The Truth About Marine Corps Training for Women

When it comes to the marine corps, women often get lost in the shuffle. Most people have visions of burly, stone-faced boots, running, jumping and doing handfuls of pushups in front of drill sergeants and first lieutenants. Maybe even some vomiting thrown in for good measure. But perhaps you should stand at attention and pay a little more homage to the wookies.

They may not have the same amount of natural muscle mass on their frames, but given the chance, women can sock a grunt in the chops and make him fall to his knees in a matter of seconds. If you happen to be on the verge of enlisting, you should know the truth about marine corps training for women. It might just fire you up even more than before.

13 weeks

You’re going to want to remember this time frame. It’s the duration for a woman to go through the first wave of training in the corps. You may know this better as “basic training” or “boot camp.”

It might be dreaded, it might be feared, but it separates the weak from the strong. The truth is, the actual training involved for women doesn’t differ that much from the mens. Both the mind and body are put to the test, and you have to adhere to the same standards on the ASVAB test.

The only major difference is the pull-up protocol. Where men do actual pull-ups, women have to do a flexed arm hang. This is performed by pulling yourself up so your chin is over the bar and then holding still.

You will also have to go through a 54-hour event in the mountains that involves hiking through obstacles with limited provisions and on marginal sleep. The overall idea is to toughen you up if you’re not tough already. And surviving this first wave of training can do just that.

The tests

This is where the rubber really starts to hit the road. During basic training, you have to go through a series of training protocols and pass an Initial Strength Test (IST).
Among these is the flexed arm hang as mentioned above, a 3-mile run and sit-ups. The passing scores for each vary with your age. For example, all ages need to be able to do a bare-minimum 15-second flexed arm hang, but the number of crunches and time for the run differ.

Women between the ages of 17 to 26 need to be able to do 50 crunches in two minutes, and the run in 31 minutes. Women in the 40-to-45-year-old age group need to do 45 crunches in two minutes, with 33 minutes to complete the run.

Getting your body ready

Given the above information, it’s in your best interest to start making amends right now. You know you need upper body strength, you know you need core strength and you know you have to run your ass off.

There’s no time like the present to get on the stick, shed some weight and start to toughen yourself up. Then once you get to the corps, you’ll be able to pass basic with flying colors. After that, all the training you do on a regular basis will be gravy.

One final challenge remains – Being able to take criticism and withstand the constant yelling from your superior officers. Just always remind yourself that it’s only words. And if you can overcome the mental game, you’ll make yourself a fine soldier!

What’s your training regime? Tell us in the comments below!

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