Training To Be a Marine: Understanding the Brotherhood With Vernon David Sears Jr.

Vernon David Sears Jr.
4 min readDec 7, 2020


( — December 7, 2020) — The United States Marines is one of the nation’s most prestigious branches of the military. For those who willingly embrace challenges, approach difficulty with a determined mindset and are disciplined in their physical wellbeing, the Marines offer a promising and rewarding career.

While physical fitness is indeed an essential requirement when it comes to training for the U.S. Marine Corps, it’s far from the only requirement. Preparing for a career in the brotherhood is more than possessing agility, strength and endurance-it demands skill, dedication and a strong psychological standing.

As a former Corporal and passionate advocate for the United States Marines, Vernon David Sears Jr. explains what it takes to train for this specific branch of the U.S. military. He also delivers insight on what it really means to participate in the Marine’s renowned brotherhood.

Considered by many to be the most demanding branch of the U.S. military, Vernon David Sears Jr. highlights that Marines are always required to stay conditioned and in-shape. Before even enlisting officially, incoming Marines must pass an initial strength test (sometimes abbreviated as IST). This test, while considerably less vigorous than future exams, still requires a certain level of fitness. To pass, incoming Marines must successfully execute two pull-ups, 44 crunches in two minutes, and a 1.5 mile run in 13.5 minutes or less.

Once enlisted, Marines will encounter another fitness test in basic training. This one, however, is more concretely scored. To achieve a perfect score, male Marines must perform 20 dead-hang pull-ups and 100 crunches. They must also complete a three-mile run in under 18 minutes. For women, a perfect score requires a 70-second flexed-arm hang, 100 crunches, and a three-mile run completed in 21 minutes or less. For the duration of your career in the Marines, you’ll be required to pass a physical fitness test every six months.

Dedication and Hard Work

While physical fitness is essential in the U.S. Marine Corps , Vernon David Sears Jr. notes that it is the mental requirements that truly set Marines apart. The title of marine isn’t just handed out, it’s earned through hard work and determination.

With the most difficult boot camp in the military, Marines start their careers with a vigorous 13-week basic training program which tests them both physically, mentally, and emotionally. Many have even described the training period as a figurative “pressure cooker” which conditions incoming Marines to achieving perfection in even the most minute details and persevere even under the most challenging circumstances.

Only those who stay dedicated and persistent despite overwhelming pressure can make it and graduate. According to Vernon David Sears Jr., those who can successfully push through basic training are prepared for the challenges that lie beyond. Following completion, graduates commit to a minimum service period of 4 years, where they will continually work to better themselves and confront challenges head-on.

Skills Required for the U.S. Marines

The United States Marine Corps is the maritime land force service branch which is responsible for conducting both expeditionary and amphibious operations. It features its own infantry, armor, artillery, aerial and special operations forces. Given that the branch performs such a wide range of functions, those wishing to enlist into its ranks are required to develop a wide range of specialized skills.

While some other branches of the military are limited in their focus, those wishing to join the Marines must be prepared to fight both at sea and on shore. According to Vernon David Sears Jr. the Corps’ wider range of operations is partially what demands that recruits looking to excel possess a variety of unique abilities. These abilities must include both physical and psychological strengths.

During boot camp, for example, recruits are required to train in martial arts, master riflery, complete strategic team-building and problem-solving scenarios, execute simulated aquatic missions and endure realistic combat scenarios-each of which requires its own distinct skillset.

The Brotherhood Explained

For Marines, embracing hardship isn’t just about developing skill and becoming a better person physically and psychologically; it’s about forging a tight-knit community of individuals who are wholly dedicated to achieving excellence.

The Marine community (often referred to within the branch as the “brotherhood”) is a close-knit network of high-achieving individuals who match the above criteria-they are skilled, hardworking, dedicated and physically fit. Drawn together by their commitment to excellence and core values, the brotherhood is a family you earn.

Coming from a broad range of backgrounds and walks of life, the U.S. Marines is also a melting pot of individuals who have come together with the singular goal of becoming the best they can be. This common goal, through hard work and dedication, unites the U.S. Marine Corps as a unified brotherhood, bound together by their drive for excellence, willingness to work hard, and dedication to perfection.

Originally published at on December 7, 2020.



Vernon David Sears Jr.

Former US Marine, here to share some of my stories and articles. Highlighting why I loved serving my country and the Brotherhood I stood proud with.