Etiquette in the Corps

The Marine Corps is full of traditions and customs, and that comes with many types of military etiquette.

Etiquette in the Corps

The Marine Corps is full of traditions and customs, and that comes with many types of military etiquette. We will discuss some of the common types as they pertain to family members and their Marines and how you should act in those situations.

Boot Camp

One of the more common mistakes made by families is calling their son or daughter a Marine when they are still in recruit training. While this may seem small, Marines take pride in earning their title. If you are around another Marine and they seem offended by what you said, it is not because they are being overly sensitive. Remember that while in boot camp, recruits are not allowed to refer to each other or themselves as anything other than recruit. This makes it that much more satisfying when you are finally allowed to call yourself a Marine after the Crucible.

Packages While in School

This doesn't have as much to do with etiquette as the others, but it is still important to know. Depending on where your Marine is in his career and the freedoms he/she has, will decide what you can send them as far as packages go. While in boot camp you should expect to only send them letters, but at times they will ask for protein bars. This is usually because the Drill Instructors said it was ok. Do NOT send christmas or birthday presents, or pretty much anything other than letters and protein bars.

At SOI your Marine will have slightly more freedom, but still not enough to warrant sending them huge gifts. Mostly stick to letters and maybe small items they request. Do NOT send them televisions or gaming systems. They have no time for this stuff as well as nowhere to put them, and it will only get them into trouble with their instructors.

At MOS school their freedoms will expand. Check with your Marine first, but the majority of MOS schools keep the Marines in barracks rooms instead of squad bays. Here they will have more room electronics and larger packages. However, try not to send too much stuff as they are only at their school for a short time. Eventually they will have to move all of that stuff to their permanent duty station and that could be difficult if you send them too much stuff.


Some people are not aware of what escorting actually is. If you think about a wedding when a bride's father gives her away, most of the time the bride will interlock her arm with his. It is frowned upon for Marines to hold hands or show any other kind of public displays of affection while in uniform, so escorting is usually how you will see Marines walking around with their significant other. The Marine must be on the right side always when escorting so that their right arm is free to salute when necessary.

Birthday Ball

When you are at the Marine Corps Birthday Ball you need to remember that this is a ceremony and not just a party. Your behavior should be respectful and professional. You should have fun, but remember that you are representing your Marine while you are there.


Respecting rank of superiors is something that pertains more to your Marine. However, it can be helpful for family members to know the different ranks. Marines respect all ranks and are professional at all times, but you will see your Marines be even more respectful and professional around Marines of the higher ranks.

EGA Shop, purchase Marine Corps Clothing and Support Our Troops at the same time!
Marine Parents and the Marine Corps
Recruit Parents
Whats After Boot Camp
After The Corps