Easily the biggest fear of any aspiring Marine (also called a Recruit) is getting dropped to MRP during boot camp. Medical Recovery Platoon is where you go when you’re just too ill to train, but are expected to recover at some point so you can finish the trials at hand.
Speaking purely as an observer, I can’t imagine a more miserable place. Tales of attempted suicide and misery permeate the Depot from the deepest bowels of MRP. Boot camp is already miserable enough as a regular, healthy recruit. The constant berating, screaming, games and physical arduousness are something I would never want to do again, but I was fortunate enough to only have to do that for three months. I stress the term fortunate here, because I was actually almost dropped to MRP myself during my stay at MCRD.
I, like most recruits, came down with the “crud” as they call it. I had a pretty bad case of pneumonia right before we were supposed to go up north to Camp Pendleton. The Navy doctor told me I would have to be dropped to MRP, as I was simply too ill to go up north. Horror struck over me at this realization, I’d have to be here for another two weeks?! (2 weeks is how long it would take until I could pick up with Alpha company) Two weeks might not sound like a lot on the outset, but two weeks in boot camp is like 3 years in civilian time dragging your genitals through Frank’s Red Hot
I put that shit on everything. Luckily, like the hand of God himself, my company commander called medical moments after gave me the news. He spoke with the doctor and convinced him to let me go up north with my platoon. I was ecstatic. Well, I mean, as ecstatic as one can be with a fever 0f 103 and lungs full of shit.
I was told that my company had already lost too many recruits and could not afford to lose any more, under any circumstances, so they hopped me up on Motrin and penicillin and sent me off. I was fine after a few days of course, but it was a close call and I would rather tough it out with a high grade fever for a few days than spend another minute longer on the Depot than I had to. I might be the exception here, but I remember on graduation day, many of the recruits stayed behind to take photos with the drill instructors and show their parents around. I sought no such thing.
The moment we were dismissed I found my mother in the crowd and the first words out of my mouth were, “Did you bring my clothes? Good, let me go change so we can get the fuck out of here.”