How Does a Marine Spend a Workday?

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1 Up Before the Light of Dawn

Marines must attend formation multiple times a day.

Most Marines must be up (if they live on base) or to work (if they live off base) by the time "Reveille" sounds in the morning, usually around 5 a.m.

Marines who live on base get up, clean their room, shower and get ready for formation, which occurs around 6 a.m. After formation, they do PT (physical training), which normally consists of a three-mile run and lasts about an hour. After PT, they stretch, cool down and go have breakfast.

After breakfast, there is another accountability formation, to make sure that everyone is there. At this point, the Marines are given a briefing for the day. After the briefing, they break up into squads. Their squad leaders ask if there are any problems they need to be aware of, and whether any Marines are ill and need to go to sick call. Following the briefing, a uniform inspection is done to make sure all uniforms are in order and are being worn properly.

2 The Real Work Begins

After the uniform inspection, infantry Marines either go to classes on infantry tactics or to the field, where they practice the tactics they have learned. If they go to the field, they first go to the armory and draw their weapons.

Non-infantry Marines often work in offices or in supply, as well as various other places on base. After their uniform inspection, they go to their assigned jobs.

Marines keep working until right before lunch, when they must attend another platoon formation. At this point, platoon leaders share any information they need to pass to the other Marines and then break for lunch. A Marine's lunch break lasts from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

After lunch, another formation is held to make sure that everyone has returned. Then they return to the office, training or classes, depending on what the schedule holds for that day.

3 The Day Concludes

After classes, which usually run until about 2:30 or 3 p.m., Marines begin cleanup for the day, which consists of cleaning weapons (if applicable) and the barracks. After cleanup, the Staff Non-Commissioned Officers (Staff Sergeant and above) inspect the cleanup and hold another formation. This usually happens around 4 or 4:30 p.m. The Marines get their final briefing of the day, which includes information such as what gear they will need for the next day and what time they need to be at work. They also get a safety briefing at this point, reminding them to be safe at all times. Once formation has concluded, the Marines are allowed to leave and go home if they live off base. Marines who live on base are allowed to do what they want, as they are no longer on working hours.