Monday, June 28, 2010

Marine Corps and Motivation

I know for than a few friends of mine that joined the marine corps. While they intially joined for their own idividual intrinsic reasons they all said the same thing about boot camp. The marine corps tears you down and rebuilds you the way they want you. They are incredibly successful with changing many characteristics about recruits that many view as ingrained such as disipline, motivation, and self esteem. They use many techniques to change people from many walks of life into disiplined soldiers.The most famous of which is the prohibition of vocabulary words that imply individuality. These words include: "I, me, or my". Instead marine recruits are instructed to say "This recruit, That recruit, Those recruits, etc." All the marines in the same barracks are always wearing the same uniform. Whether its the shorts and t-shirts of morning runs or full fatigues in a mock combat scenario. They also receive punishments and rewards on a unit basis. Another way they modify behavior, especially disipline is by being critical of small details in high stress situations. The recruits are expected to have their foot lockers set up in specific ways that are universal to all the troops. They are expected to keep everything clean and make tight racks (beds) in the morning. Eventually the extrinsic motivations pushed by the Marine Corps instructors becomes the intrinsic motivation of the recuits. All of these things combined with the environment that the drill instructors create works together and modifies behavior for the next wave of soldiers in the United States Marine Corps. M


  1. I have a few friend who joined the Marines because they really didn't know what else to do. One of them plans to make a career of it, but the other two definitely have more goals then they did before and are already thinking about what they want to do when they get out.

  2. I went through Army Basic Training which is similar. It is true that within a few weeks almost every soldier in training has a new intrinsic motivation & therefore, self-esteem.

  3. My boyfriend is currently a Marine and I have to say that one of the most incredible things I have ever seen was the USMC bootcamp graduation. It was amazing to see how they went in as recruits and came out as Marines with different attitudes and thoughts. It is amazing how motivated they really are!