Before they train Marine Corps recruits at boot camp, drill instructors must graduate from Drill Instructor School. Insider spent three days at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island, South Carolina, with a class of students during week six of their nine-week training (shortened from 11 weeks because of COVID-19 safety restrictions).
Drill Instructor School has evolved over the past few years after widespread reports of abusive behavior by drill instructors during boot camp. One tactic to confront these issues is discussing case studies with new recruits related to former instructors found guilty of mistreating recruits.
Students also prepare to work with recruits by engaging in realistic scenarios where some students play the role of drill instructor, and others of recruits. Their curriculum ranges from executing drill formations to administering proper hygiene in the squad bays. Students are also required to experience and master everything a recruit is required to do during boot camp — including intense physical training.