A new updated recruit training schedule was implemented May 21 (2003) with Company M at the San Diego Recruit Depot, for the purpose of reducing the number of injured recruits missing training events and send healthier Marines to the School of Infantry.
The new recruit training schedule will reinforce physical training as a part of the Marine Corps culture and will ensure that recruits will be mentally and physically prepared for the Marine Corps way of life while reducing the number of recruits in Medical Rehabilitation Platoons and the Basic Marine Platoon.
The recruit training schedule consists of three, four week phases.
The first phase is the transition of civilian to recruit and it takes at MCRD, San Diego.
Recruits undergo strenuous physical training, martial arts and classes on such areas as Marine Corps history and first aid.
The second phase starts when recruits move up north to Edson Range, Weapons Field Training Battalion. During this phase, they spend most of their time conducting field training and rifle qualifications. Recruits undergo gas chamber training, field week and the crucible event.
For the third phase, recruits move back to the Depot where they undergo swim qualifications, a defensive driving course, testing of Marine Corps history, first aid, physical training, drill, and inspections prior to graduation.
The phase prepares recruits for the transition to being a new Marine, according to Staff Sgt. Todd A. Leach, senior drill instructor, Platoon 2074, Company F.
The new training schedule lengthened the third phase by two weeks, giving recruits more time to recover from the physical rigors of phase two.
The new schedule is expected to decrease physical training waivers and increase physical fitness training scores, according to Col. Thomas F. Thaler, commanding officer, Recruit Training Regiment.
"This new recruit training schedule will allow recruits more time to validate, reinforce and refine skills and traits learned in phase one and phase two," said Thaler.
Thaler said he is open to new ideas and believes the mission of this updated schedule will make better Marines and decrease injury attrition.
The recruit training schedule will affect not only the Recruit Training Regiment but also Headquarters and Service Battalion, according to Gunnery Sgt. Fabian Sosa, company gunnery sergeant, Service Company.
Sosa said he believes supply division will be affected the most, especially those involved in uniform fittings.
"I believe that the Marine Corps will save money with uniform fittings if the initial fittings commence on week nine as opposed to week four," said Gunnery Sgt. Brett Guenther, clothing chief.
Gunnery Sgt. Gregorio Mendez, company gunnery sergeant, Headquarters Company, agrees with Sosa. Mendez said that all personnel will be affected to a certain extent because everyone on the Depot supports and makes recruit training happen in their own way.