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U.S. Armed Forces

© Lauren Greenfield

Marines have been stationed on Parris Island since 1891 and have trained there since 1915. Women began training there in 1949 and today, 2,000 go through boot camp there each year. Young women and men endure the same grueling physical and mental training for 13 weeks.
The final hurdle to becoming a Marine is "the Crucible," a 54-hour test of endurance, mental sharpness, and moral character that takes place during the 11th week of training. On limited ration of food and four hours of sleep a night, recruits navigate a night infiltration course, 40 miles of forced marches and a series of tactical problems. To be successful, the recruit has to relinquish his/her individuality, devoting all personal resources and strength to the group. Those who make it through are called Marines for the first time.

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