Get through MCT (Military Combat Training Marines)

Edited by Ephraim, Mian Sheilette Ong, Lynn, Charmed and 12 others

How to get through Marine Combat Training Battalion (MCT)

After graduating from Boot Camp, Marine Combat Training Battalion (MCT) is the next step in training for all Marines. The course is 29 days long, and the purpose is to teach new recruits skills needed for survival in combat. They are taught basic combat marksmanship, use of other weapons, Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), defensive and offensive fundamentals, convoy operations, Military Operations on Urban Terrain (MOUT), tactical communications and land navigation. In addition to the combat skills, they will also complete combat conditioning by completing obstacle courses, hikes, combat fitness runs, and the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP). [1]

22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit conducts bilateral training with Greece -Image 6 of 19-.jpg

Twenty-Nine Days of MCT

  1. 1
    The First Week
    The First 2-3 days after you check in, you'll get a medical exam, a drug test and you'll be assigned to a platoon. You will be issued gear in addition to what you were issued in boot camp. You'll wear your camouflage during these exercises. Although you'll be assigned to a barracks you won't spend much time there. Enjoy the galley while you can. You will be consuming Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) 3 meals a day, for the last 2-3 weeks of MCT.
    22nd MEU Marines hit Spanish beach for bilateral training -Image 1 of 2-.jpg
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  2. 2
    The Second Week
    You'll have classroom time and then spend hands-on time afterwards. Instructions will be on IED, patrolling, detaining and searching suspects and checkpoint operations. The hands-on time will be spent applying what you've learned in the classroom in the field.
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  3. 3
    The Third Week - Part 1
    This week starts your field exercises. Weapons training is among the first things you'll be instructed on. You'll have a tin shed to sleep in - to protect you from the elements. There will be daily hikes with full assault packs on, in all kinds of weather. After you qualify with various weapons, you'll journey to Camp Devil Dog.
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  4. 4
    The Third Week - Part 2
    You'll have classes and more hands-on experience. You will begin your Basic Skills Retention Exercise (BSRE). This is a type of test to determine what you've learned during MCT. You will be divided into squads and perform war-like maneuvers for three days. You will be sleep deprived. You will shoot blanks from your weapons and blanks will be shot at you from others. Blanks can hurt more so than paint-balls.
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  5. 5
    The Forth Week
    You'll have time to study for your written exam. You will turn in your gear; check your new orders and process out of MCT.
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Is It Hard to Make It Through MCT Training?

Any form of training in the United States Marine Corps is not easy. You have to understand that the best of the best needs to emerge from the many enlisted individuals. In MCT or the fourth phase, you have to expect fewer hours of sleep after at least nine days in the garrison. The garrison is where you attend classes, sleep in the squad bay, and have your meals at the chow hall. Practical applications of what you learn in class, such as weapons handling, is what you'll do after each session. All you need to bring for your hikes are your essentials so you have to keep your private belongings and gadgets in storage.


During hikes, you will be carrying all your gear and you will only have your sleeping system on the ground to sleep in. You won't have portable heaters, so you must endure extreme cold at night. Cleaning weapons and hiking are only two of your frequent activities, but you can also eat whenever your schedule permits. After all that hiking in the ranges for at least a week, you will hike to Camp Devil Dog, which is a simulated environment for combat. Here, you will learn how to patrol, have MOUT training, and learn to set up checkpoints. After the training, you will undergo a mock war setting in which you will apply everything you've learned so far.


You will then hike to Camp Geiger, where you started your journey. This is where you will wait for your graduation. In this camp, you will be able to go back to the fun things you had when you started - squad bays, personal belongings, and chow hall. The entire time, all you'll be carrying your assault pack, M16, Kevlar, and flak jacket with you. The weather and terrain are grueling, but after you complete MCT, you'll look back and realize that MCT is good, fun and effective training.


When attending MCT, will you be in the same platoon from boot camp?

Yes and no. When going to MCT, some of your platoon mates from boot camp will opt to do what is called "recruiter assistance" which will hold them back in their hometown to work with their recruiter instead of continuing regular training. Another factor that will take place in this transfer will be some of your fellow platoon mates will be considered "92-Day Reservists", which means that they will complete the full boot camp, MCT and MOS school training in three parts or three separate summers. Therefore they will not continue training on the regular schedule. Because of these factors, you will probably notice that some are there and some are not, but you also may be paired up with your previous platoon mates, or they may be in other platoons during MCT. It is not mandated that you'll be with your previous platoon mates; it will basically be up to chance whether you get them in your platoon or not, so don't expect to be have all of your boot camp mates as platoon mates in MCT.

Questions and Answers

What do you bring to MCT?

Most of the things you'll need will be provided for you, but here is a short list of things you have to bring with you:

  • Personal IDs (Social Security card, if married or if you have kids, you have to bring records for them also).
  • Some clothing.
  • Training books/materials.
  • Records (medical and dental records).

I generally agree with the people who say bring a change of clothes and a toothbrush. There are others who will tell you to bring all sorts of things. They will pretty much provide you with everything you'll need, if they don't, then they allow you to buy it yourself. I don't see the sense in packing a lot of stuff you won't need or use. When they inspect everything, it's just more stuff they can throw around when going through it all.

What things are not allowed at MCT East?

While you do not need to bring a lot to MCT East, there are several things you are NOT allowed to bring and rules for what you cannot do. Check the list below:

  • No computers or any communication gadgets and devices.
  • No privately owned cars.
  • No kids and wives.
  • No any personal weapons like knives and the like.
  • No checking in at hotels/inns near the camp.

There are quite a few things that you are not allowed to bring. For the most part, less is better when packing for MCT. Recruiters say this is all you absolutely need to have

1.Driver's License or Picture ID

2. Two changes of clothes.

Here is a basic list of contraband items not allowed at any military Basic Training/Boot Camp


2.Tobacco Products and associated items.

3.Consumables (any food or beverage).

4.Alcoholic Beverages.

5.Narcotics and Drug Paraphernalia.



8.Any glass containers (plastic containers are permitted).

9.All pornographic photos or materials.

A more detailed list of contraband can be found at HERE. For the most part, what is not allowed at one will not be allowed at another basic training course.

What time do you have to wake up at MCT?

At MCT, you have to be in bed at 2130 (9:30 p.m.) and call time at 0600 (6 a.m.). This is to prepare you for plenty of marching and patrolling at the camp.

How is MCT compared to boot camp?

The training you get from Boot Camp is all about the basics. You will be taught the basic skills a Marine should have, and learn how to look and act like one. MCT is tougher. Here, you are taught the more complicated skills for actual combat, like navigation of weapons.

Do Marines go home after MCT?

No. After the Marine Combat Training graduation, Marines will be given a limited time (about 30 minutes to an hour) to spend with their family before boarding a vehicle (commonly a bus) that will transport them to their next destination - the Military Occupational Specialty, or MOS, where the graduates are categorized according to different career fields.

Only after you settle in with your MOS training will you find out if you'll have spare time to spend with your family on a limited basis.

Yes and No. The Marines that get to go home after MCT will be Marines who are classified as 92-Day Reservist. If you are an Active Duty Marine or a Reservist Marine you will not be able to go home after MCT training with the Marines.

See more questions like this: In MCT do Marines get weekends to do whatever they want?

What do I bring to Marine combat training?

You won't need to bring a lot of things with you, so spare yourself from loading up your bags. Just bring the basics with you: Some civilian clothes, your identification, and your records. Of course, the most important thing you need to bring with you is a sound and healthy mind and body.

Do people get sent home from MCT?

Yes, but the people who get sent home after MCT training are people who are 92-day reservists. This means they'll only train 92 days during their summer break so they can continue their college careers at home. If a person is a standard reservist or Active Duty they will not be able to go back home after training.

Is the rack a good USMC workout?

Yes. The rack is a good workout for the USMC. It's even included in the HITT (Highly Intensity Tactical Training) Center the U.S Marine launched in August 2011. This workout helps to reduce casualties and injuries among the Marines. All the other workout stations, along with rack, help to develop specific strengths of the Marines. It also improves the cardio and stamina.

Yes, the rack will employ everything that's important to physical training of the Marines - push ups, sit ups and pull ups. These main three exercises are important to a Marine in terms of fitness and also testing to gain the next rank

Is MCT hard?

Yes, MCT is hard. The training is very intense, so some either give up or fail. Prepare yourself for the worst. While you may establish life-long friendships during the training, you may also experience all sorts of humiliation and embarrassment. If you are not mentally and emotionally prepared, then it could be really hard for you. Only the best get through the Marines, so only the best and helpful skills and training are employed.

Yes, all training is hard in the Marines but it won't be as difficult as boot camp. When going to MCT you will have the best training on how to be a Marine physically and mental.

What do you do if you arrive at MCT a day early?

When you arrive at MCT, Instructors will be assigned to you - for the duration of training. After you've received your Instructors, you will continue to the squad bay you will be living in during the training. Here you will receive your rack location, meet with other Marines and receive introductions to your Combat Instructors.

If you arrive at MCT a day early, you will be placed in a holding area with a bed and footlocker for the night before you are connected with your platoon the next day. You will not be sent back or anything, but you will be held until the next day to start training with your platoon.

How early does a Marine go to sleep?

The honest answer to this question is whenever your Instructor tells you that it is time to go to sleep because it will depend on the training for the day. It is best to not go into training having a certain time for you to go to sleep because you won't have a regular sleep time. Take it when you get it.

During MCT training you can go to sleep between the hours of 8 through 10 it will depend on the training at hand for it may be even later than that depending on the level that you are in training during MCT.

Do you stay at a squad bay at MCT?

A: Yes, in MCT you will stay in a squad bay similar to the squad bay you stayed in during boot camp training.

Are males and females in the same platoon at MCT?

Yes, during MCT both males and females will be in the same platoon. They will only be separated during times where they have to go to sleep and washroom/showers. Other than separating during these times, both men and women will be in the same platoon during training.

How to get ready for a 15k hike?

If you are hiking for combat training in the Marines, since it is a training, you must learn how to adapt to different scenarios or situations that might suddenly emerge. You need to prepare yourself - stem, stamina, and also reflexes and mind during training and while hiking.

Marine 10-day leave after basic should be dropped.

Your question is not fully complete, the 10-day leave given to Marines after basic training is still in effect at this time. After MCT the Marine will in fact not have a 10-day leave period, but will immediately go from MCT to their MOS school.

Hi, I am planning on joining.

I'm interested in joining the Marines, and I wear glasses. How will that work out for me? Do I need to get contacts or some special kind of glasses?

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If you are at MCT during the holidays such as Christmas or New Years do you get Libo or 96? OR do you just continue training?

Reporting to MCT December 4 and would like to know. Doesn't cover the holiday situation during the 29 days of MCT

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