The yellow footprints if you don’t know is what you will stand on right when you get to bootcamp. They are literal yellow footprints that you stand on with all the other recruits you arrived with. I believe it is supposed to signify standing right where every recruit stands before they become a Marine. That we all start at the same spot and you are just about to hate life for three months. But trust me when you are actually standing on the yellow footprints you will not be thinking that all. Or if you do those thoughts will quickly leave your thoughts. My only thought once I stepped on the yellow footprints was one simple one. “Fuck I should have joined the Air Force”. It is what it is you know.
Getting to the Yellow Footprints
Seeing as you are thinking about getting on the yellow footprints, I will make the assumption that you are in the DEP and waiting to go to bootcamp. You may even have some anxiety and excitement about leaving, I certainly did.
I came out of Florida, so I obviously went to Parris Island. Just to give you a little insight on the actual arrival to Parris Island. I and the other deppers from all the services stayed at a hotel before leaving. This is all paid for by the Marine Corps. I think it’s to keep us from backing out last second. I was there with all the other military deppers from other the branches coming out of that MEPS, maybe the Coast Guard too…I know they are technically apart of the military but fuck them you know. So pretty much all the military deppers were there to ship out the next day.
The Day of Shipping Out
So, the day of shipping out you will first go to MEPS to get checked out one last time. You will go over your contract just last-minute checks to make sure everything is okay. The logistics is all provided so don’t worry about getting there. (Weird but writing this is making me relive the emotions I had waiting at MEPS. All the deppers were quiet and looked scared. Even though Air Force guys for whatever fucking reason. But I just remember everyone was quiet. So, its normal to feel this the day of shipping out.)
The Marine Deppers were the last ones to leave. I remember because little by little more deppers were leaving until it was only the Marine Deppers. Then the few of us got in a van and headed to Parris Island, South Carolina. We stopped a couple of times for gas, restroom breaks, and our last meal was at a Golden Corral. Again, no expense coming from you. I am not sure why the recruiters insist on having a 20 on you, probably just in case. But this is the actual transportation if you are coming from Florida.
Right Before Arriving
I remember right before arriving our driver who was a Marine veteran tried to give us all a pep talk. It was the shittiest pep talk I have ever heard. He basically just said they won’t hit you, so it’s not that bad. It was not very uplifting at all. I remember thinking, “oh, okay that’s cool.” Then I am not sure if this is standard procedures but as we get the gates of Parris Island the driver told us we all had to put our heads down. I can only guess so we don’t think about escaping? I don’t know your guess is as good as mine.
Anyways you will wait in the van or bus whatever you came in for a while. Then the Drill Instructors will come get you. You know all that yelling and screaming you hear that they do. Yeah that’s actually true, like 100 percent. You get up and get out quickly. Then you finally step on the yellow footprints. It’s going to be dark outside, cold, and you also may evaluate every decision you have made in your entire life until that point. You will see the steel doors; they do look pretty cool. This is how you finally get to the yellow footprints. Don’t base what you see from the Drill Instructors from your first impression though. They get much nicer and friendly once they get to know you. Just understand when they scream at you that they just don’t know how special you are.