Whether you are going to Marine Combat Training Battalion (MCT), Infantry Training Battalion (ITB), or to one of the advanced courses here at SOI, you will find that this orientation has a lot of information to help you prior to arriving.
Directions and Transportation Tips:
The School of Infantry (West) is located aboard Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California. It is approximately 60 miles North of San Diego, and 72 miles South of Los Angeles.
Flying into San Diego: If you are flying into San Diego airport, go to the West terminal and check into the United Serviceman's Organization (USO).
The USO is the best place to relax, link up with your buddies, and buy a few missing uniform items. This would also be the location that you would need to change into your Service Alpha Uniform if you flew in your civilian clothes.
Cloud 9 shuttle is the official transportation service from San Diego airport. They depart from the USO at various times (usually between 0900 and 2230 daily). This service will cost you $17.00.
Taxis are another option, although it is not recommended. You can expect to pay between $65.00 and $175.00 if you use a taxi.
Flying into LAX: If you are arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, go to the USO office located on the first floor of the main terminal. Their hours are 0900 to 1900. They will be able to assist you in finding adequate transportation to SOI.
Driving: If your parents or relatives will be driving you to SOI, on I-5 north or I-5 south, take the Basilone Road exit. It is just South of San Clemente city. There is a more detailed map at the bottom of the page.
When to Report in:
You need to ensure that you report by the date designated on your orders. Look at the signed receiving endorsement on the bottom front page of your orders. That is the date and time that you must report by. If for some reason you must arrive earlier than that date, report in to SOI. Do not get a hotel.
Recruiter Assistance: If you are contacted by your recruiter for participation in the Permissive Recruiter Assistance Support Program (PRASP), bring a copy of all related documents and endorsements with you when checking in to SOI. If you are responsible for recruiting an acceptable applicant for enlistment in the Marine Corps, you will be granted a five-day extension of your current ten-day leave for a total of 15 days leave. If you are responsible for recruiting two or more acceptable applicants for enlistment in the Marine Corps, you will be granted another five-day extension of your leave for a total of 20 days leave. If you are granted an extension of your leave for assistance to the recruiting service, you should request that the officer endorsing your leave orders notify the Commanding Officer by message. If you have any questions pertaining to recruiting assistance,
Emergency Leave: A request for a leave extension should only be made in the event of serious personal or family emergency which would require your continued presence. If a serious personal or family emergency exists, contact your local American Red Cross and request that they verify the emergency and the need for your presence. They will assist you in sending a Red Cross message to your new Commanding Officer at SOI. An example of a Red Cross message would be "Father died 16 April. Funeral 19 April. Request five-day emergency leave. Pvt Joe Marine 123 45 6789 USMC." Only your new Commanding Officer, not the Red Cross, can grant you emergency leave.
In case of lost ticket/money: Should you lose your ticket or money and are unable to replace them, report to the nearest Marine Corps activity (recruiting station, reserve unit, etc.), identify yourself and request that transportation be furnished for you. The cost of your return transportation and meals will be deducted from your future pay.
Delayed Transportation: If your train, bus, or plane is delayed and you will be unable to report in on time, call the School of Infantry Student Admin at (760)725-7833 during normal working hours. During after hours you should contact the Officer of the Day at (760)725-7480.
Once you make it to SOI, you will need to report to building number 520420. This is the Student Administration Company (SAC) and they will do your initial processing into the school. Your SRB will be collected along with your orders and any endorsements. The Student Personnel Administration Center (SPAC) will review your orders and ensure everything is in order. Losing your SRB or copies of your orders will hinder this process and could delay you from picking up with the next training company. Any administrative matters that need to be taken care of during your training should be done at this time. An example would be if you were married during leave, you will need to turn in your marriage certificate and fill out the necessary paperwork while at receiving. Taking care of your administrative matters at receiving will prevent you from missing training when you get to your battalion. After you complete your processing with SAC, you will be assigned to Infantry Training Battalion (ITB) if you are an 03xx, or Marine Combat Training Battalion(MCT) for any MOS that is not an 03xx.
ITB's mission is to train and qualify infantry Marines in the Military Occupational Specialty(MOS) of 0311 Rifleman, 0331 Machine gunner, 0341 Mortar man, 0351 Assault man, and 0352 Anti-Tank Guided Missile man. ITB consists of a 52 day course that must be completed by all 03xx Infantry Marines before assignment to the Fleet Marine Force or Security Forces. More information can be found on the Infantry Training Battalion page. You can also find the student handouts and information about each MOS.
MCTB trains all non-infantry Marines in the infantry skills essential to operate in a combat environment. All non-infantry Marines, upon completion of recruit training, will undergo Marine Combat Training. MCTB consists of a 29-day course. More information on MCTB can be found on the Marine Combat Training Battalion page. Upon successful completion of the course, Marines will report to their respective MOS training schools located across the country.
SOI is also the home to the Advanced Infantry Training Battalion, Sniper School, Marine Combat Instructor School, and the Marine Corps Martial Arts Instructor Course. These courses are for advanced infantry training for the Fleet Marine Force. More information can be found on each of their web pages. Marines selected to be 0313 Light Armored Vehicle Crewman will attend LAV school upon successful graduation from the 0311 Infantry Rifleman course at ITB.
Living Conditions: You are not authorized to move your dependents or have a private vehicle with you. You must wait until you get established at your first permanent duty station (a school or temporary duty under instruction, is not a permanent duty station). While a student at ITB or MCTB, you will be living in open squad bays. Marines will be issued one wall locker and/or a foot locker. There is not much space to securely store personal effects. You should wait until you arrive at your first duty station before bringing large bulky items. Students should also avoid bringing expensive items (CD players, cameras, etc.) because they are easily broken and lost here at SOI. Your entire issue of uniforms and gear that you received at the Recruit Depot is all that is required. It is recommended that you bring 3 sets of appropriate civilian clothes to wear on liberty. Your civilian clothes should resemble your Service Charlie uniform (collard shirt, slacks and/or serviceable jeans).
Your SOI Mailing Address:
Since most of your training will be conducted in the field, mail will be delivered as often as possible. Large packages which require your signature are strongly discouraged. While at SOI, your address will be:
Rank, Last Name, First Name, MI
Company__, Class__, Platoon__
MCT Bn, SOI
PSC Box 555091
Camp Pendleton, CA 92055-5091
Rank, Last Name, First Name, MI
Company__, Class__, Platoon__
PSC Box 555081
Camp Pendleton, CA 92055-5081
Should you have a question or need assistance, ask. Your Chain-of-Command is an important means of handling problems and maintaining accountability. Until you check-in, the School of Infantry Student Administration Officer is your point of contact. The phone numbers are: (760) 725-7833/7972. During non-working hours 1700-0700 (Pacific) and all day on weekends and holidays, call the SOI Officer of the Day at: (760) 725-7480.
While You Are on Leave:
While on leave, you should continue to maintain your physical fitness by running and doing calisthenics. You can expect the physical training at SOI to be challenging and demanding. Without maintaining a proper physical fitness program on leave, you can easily undo what took you three months to accomplish. On the first training day with your new Battalion, you can expect to take an initial PFT. You should work on your pull-ups and sit-ups every day and set a goal to run at least 6 miles a week. It is important that you do not over exert yourself and cause injuries. Reporting to SOI with an injury will prevent you from training and delay your assignment to the FMF.
While on leave, you should use caution with any extra curricular activities. Riding motorcycles, ATV's, or playing dangerous sports are not advised. It would be a shame to spend three months at boot camp, then get an injury that prevents you from training at SOI.
While on leave, if you do sustain an injury or need medical attention, you should contact your local recruiting office or Marine Corps establishment. Bring your medical record and ID card, and they will assist you in getting medical attention. If it is an emergency, go to the nearest hospital, and the cost will be taken care of at a later date. If it is a serious injury that prevents you from reporting to SOI on time, contact the Student Administration Company.
The School of Infantry hopes you enjoy your leave, return safely, and are ready to begin your career in the Corps. Remember that as a member of our Marine Corps, the reputation of our Corps depends on your conduct and the impression you create.
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