The weight we carry is not in the packs we wear, but in the tremendous responsibility we bear, to win for our Nation and each other. This is the reason for our demanding recruit training process, to prepare aspiring Marines for the hardships they will have to face in future battles. To prepare young men and women for these immense challenges, there is the Delayed Entry Program (DEP). Recruits are expected to report to training able to do more than the minimum for entry, and it is through the DEP that their Marine Recruiters can help them prepare for the battles ahead.



Referred to as “Poolees,” those young men and women in the DEP have committed themselves to fighting and winning for our Nation. In the months leading up to recruit training, they will rely on their recruiters and each other for motivation and encouragement as they prepare to face the difficult and purposeful challenges of becoming a United States Marine.


Marines are trusted to respond appropriately and reliably when called upon. Those who are able to rise to this challenge will gain a sense of purpose, honor, and collective pride few will ever know. Participating in the Delayed Entry Program helps aspiring Marines do just that.


In addition to getting you ready for recruit training, the DEP grants you the opportunity to postpone recruit training for 365 days (410 days in certain circumstances) to complete high school, graduate from college, or generally get your affairs in order before setting out on this life-changing, purposeful endeavor. Details include:

You will earn a guaranteed program in writing as you develop friendships and cultivate bonds with other aspiring Marines.

You will earn the opportunity for accelerated promotion as part of the program, and if you are setting out on this journey with a friend, you likely will be able to ship to recruit training with him or her on the Buddy Program.

Your Marine Recruiter will provide you with mentorship, guidance and support, while ensuring you are prepared for the rigors of recruit training.

You will participate in a strenuous physical regimen, to prepare you and your fellow poolees for the recruit training battles ahead.

To gauge your progress, you will periodically take the Initial Strength Test (IST), the comprehensive physical test that you must eventually pass to begin recruit training.

You will attend family nights with your family and other members of the Delayed Entry Program.

You will be expected to keep your Marine Recruiter informed of your progress in school and any change in your circumstances that could affect eligibility.

It is at Marine Corps Recruit Training where it will be determined who is driven by a refusal to quit and an uncompromising will to win. To prepare you for these battles, the DEP will test your resolve and ensure you can work collectively with those who share in a common moral cause.


Marines give an inside look at the demands and requirements of Marine Corps Recruit Training. At the Marine Corps Recruit Depots in Parris Island and San Diego, strangers enter, and a family is made. The challenges recruits overcome together unite them in a way nothing else can.




Contact a Recruiter

Gain direct access to a Marine Recruiter who has fought alongside Marines and is prepared to show you how to become one.


One doesn't consider an endeavor of this magnitude without having questions. Here are some of the most common.



Only the best can become a Marine recruit. Learn more about how the Marine Corps recruit training will test your moral, mental and physical strength.


Marines are regularly tested on physical fitness, with a focus on stamina and physical conditioning. Learn more about the Marine fitness tests, the PFT and CFT.

General Requirements

One of the initial requirements to join the Marines is the ASVAB test, which determines a recruit's strengths and potential for success in military training. The general requirements ensure that every Marine has the knowledge necessary to serve and protect.