Before recruits can start their training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego they have to quarantine for 14 days due to Covid-19 at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel where hundreds of recruits arrive each week from all over the country. The young men are paired to two in each room. They don't interact with other recruits and have meals delivered to their room as well as temperature checks. In those 14 days the recruits do mandatory exercises in their room, take courses on marine corps training and sometimes quiz one another. There have been some recruits who find being in quarantine stressful and drop out.
Once the mandatory quarantine is over they are sent on white busses to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot where they will step on the famous yellow footprints for the first time. Afterwards they are able to make a brief call to their loved ones, get their heads shaved and then collect their gear for their 15 week training.
It is apparent that there is a pandemic with the precautions with social distancing and the men wearing face masks but some things have not changed. The recruits would have to make and unmake their beds and if it was not done correctly the drill instructors would let them know so they can do it again. They would also get conflicting orders that are yelled by different drill instructors on purpose.
The recruits train, eat and sleep in isolated platoons that way if an instructor or recruit catches Covid-19 they are able to immediately quarantine and know exactly who they came into contact with.
Before basic training is over the recruits have to complete the Crucible at Camp Pendleton North in San Diego County. The training lasts for 54 hours. Afterwards drill instructors give the recruits an Eagle, Globe and Anchor pin during a ceremony. The pin means they are no longer recruits but marines.
Early morning recruits wait for the rest of the men so they can make their way up one last hill during the three day crucible at Camp Pendleton North in San Diego County, California on October 8, 2020.
Recruits run up to the top of the last hill during the Crucible at Camp Pendleton North in San Diego County on October 8, 2020.
A recruit is given an Eagle, Globe and Anchor pin after completing the Crucible at Camp Pendleton.
A recruit holds his Eagle, Globe and Anchor pin.
Two recruits hug one another after completing the Crucible that lasted 54 hours.
Noah Vanhoose, 18 years old from Indiana completed the three day crucible at Camp Pendleton. Vanhoose says he has come a long way and is thankful for his parents supporting him.
Men wait in line for chow time at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego on October 8, 2020.
Recruits eat their lunch at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. The men get their 30 minutes for their lunch.
Sergeant Kirk Broxton walks through the barracks checking if beds are made correctly at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot.
A young recruit cleans his gun inside the barracks using a toothbrush at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot.
Jacob Jones (right) and Coulter Whitlow (left) have been sharing a room, they are part of Company Fox and have been in quarantine for a week at the Courtyard Marriott in San Diego on October 13, 2020. They work out daily to stay active and try to challenge one another with how long they can do certain exercises.
Recruits wait in line at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego to have their feet measured for running shoes on October 8, 2020.
Men spar on the sand at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, while the other recruits watch wearing face masks due to Cover-19.
Gerard Ortiz, 24 years old from Pueblo, Colorado gets his head shaved at the barber shop after arriving at the Marine Corp Recruit Depot in San Diego, California on October 8, 2020. Ortiz feels the two weeks in quarantine have helped him get ready to be in the right mindset.
Recruits stand in formation before they walk to the auditorium for class at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.
Recruits sit in the auditorium for class wearing face masks with empty seats in between them due to Covid-19 at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.