCT in NC on November 22 but he didn’t class up until December 7. He was suppose to have PTAD for a couple of weeks back home. Since he didn’t class up till 2 weeks later, will he still get RA? He also mentioned that they said he may not class up right away for his MOS. Is there a way he or I can do in case he doesn’t get PTAD after MCT?

    Is there a good site you know of that gives a lot of info for MOS in 29 palms Cali? He said he’s in 2800 (ground electronics). I’m trying to find out how long his school is. I read online if he has school longer than 4 months he may be able to apply for bade housing. Do you know if this us true?

  • Sorry I mean to say, what can he or I do to get him PTAD while he’s waiting to class up for his MOS. iPod keeps messing up my typing. I’m the Marine wide =)

  • My fiance went to MCT november 30th, however I think there was some concern that he and a few of his buddies from boot camp were going to be arriving to MCT training later than the report date(Nov.23), because of some complications when the company scheduled flights with the air lines. He had said the graduation they’d been told the graduation date would be the 21st of December, and he’d be able to come home for approx 2 weeks and that he’d have to report to his MOS Jan 3. He called me the first day from his cell phone, but nothing after that, so I’m guessing they took the phones, or he just hasn’t had time. Does any of the info they were given sound familiar or even realistic? Also some Marines family members I remain in contact with say they recieved an e-mail from their marine’s sergeant Dec 5, saying their Marine had arrived safe, etc and it included their mailing address-minus the platoon number. I have not recieved this. I even called one of the companies at MCT,Camp Lejeune and spoke to a Female PFC who was answering phones, and who also told me there had been letters mailed the night before (Dec 7) to families. I’ve not recieved that either. Please help to shed some light!

  • With my boyfriend coming home I was told the same thing that Marine Fiancee was being told about him having basically two weeks back home, but he called me and said he’d be lucky if he had any? Is that definite or does he have to wait until his MOS to find out FOR SURE if he has as many days as he was told before he left to MCT by his recruitor?

    -Thank you for your time

  • @Marine Girlfriend and Marine Fiance,

    Are you referring to holiday leave? He will have to check in at MOS school first, and then he will get details on his leave.

    I’m honestly not sure how they will coordinate MCT arrivals this close to Christmas. And I’m not sure how Christmas is done if you’ve already started MCT. I will try to find out and report back.

    LCpl Webb

  • Thanks so much for all the information. My son Devin is currently in MCT. This is one of the best set up pages I have ever seen. Keep up the good work and God Bless.

  • Marine Girlfriend and Fiance.
    My son is currently at MCT. His arrival date was 30 November. He called me yesterday afternoon and stated that he would have Christmas eve and day off. He will not be coming home for Christmas. He did state however that he will have 10 days of leave between MCT and MOS but that may also be because of when his MOS school starts. I’m not 100% sure because he only had a few minutes to talk so I wasn’t able to ask a lot of questions. I hope this helps.

  • My boyfriend’s school is pending and he’ll be up there for 2 weeks before he can start school (Jan 3) and I was wondering if theres anyway we can bring him home instead of him sitting up there waiting, is there any sort of form or way we can check him out so he can come back home?

    • @Marine GF,

      He can request to take leave. If he just got out of MCT, he should have 3 or 4 days of leave built up. Other than that… it is all a case by case basis.

      LCpl Webb

  • Can I mail candy to my son for Christmas at MCT (East)? I heard that the mail does not get to them often because they are in the field. Do they get it eventually, before they leave for MOS?
    Waiting to hear from you before I head to the post office.

    • Hello Anonymous,

      You can send whatever you want to MCT (within reason), but it is more than likely not worth it. Wait until he gets to his MOS school, and then you can send whatever you want.

      It wouldn’t hurt to send him something, but it is unlikely that he will be allowed to keep the candy… though they may let him have it on Christmas day. It ALWAYS depends on the training schedule, and who is in charge of the platoon that day.


  • I graduated MCT on Dec 14, and the training schedule is pretty different from what you have, and from what I’ve heard it’s constantly being reworked. The 2 companies before and after mine are on this schedule though, so it might be a more permanent change. For now, they have you hiking out to Camp Devil Dog on the 2nd day, supposedly because it makes it more similar to a field environment, and you stay there for most of your training. They have more of the “airplane hangers” built, though, so its not like you have to sleep in green town the whole time. They have 3 classrooms where you have all your classes, and you do your prac aps in the field next to the confidence course or in the woods. You eat MREs the ENTIRE time, and A rations for one meal a day the first week and a half. When you hike out to the range, the A rats disappear. My combat instructors were pretty cool to us though as long as we did what we were supposed to, and it only sucked half the time.

  • Can you tell me about the MCT graduation. I believe my son is graduating Jan. 3/4th. Do you have a schedule with what time it starts, what its like, etc.? I enjoy this website, thanks so much.

  • my daughter is graduating on jan.11th.Her MOS is 0300 logistics or 02300 logistics.
    Do you know where she’ll go to school?

    Thank You
    L.A.Marine Dad

  • -Ruben

    Your daughter is going to be an 0400 Logistician. I know this because I am one myself. She will be going to school at Camp Johnson on Camp Lejeune, NC. Depending on her MOS, she will be in school for 4 to 6 weeks.

    Sgt “Bull” Bullard

  • My son is graduating from MCT tomorrow, 1/4/11. His training sounds identical to Britt B’s. Very tough, cold, wet, MRE’s the whole time. Sleeping in the airplane hangars the whole time. Coming back to the actual Camp only once or twice. Phone’s I think 3 times after getting picked up, not every weekend. He hadn’t been ‘picked up’ yet over Thanksgiving, so he still had phone, but a lot of guard duty. Was picked up over Christmas, but they were given liberty for the first time in a long time, if not ever, in the history of East Coast MCT. Parents/family were allowed to visit, I didn’t get to! My question is he’s going to FLW, MO for 3531 MOS, Motor T Operator. I can’t find any info or websites really on this, can you help?

    • @Marine GF,

      Yes, he will receive full active duty pay, but as far as I know, he won’t receive any special pay like housing, a food per diem, etc.

      I could be wrong on the food per diem and housing. He will need to confirm with his recruiter on that.


  • my marine left on the 29th of december to MCT. when will he be done with MCT? How long is the entire thing? i know afterwards he goes to school for 9 months. i have gotten one phone call, which was 2 minutes so i couldn’t say much or ask.

    • @Kev’s Girl,

      Your Marine’s MCT graduation date will be on a Tuesday, 29 days after his check-in date or his class-up date (if he is held in a waiting platoon). Check-in dates are on a Monday. Simply add 4 weeks and 1 day to the date that your Marine (or you) classes up, and you’ll have your Marine’s MCT graduation date.

  • Mr. Webb,

    Love the site, it has a lot of great information. I guess my question may be one that you can’t answer, but what do you know of Sailors attending MCT; what should be expected of us and for us? I only ask because as you probably know RPs deal with Marines a lot in the field and I just got PCAed to SOI and my Chaplain is wanting to get me TAD orders to MCT. I can honestly say I’m excited about the whole idea, but very nervous. I highly respect my Marine brothers and enjoy working with them.

    • @RP USN,

      I honestly do not know of any Sailors that have gone through MCT.

      I can tell you this. You would gain a much higher level of respect from a group of Marines having gone through MCT. Not that Marines don’t respect Navy personnel, but there would be a higher bond having experienced this portion of training.

      Prove yourself when it comes to fitness as well. Marines want to be confident that the Navy personnel they are deployed with care just as much about physical fitness as they do. Especially considering you might have to carry a Marine one day out of harm’s way.

      Good luck on your venture, and be sure to update us all here on your MCT experience if you get to go.

      Semper Fi!


  • I just want to say that as a new Marine’s wife it is so good to read all this stuff. It makes me feel like I’ve got support and its good to read all the crap everyone’s Marine had to go through too. That sounds awful but it makes it easier knowing other guys (and girls) had to put up with some bullshit too, in boot or MCT or fleet. My husband’s sea bags got mistakenly (I think) taken and he went to MCT with one sea bag that he had a few uniforms in. I’m worried he got shit on when he went and I haven’t heard from him yet. So I’m glad to read that they don’t get to call for a while and so on. Thanks for everyone helping everyone else out and answering questions. 🙂 Semper Fi

  • Thank you for all the great information. My question is; Family day is Jan 31, 2011, but I can’t seem to find out the time it starts or ends. Same for graduation Feb 1, 2011
    Do you have that information? We plan to drive 61/2 hours to get there.
    Thanks again! Proud Marine Mom

  • Hi, My boyfriend just left for MCT training at camp Geiger on the 1st of feb assuming he will be going to MOS after wards on the 1st of march, when will i find out where he will be going for MOS and can i visit? will he call?

  • Hello, my brother just left for MCT on Tuesday February 1, 2011. he checked in around 1 o clock that tuesday. Can you please let me know which day his family day and graduation day will be? Since he checked in on a tuesday instead of that monday. Do you think it will be Tuesday March 1st and then Grad would be Wednesday March 2nd? thank you so much!!

  • Thanks for all the info. Trying to figure out if I can go to the MCT graduation Feb. 22, 2011. Is there another graduation after MOS training? If I can’t go to both do you suggest one over the other?

    Thank you!

  • I just came across your website today and I think it is very well done and very informational. My son reported for MCT on November 16, 2010. About two weeks in he fractured his collar bone and sprained his shoulder. He was in medic for roughly a month. He was cleared for duty right before Christmas but when the next class started up after the 1st of the year there was no space for him. He was very upset. I am happy to say that he will be graduating next Tuesday. I only wish he found this website while he was on the mend. He only called once while in MCT and that was last Saturday evening while I was at church. He didn’t think to call my cell phone but I had it off anyway. If anyone is looking for a grad schedule it is now up on the MCT website. I want to tread lightly here and don’t want to offend anyone but I have found out that its better to take a tough love approach with these young Marines. Yes, listen to their concerns, but they made a choice to live in a very adult world and we as parents have to let them go as hard as it may be! God bless! Semper Fi!

  • Thanks soooo much for this lowdown- I’m heading to MCT in a week and this site really broke everything down a hell of a lot better than the little brief we got in boot camp. As a female I was worried about some things, but the details you shared helped put those worries to rest. Thanks again! Semper fi!

  • Just wanted to thank you for the information on this website. Your site is the ONLY place that I could find out what my son is doing. He left for MCT-East on 1/31/2011. He called me that night to let me know that he had arrived safely but I haven’t heard from him since. Now I know that it’s just because he is extremely busy….. so I guess No News is Good News! Thank you again for giving me some peace of mind. Semper Fi !

    • Glad you’re finding my website useful. And yes, no news is great news! I wrote a letter to my wife almost every day at boot camp. At MCT, I didn’t write a single letter. Congrats on your new Marine!

      Semper Fi!


  • Thank you so much. My nephew just left on Monday (2/21) for Camp Geiger. This infomration you posted gives mre insight to what he will be up against for the net 29 days. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. God Bless You and your family as you continue on your path as a US Marine.

  • Hey Kevin, I have a question for you. My nephew was with Kilo Company as a recruit, will he be considered Kilo Company at MCTB?

    • Hello Theresa,

      No, MCT does not carry over any platoon details from Boot Camp. I was Alpha Co. at Boot Camp and Hotel Co. at MCT. Whichever company is open when he arrives is where he’ll get put.

  • We took our son to MCT Camp Geiger on Feb 22, 2011. Your information is a blessing to have to read. Thank you so much for this and for your service to our country. God Bless.

  • Thanks for this site. Very informational and just what I needed. My son left for MCT on Monday. I was surprised to see they don’t get 36 hours leave after Graduation. I had read someplace that they get a leave.

  • Can you tell me what time the final march begins and ends? My son should be doing that today and I am wondering when he will be finished so I can breath again. :-/

    • It is already over. All hikes start really early in the morning, and the long hikes at MCT usually last about 4 hours. He’s most likely already done.

      Breath easy 🙂


  • is the final march back to camp geiger on thursday or friday? my Marine said they might be able to get there phones back when they get there.. do you think that is just a rumor he heard?

    • Hello Neal!

      We did not get our phones back until the Monday before we graduated, but every company and platoon is different. Sorry to say phone information can never be confirmed. Some platoons never get their phones at MCT, and some get them every Sunday. It all depends.


  • This has helped me out tremendously on finding out info about my fiancés graduation. Thank you! He is graduating on March 22; I plan on driving down to it. I am only 18.. I was wondering if I need anything special to get into graduation or for family day, obviously my license but do I need anything else?

  • WOW…I went through MCT almost 10 years ago (the first platoon to integrate females) and we were allowed to take our phones with us. Of course, there was NO signal out at Camp Devil Dog but we did stand in LONG payphone lines. Maybe they dont have that anymore! In the rear, we would stand out in the ladder well and use our phones and smoke cigarettes. We were BORED there!

    • @SSGT Lorge,

      Was that at MCT or SOI?

      SOI allows smoking and phones because it is considered their MOS school, but MCT does not allow either. Nor can we have food or candy of our own.


  • Hi. My daughter and niece are driving down to see a MCT graduation. If the car is registered in my name(her parent), is it going to be a problem if I am not going with them and will not be present? Thanks, Liz

  • My son went to SOI at Camp Geiger March 8’th. I have found lots of good information re: MCT and yours is extremely helpful. However, i understand that the training for those going into the infantry is longer (9 weeks) and cannot find any information regarding the graduation dates or what to expect. Can you help or refer me to information or sites that would?
    Thank you!

  • I’m heading to MCT next month and I have a few questions. Do you do any crawling in the sand? For me, that was one of the worst aspects of training. I think I still have scabs on my elbows from the sand getting in my sleeves and grinding between my skin and my cammies. As for the hikes, what’s the pace like and are they all with the ILBE pack and kevlar? Also, speaking of the kevlar, do you get one that actually fits or do you not have a choice? In boot camp, I was stuck with a large even though I had the smallest head size, and it would always get pushed forward by the pack on the hikes and shift around all the time during training. I tried to switch with the other girls in my platoon, but everyone seemed to have larges and the ones with smalls wouldn’t give them up. Last question. Were the females treated differently/badly and do you have any advice/tips for us females? Thanks.

    • @M – I’m posting answers to your questions on the MCT Frequently Asked Questions page as well.

      Too bad you didn’t find this website before boot camp. You would have gotten my tips to wear mole skins on your knees and elbows for the low crawling that you do in the sand… especially during the Crucible.

      Do you do any crawling in the sand?

      A Marine could end up crawling in sand at nearly any time in their career, but there is no designated training at MCT that requires it like there was at boot camp.

      As for the hikes, what’s the pace like and are they all with the ILBE pack and Kevlar?

      The hikes are very similar to the hikes at boot camp. Females have it worse though, because now they have to content with the pace set by the males.

      Also, speaking of the kevlar, do you get one that actually fits or do you not have a choice?

      You’ll get MUCH better gear at MCT than at Boot Camp. The gear at Boot Camp is not equivalent to what you get in the field, and you’ll very rarely even see a canteen in the fleet. You use a CamelBak instead. Kevlars will fit, and your gear issue will be legit. It’s not like boot camp where nobody cares if your gear works or fits.

      Were the females treated differently/badly and do you have any advice/tips for us females?

      The females were treated with respect. Most of the instructors are males, but there are some female instructors. They still treat you like a Marine though. Don’t expect there to be a softer tone or method of dealing with female Marines versus male Marines.


  • @None – Please feel free to point out any specifics regarding a breach in OPSEC. Once found, I will promptly delete the information. Maybe you can round up your buddies at Camp Lejeune for an extra set of eyes 😉

    I can guarantee that there aren’t too many Marines that understand OPSEC more than I do, but I’m doubtful than any sensitive information is published on this website.

    As far as I know, there are no deployment dates on this site, nor are there any FOB locations, operational strategies, TS training methods, classified weapons or information, intelligence-related material, or even sensitive posts that would jeopardize a Marine’s safety, mission, training, or morale.

    Everything on this site can be found on the officially run Marine Corps site, I have simply provided the information in a first-hand experience, and an easier to find format.

    Semper Fi!


  • Another question. In boot camp, we were told that after MCT, if our cammies had rips/stains that made them unservicable, that we could fill out some forms and have them replaced for free. Do you know if that’s accurate? Thanks.

  • Hello, my boyfriend is already away at MCT East. He also told me that he may be working with Supply for MOS school. Is there any information that you can give me about where (state) he will be stationed?


  • Thank you for the info! My boyfriend left for MCT last week, I haven’t heard from him and I know it’s likely I wont and reading some of this really helped me understand what he’s going through.
    Im just curious, how important is MCT graduation? I live about 16 hours away and really can’t afford missing anymore school after going to his bootcamp graduation… If I dont go will he be the only one without someone there? Or is it less common for family to attend this time?

  • Good morning Kevin, I hope I am not becoming a pain in the a** with all my questions. I heard from my nephew the other night and he was somewhat disappointed that they are not sending him to his MOS in Pensacola as he had expected. He was asked to stay on in Jacksonville until the end of April (doing what he did not know) and then attend a “fire fighting” course for three months in Dallas,Texas. The call was kinda choppy but I am pretty certain that is what he said. Do you know anything about “fire fighting” courses or why they would change the plan – I know it is the marines and you do whatever they say and be happy about it but I was just curious since he was really looking forward to starting aviation ordinance support school. Any infomration you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again,
    P.S. my nephew is the one I wrote you about getting the meritorious mast.

    • Hey Theresa,

      It’s no bother. Most likely the Pensacola school is backed up right now, meaning that even if he went there tomorrow… he would end up in a holding platoon until he was able to class up. It’s like this at most school, but Pensacola is home to some of the longer MOS school, so instead of having him sit around there doing nothing, its better for him to be getting more training opportunities. That’s my best guess, as it happens frequently. Even my MOS was back up by up to 4 months… and it was only a 3-month school.

      Hope this helps.


  • thank you, this will help me understand what my husband will go through when he gets there after camp geiger…plenty thanks

  • Hey Kevin,
    Just wondering, my hubby graduates MCT in about a week and a half…by now does he know if hes going straight to job school or if he has to wait and where it is. He is going for legal assistance, just wondering if you knew where his training might be? I think it should just be another month long of training but its hard to know whats going on when you can’t really be in contact with your Marine.
    Thanks 🙂

  • My boyfriend is in MCT now he began about 2 weeks ago, and its been two sundays in a row he has not called. I’m guessing his instructors are strict. I’m not worried but he can call before graduation right?

    • Marine Girlfriend311,

      Some platoons never get to use their phone. It’s a little strange, but even my platoon never got to use phones the Sunday before graduation to make sure our families that were coming had the information they needed. Good thing my wife is smart, otherwise she wouldn’t have know what to do. She did a little bit of research and a little bit of guessing. I don’t think they sent her anything. If they did, she didn’t get it because we had just moved. You could try calling MCT to get graduation info.


  • Hey Kevin,
    My boyfriend finished boot camp and graduated March 11th, he tried to get recruiters assistance but wasnt able to because he didnt get someone in the office until after his deadline so he couldnt get his orders changed. He left for MCT in Jacksonville on March 21st but day 1 was March 22nd. He told me and his family before leaving that he’d get the recruiters assistance when he finished MCT so he’d be home for a month before leaving for Missouri (another thing he told us before he left.) I wanted to ask how definite that is because I do want to see him for as long as possible before he leaves again.
    Also, he told me that his phone was taken away for 25 days and he will get it back on the 25th day. The first Sunday passed and he was unable to call, which really sucks because i thought it’d be a little more lenient than in bootcamp. As well, I didn’t know there was another family day and graduation. His family and I live on Long Island and not too sure whether to go down for that or if he will just fly back home if he has recruiters assistance and stays for a month. He only told me his company and which platoon he was in and I’m not too sure what to write for the address to send a letter since on here I see SOI on the address you posted at the top of this page and I know he specifically told me hes not in SOI.
    Sorry about all the questions but Thank you in advance =)

  • Hello, I’ve arrived today at Camp Geiger (April 3, 2011). We have not been given any information on the times of Family Day or Graduation. I was wondering if you have any information on the times of these events or if he will even be aloud to make a phone call today!?

  • HI i am a fiance to a MArine he is in MOS but his school is backed up till july he got RA but he needs his paper work his recruiter said there’s a website he can get them on does anyone know it so I can give it to him so he can come home thank you

  • and I forgot, is he going to bring some regular clothes with him? and about his phone, you said that he can bring it with him in MCT right? what else he can bring with him during MCT and MOS??? My husband was asking about the D.E.E.R.S., I talked to his recruiter and he said that when he is done with bootcamp and MOS that’s the time the they will send us that package..Is this true???

  • You didn’t answer the last question that I asked, meaning?

    They didn’t brief us or anything before my husband leave for bootcamp, that’s why I have alot of questions..

    Thank you for your reply, I really appreciate it…

  • Are males and females trained together on the West Coast? And if the West Coast trainees get the weekends off, do the weekends not count for the 29 days?

    • Hannah,

      All females complete all of their basic and combat training on the East coast.

      The West coast can afford to take weekends off because their shooting ranges and training facilities are right next to their barracks. On the East coast, we have to hike several miles a day to and from our shooting ranges, so we only complete 1-2 ranges a day, where as West coast might be able to do 3-4.


  • Good news on ALL the females being trained on the East Coast… what with me being a fiance and all, haha.

    On the weekends, what does “being off” really mean? Civilian life, or what?

    Thank you!


  • Oh okay so they can use their electronics/means of communication on the weekends? And are the Saturdays and Sundays (weekends off) included in the full 29 days?


  • I am leaving for Parris Island on September 6. I will be graduating on December 2. Then will I report to MCT on December 12 or wait until January due to holidays?

  • Dear Kevin, Thanks for the info. 1-July-2011 is the grad of class 11-11. He will report around the block, by bus for MOS. After checking in, Rumors about a 4th of July LIBERTY might happen.
    ANY INFO on that? Sure we love him very, very dearly. but practical. A good reason to drive 10 hrs. (better than a 30 minute visitation!)

  • Hello!

    My husband is almost done with his bootcamp. He will graduate this july 8th. I know after 10 days of vacation, he will go back at SD for MCT. Is it really possible for him to go home evry Sunday and go back at Sunday night?

    Thank you!


  • Hi! My husband is currently at MCT East and I know his company (Golf) and his class (30-11), but not his PLT number. How can I find that out so that I can send letters? Also I found an address online the website said this is for all training marines there I was wondering if that is true
    Rank and Name
    SOI – East MCT BN
    PSC BOX 20166
    Camp Lejeune, NC 28542 – 0166

    One more question. After MCT he will head straight to Pensecola, FLA for his MOS. His MOS is avaiation mechaninc (something like that.) His MOS is about 52 weeks long according to his Recruiter and I was wondering if since we are married is there any way I can live with him during MOS or at least on thr base since it is so long. If so, how do I go about it? Thanks in advance for response.

    Proud Marine Wife!

  • Hi. My husband is currently at MCT. His graduation day is set for July 26, 2011. Is it normal to not receive any contact with your Marine at all during MCT? I haven’t gotten any letters or phone calls. This tends to worry me ALOT. Is writing home a luxury that most east coast Marines don’t have? Thanks,

  • To Marine Wife Evans
    You will be able to visit him but wont be able to live with him as far as i know unless they have changed. when i went through mos school we werent allowed to have anyone live with us. but like i said unless they have changed. but dont quote me on this though.

  • Hello Kevin!
    My husband just started his MCT last tuesday. I have a question, I know they have a liberty every sunday. Is it possible for me to visit him inside Camp Pendleton?

    Thank you so much!

  • @ Chriaty…I’m sorry to hear that…Praise God my husband’s MCT is in Camp Pendleton..He just started his MCT last Tuesday. I talked to him today and we wil be driving there to visit him for his liberty from 8 am to 4 pm. And my husband told me too that they can come home on the last weekend of their graduation and comes back Sunday night. Praying that he will contact you before he graduate..As I know they have 5 hours family day on that Monday right?

  • @ Chriaty…correction, I just talked to him yesterday and he’s not sure about that last weekend lol he just heard that they can get out..I hope he can..but it’s okay if not..we will just drive there again..

  • Your site is well intentioned and I applaud it’s merits. However, the reason that West Coast students get 6 out of 29 days “off” is because all of the training areas for prac apps and classes are within close walking distance. So, the West Coast slams more training into the weekdays than MCT East. Having been an instructor on the west coast and doing one cycle of “exchange instructor” on the east coast, I have first hand knowledge on the topic. All Marines, regardless of coast get teh same classes and prac app times, they are completely mirrored. The only difference is that the east coast has humidity, rain and chiggers, while the west coast has mountains on hikes. Semper Fidelis and keep up the good work on keeping parents and family involved.

  • Heyyy Kevin… I was wondering on something. My fiance is out at MCT right now, and he has been there for three weeks. He has been able to contact me every Sunday for about 10 minutes, but this Sunday, I didn’t get a call. Is he okay? What is the more likely cause of that? I’m starting to worry a little bit. Thanks so much 🙂

  • @ Julie, is your fiance’s MCT are in Camp Pendleton? They’re doing the 10k hiking till Friday. Same thing as my husband. They will come back this Friday. And I was told that they might have an Off Base Liberty, I keep on praying.

    Thank you!!

  • My boyfriend just got to MCT at Camp Geiger yesterday and today found out they have “camp guard” and my be delayed? But they didnt tell them anything else about it. What is “camp guard” and how long does it usually last?

  • Hi, my husband just started mct up , since he was on camp guard for about two weeks.
    I was just wondering if you had any idea of how much all of his gear will cost for the first week, because i know they will get it all with in the firt couple days.

    Thank you =]

  • My husband is going into his 2nd week of mct at camp pendleton. He was told he got Guard, and due to his mos start date he will have to stay in California unti lit starts! Just our luck! He was also told his only way out of i and to come home on leave until it starts would be to get recruiter assistance. Can somebody please help me find the info on his mos school start date!??? i looked on tecomm and the site does notwork! Hes mos is 0481 landing support specialist and his school is in NC. Thats about all I knoe! thank you so much for you help1!!!!!

  • Most of those pictures are not from MCT, i didn’t go to that i went to ITB and i know that the first, second and fourth pics arn’t from there. No m4’s and no sapi carriers. Those are fleet pictures.

  • I would like to thank Vdawgs Hot Dogs Cart! Not only is this one of the best Hotdogs I have ever eaten.. and I have ate a lot lol, The guy operating the cart was more imformative than anyone else I asked to find out where my son was and times of graduation etc! God Bless the USA

  • I just wanted to thank you for all of the advice on this site. My son packed a uniform in his carry on, like you said, and was very glad he did. When he arrived at the airport, his luggage did not make it until later the next day. Too many sea bags to fit on the plane to Jacksonville. He was thankful that I had found this site. Some of the Marines with him did not have a uniform change with them. Thanks again.

  • This site is very helpful! I am so glad that I found it! My son arrived on Sept 6, and I haven’t heard the first thing from him yet. At least now I know what he is experiencing. Thank you so much for the information.

  • My brother left for MCT about a week ago now. My mother found an address and we were wondering if they are able to receive letters from us?

  • Hello Kevin:

    My son leaves for Ft Geiger tomorrow. Can you give any advice as to what he should bring with him (besides his phone, charger) in terms of either conveniences, clothes or other things? Thank you for this GREAT website – ful of information!!

  • Hi Kevin:

    My boyfriend checked in at Camp Geiger for his MCT training today. I found his class and co online but I’m unsure if I have the correct address.

    SOI East MCT BN
    PSC Box 20166
    Camp Lejeune, NC 28542-0166

    Thank you

  • My son got to MCT training on Monday, November 24th and we have not heard anything from him… Should I be concerned that he haven’t heard from him? Also how can I find out when his family day / graduation will be?

  • Also one other question for you…. How do I find out my son’s address so that we can send him a letter if we don’t know his company etc.?

  • my son arrived for MCT training on November 24th and we have not heard from him since? We were told he’d get to call on Sunday but didn’t hear anything, neither have we rec’d his address. Should we be worried? Other question is how do we find out his family day/graduation date and also his address so we can write him.?

  • Ok so no offense WHAT SO EVER!!! But as a prior MCT instructor I do take some offense to some of the stuff posted on here. I understand that this was a over a year ago and a couple years after I left MCT as an instructor but at the same time this site came up as I google’d to find Christmas presents for my parents… Now, first of all, I would like to ask some follow up questions. After you were “treated like a recruit” in MCT because you “got screwed because of what someone else did”, and now that you are in the fleet do you really see a difference? Do you not still stand in formation at crazy times because someone missed formation or duty? Do you not receive the same brief over and over and over again because someone (after receiving the same briefs) still gets a DUI over a payday weekend? I’m just wondering….yes, like recruit training, MCT does take their “purpose” to the extreme but unless you want actual live rounds buzzing by your head, this is what we are left with. Now as far as the comparision of east and west cost, again I was there when all the changes were coming down range (excuse the pun) rest assured the training is the same. In fact, I was the assistant curriculum developer at the time and fought tooth and nail to make sure ALL non-infantry Marines received the same training (trust me that entailed WAY more briefs than any person should ever endure in a lifetime). When it comes to the west coast, terrain has a lot to do with why they get weekends “off” (which is NOT like they have a px across the street like east coast does. Trust me a lot of the “libo” is spent either waiting for a ride, walking, or giving up and staying where they are). If MCT(E) had the resources that MCT(W) had (for example, bivoucing right across the road from ALL the ranges in contrast to designated hunting sites) the east coast could afford to give their students more time off. However because of the way Lejuene is designed (part hunting ground/part training area/part nature preserve) the hours are the way they are but rest assured the training is the same. I’m sure many west coast Marines can argue that you never had hills to deal with (b/c I JUST left Camp Pendleton, believe me the “hills” are not something to argue with).

    For the family members who are concerned about their Marine not contacting them when they were “supposed” to: please understand that a lot of different things do come up. In the case of MCT (or any training base for that matter) sometimes the platoon (or company or even battalion) commander can issue restrictions on outside communications (cell phones, emails, etc). During these times, it is safe to rely on the old saying “no news is good news”. Please know that if ANYTHING serious happens to your Marine, you WILL be contacted. If they are homesick, roll an ankle, or fail a test you may not be contacted. But anything SERIOUS (major injury, serious mental issues, holding back for some reason) happens, you will be notified. If not by your Marine, by someone within the command. I understand that your Marine is a cherished part of your family (I’m facing that reality more and more with my oldest son), but they went 3 months in boot camp with limited communication with you…29 days is nothing in comparision and they WILL have every opportunity to contact you while in MOS training.

    I appologize if I am coming off as abrasive or uncompassionate, but please understand that everything the Marine Corps does is for a reason. The goal of every MCT instructor is not to torture entry-level Marines or “treat them like they were treated”. It is to bring them home after a combat tour. Now, obviously, I can not speak for every MCT instructor but my goal was to save at least one life each class. If I could bring at least one more Marine home to their family because I stressed them out in training, then I was a successful instructor. I understand that you posted this blog to inform others of what to expect at MCT, but I feel it is my duty to inform them as well to the “other side” of the training.

    • Nothing on this post should offend you, and I feel the same way about MCT now as I did 2 years ago.

      And no, I don’t stand in stupid formations when other people mess up. When they mess up, they get written up, counseled, and non -rec’d.

      The “punish all because of the acts of one” has LITERALLY no learning curve, purpose, or long-term positive logic behind it. There are Marines that will always be dirt bags, and no matter how many times their actions cause the platoon to get punished, they’ll just continue to be who they are.

      Because of those Marines, all the “punish all for one” mentality does is lower moral, waste time, and cut into actual training time.

      Garbage Marines should be dealt with as a whole one time. After that, their issues should be dealt with individually.

      Kevin Webb

  • hey my boyfriend just went into MCT and he has only 26 days left. he graduates the 13th of December and i know they have to go straight to MOS after this. I was wondering. since his mos will be too far away for him to travel on a 96 (even with a chit) could he fly me out to where he is on MOS while hes on 96 if we get a hotel and everything?

  • Wow its been a long time since i have went to mct. It was different as a female in boot camp because we were trained separately but in mct it was even harder. It wasn’t the physical part that was rough it was that fact that i was a woman and i had to work harder, because I was not going to be put in the rest of the category of women., weak and dependent on men. It was an experience I won’t forget, even know that I’m out I still remember it like it was yesterday. You really bond with the men and women around you the sense of family comes in, I still keep in contact with everyone. No one in the civilian life can take any of their places, they don’t know how we feel or how we felt. Just something you’d have to experience when your there. The marines have taken me alot of places nad made me to the woman i am today…

  • Hey Kevin,
    my boy friend just left for MCT traning i was curious if this address looks correct i wanna send him mail to the right address lol.
    PFC Duszynski Gregory
    SOI East MCT BN
    Golf Company 1st Platoon
    PSC 20161
    Camp Lejeune, NC 28542- 0161

    • Every platoon is different, but unless their schedule has changed in the last 3 weeks, then they still receive (most) weekends off, or at least some liberty on the weekends.

      Kevin Webb

  • Hi, I hear the food situation leaves a lot of people hungry. Are we allowed to bring anything like protein bars for a little something extra? (I’m east coast)

    • The food situation is not nearly as bad as it was at boot camp. I was always hungry at boot camp. At MCT, you’ll get sufficient time in the chow hall most of the time, you can go back from seconds on some things, and they provide items that you can ‘pocket’ for the road like apples and pastries.

      For two of the 4 weeks you’ll be eating MRE’s, so if hunger is a concern of yours, then don’t sell/trade your food like a lot of Marines tend to do.

      They won’t let you take candy into the barracks, but you can stock up on cough drops which helps suppress the hunger a bit.

      Kevin Webb

  • Hey – thanks so much for creating this site – it’s hard to find out anything of “substance” about the East Coast MCT. We appreciate you taking your time and resources – Thank you for your service to this country – I hope we can be deserving of it!

  • Kevin – quick question:

    My son is week 3 at E. MCT – (waited a week to get picked up 🙁 His original MOS was Combat Support. After arriving at Camp LeJeune he was assigned to Artillery – as a cannoneer. Right before getting picked up it was changed to “open contract” – does that mean open under the field of Artillery or open under Combat Support? He told us he won’t find out anything until the day before graduation.

  • I was an MCT instructor out there in the 90’s all the pictures seem foreign to me except Camp Devil Dog. I guess the old one story cinder block barracks are gone now replaced with some fancy 3 story contraption, what a waste they will rarely get used anyways. Seems like they treat Marines more like recruits than we did then, it was a month long course with 1 week of admin and learning about crew served weapons 17 days in the field, then a day to clean weapons and the barracks, couldn’t go on liberty till it was done right. After a weekend of liberty you had MOS assignments and orders, they issued tickets then, seems like now Marines got to arrange and pay to get where the Corps send them. Back then 1st and last weekend you could go offbase for liberty all weekend long, and we didn’t do no graduation ceremony because they were Marines not recruits. You are using M4s and tactical slings now, that would have NEVER happened back then.

  • Also another hotel you might want to add to save folks some money, the Onslow Inn. Haven’t been out that way in quite a while so it may not be open anymore. It used to be the cheapest hotel in Jacksonville, but don’t expect too much. Back when I was a young LCpl We used to take strippers there after the strip clubs closed.

  • Hey Kevin–wanted to get your feedback on this. We just received our second correspondence from our son who will be completing his 4th week of training (phase 1). One of the things that he requested was for us to pray for ‘unity’ in his platoon. I’m curious what he might mean by this. Although I do plan on writing him back to find out more about this…I just wanted to get you feedback.
    I have been reading and viewing various posts about boot camp and from what I’ve seen and heard it seems to me that ultimately everyone needs to work as a team. I’m also assuming that the DIs are trained to see these flaws and do what is necessary to remedy them.
    What are your thoughts and what do you recall? Did you have some that resisted coming together as a team? Some feeling they were better than the rest? By the end of the third phase are they pretty much “unified”?
    Just thinking…

    Thanks for your time sir.

  • my son is at camp lejuene now.He left a message while i was out
    stating that he will be two weeks later in graduating,but,he didnt say im worried that he got in trouble or got hurt or something
    he didnt sound upset on the answering machine but im still worried
    any advise would be appreciated THANK YOU

  • Interesting article well written. I love the comments about east coast/west coast. It is good to see that the rules in the Corps haven’t changed.

    Rule #1 the other coast is always easier
    Rule #2 Bootcamp today is so much easier than when I was in boot camp
    Rule #3 The new Marines coming in to the Corps today aren’t as good or as tough as the Marines of old.

    Semper Fi


  • Were proud of our son the marine he is in mct and ready for mos we enjoyed him during his leave time after basic . mike gets full support from the family he will make a great marine and go far ,

  • haven’t seen anything specific in this most helpful site, about the few, the proud ladies who also go through MCT after boot camp. Anything shared will be appreciated. I have been blessed to raise her and intend to continue unswerving support . She will leave for MCT in about 15days, East coast.

  • Hi,

    My brother just left for MCT training this morning and after reading your article I’m considering sending him some hand/ feet warmers. Is that a bad idea?

    Thank you and as many have already mentioned, your posts are really insightful.

  • I keep reading about there being a family day. I’ve also just read that all graduations are on Tuesday. My boyfriend is due to graduate on a Friday from Camp Geiger. Does this mean that his family day is on Thursday? If so, what time does liberty start. Also, would you be so kind as to include a list of other reputable websites that I, and others, can go to for more information? Thank you for your time and consideration, in advance. Semper Fi.


  • hi kevin i am a young kid who is wanting to join the marines but i want to be able to get into shape my dad is a ex marine and he does not know any where for me to get into shape and i am dedacated to joining the marines and i will stop at nothing to join the marines.i would like to knowif you know any places in michigan to help me get into shape if you can write me back it would be great.

  • Kevin- we were told that our daughter might be able to get RA duty after MCT (she didn’t after boot) and that her MOS school has a 2-3month delay due to lack of instructors and class sizes. What needs to happen to get this into place…does she need to call someone or speak w/ someone specificially in MCT about this to get things in motion?
    Thanks! Therese

  • halo am Eric from Kenya and i have always loved and wished to be a marine something that i have even tried here in Kenya but as soon as am almost taken,am asked for a bribe something that has hurt ed me.Please if there is a way i can join the U.S marine coz that has always been ma dream,tell me.

    yours faithfully,

  • Kevin,
    Super web site!! Answered a lot of questions and helps me to know what my son is doing. It s really hard for Moms (family members ) when all we can do is imagine and wonder what our Marines are doing! Thank you for taking the time to do this. God Bless you.. all the best!!

  • Hey!
    So, my boyfriend was in the hotel company and graduated in June. He gave me his class picture to keep safe and well I just got home and my dog ate it… So I was wondering if there was any website or place where I could buy a new one. Thanks for your help!

  • Thank you so much for this cite. My son is graduating this week and I could not be more proud. Although, we missed his birthday with him for the first time, I didn’t trip or send any crazy birthday items. I did like I normally did which was to write two letters a week to keep him informed and motivated. I always wanted to be a marine. Thank God for off-springs. After hearing and reading all that’s required, I don’t know if I would not have cried the whole time. Maybe not I am pretty strong, but it does sound like a lot of work. Thank God for my son, the USA, and the Marines. Thank you for keeping us safe from the known and unknown.

  • I was wondering why you would have this sight here, isn’t this going against opsec, not only endangering those marine lives that are there now but future generation. Lets jus say this sight gives the tacticle advantage to “bad people”, and through this they can use a simple 7 step terrorist planning process which it wouldnt be hard to do considering the information that is posted…. But what do I know, my opinion is irrelevant

    • DF,

      First of all, I think you mean “site” and not “sight.”

      Secondly, there is nothing sensitive on this entire website. Not even close. By definition, OPSEC (Operational Security) is defined as pieces of critical information that could be collected and used against friendly forces. As far as OPSEC is concerned, you’ll find better intel from watching the G.I. Joe cartoons.

      Sgt. Webb

  • my daughter leaves Monday for east coast MCT. Since it will be cold can I pack the air activated hand warmers for her to use while there? or will she find herself with problems if she uses them to keep warm?

    • That’s a tricky one. She might be able to get away with that, but I’m not sure. It all depends on her platoon and instructors. I went through MCT in the dead of winter – we even got 8 inches of snow during one of our field weeks. My suggestion would be for her to save her MRE warmers and eat her food cold. That’s what I did. I don’t mind cold food anyways, so I saved my warmers for the brutal mornings when we were sitting on our packs for 2 hours before a hike.

      Sgt. Webb

  • My boyfriend is currently at MCT east and i got to talk to him at the end of week two i think. do yo think he’ll get his phone again before his graduation date 12/3/13?
    Thanks (:

  • My son left today to MCT training to Pendleton, how soon we will be notified where he is going to continue his MOS schooling and when the graduation will be?

  • HI Kevin,
    I had a quick question for you.
    My boyfriend is currently at MCT at camp geiger and I was wondering if he would have libo tomorrow for thanksgiving? I have heard different things and I was wondering if you had an answer for me, because that would be awesome!
    Also, he graduates December 10 from MCT, his MOS is avionics and will be going to pensacola for schooling, but i heard they close for 2 weeks for Christmas, will they still pick up a class before Christmas? I guess my question is, will he still go straight from MCT to pensacola?
    Thanks, have a great holiday!

  • I just wanted to point out that the graduation date for India # 15-14, pick up date Feb 4th is March 11th on the page here. However, the actual graduation date is March 4th.

  • My fiancé is currently doing MCT training on the west coast (Camp Pendleton). So far he has not had off base liberty on the weekends or been able to use phones. However this is no surprise because before he left he was informed about it. He was also informed of his graduation date March 25th. His first day of MCT was February 25th. They also said he would have liberty and be able to use his phone on the third Sunday (March 16th) which is also the week before graduation. Thank you for your time. This was very informative.

  • If your a Marine, I dont think it matters if your training east or west. They all deserve the up-respect specially one to the other when your against the enemy. I do have a question. My son is currently doing marine combat training(west). He stated he fell behind on the 15k hike and that he will be doing BSRE. If he doesnt make it, he will be recyled. I get recyled what i dont understand if why? He said other guys fell behind before he started to and they werent considered “falling behind”. Thank you for your time in service & God bless all those that have, will and are serving!

  • It would be great to hear from any Marines that have gone through MCT recently. I would love to hear if MCT has changed in anyway. My son leaves form MCT at Camp Geiger on Monday


  • I found this site as my son is shipping out soon, so I was wondering about the MCT schedule ( we did not have that when I was in ) I am a Marine as is his grand father.
    I wish I could just set all of y’all down and console you ,but The Corps is something very different than you can imagine, even after reading all of the blogs and watching all of the documentaries including “Ears, Open, Eyeballs, Click” There is no way to comprehend the reality of the Corps.When a kid steps on those yellow foot prints he is in his own mind alone. He will eventually learn that the Corps is his home and family. I have seen people go UA, jump off buildings, drink Brasso and even bash their knees in with rocks to get a discharge. They just have to push thru and except their new family and culture. The Marine Corps is not the Army “AT ALL!” The stress, both physical and mental is all induced for very specific reasons. It is to make them perform at a high level when the proverbial “Ice cream turns to S4!t”. While at boot camp they like the letters and cards but eventually they mature and you’ll be lucky to get an email from them. I never wrote or called home in the 4 years I was in and only took leave once for 5 days when I was in the Philippines. I never went home once (except the 10 days after boot camp) The Corps became my family and the trivial matters that went on back home just were not my concern.

    Understand the fact that he is now a man and no longer needs your cookies, care packages etc. The Corps will provide everything he needs and he is well paid to boot. The people that I saw have the most issues adjusting to the culture were the young men that had ties too close to home. In my estimation it is best to let them go. I had to fire a salesman that worked for me years ago because he was what seemed to be just a 25 year old baby boy. His dad called me to ask why I had fired him. I immediately told him that It was probably for the very same reason that you are calling me now, IE I needed an adult to do the job, not some grown man with overly concerned parents.

    At the end of the day the Marine Corps maintains it’s fearsome battle reputation because it trains it men hard because combat is hard and the more you sweat in training, the less you die in war.

    I’d rather have my daughter work as a prostitute in a crack house than have my son join the Army.

  • Thank you for all the information that was given. It was very helpful in knowing what our Marine was doing and at what stage of training he was in.
    Proud to be a Marine MOM….

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