How to Celebrate Boot Camp Graduations During COVID-19

Graduation from Marine Corps boot camp is an achievement not many can claim. While you and your family may not be able to visit MCRD San Diego to watch your son's graduation ceremony we do have a few suggestions for how to celebrate your Marine's accomplishment. Read below for a few ideas on how you can celebrate, honor, and recognize your Marine on his graduation day.

1. Host a Watch Party with your Family

While large gatherings may be off limits during this time you can still host a watch party with people in your household or virtually with others! Click here to watch the most recent graduating class from MCRD San Diego or previous graduations. Be sure to share the link with any Marine Families you may know!

2. Purchase a Gift for your Marine

Graduating boot camp is a monumental achievement in your Marine's life. Commemorate his strength, struggle, and sacrifice with his first challenge coin. Whether it's his battalion's challenge coin or a crucible coin it will be the first of many he will collect throughout his time in the Corps. 

3. Add a Blue Star Flag to your home or window

It is an American tradition to display a Blue Star Service banner in the window of a home when a loved one is proudly serving in the armed forces. Be proud your son has earned the title of Marine! Display this blue service flag to let those around you know your loved one is serving our country

4. Take a group photo of loved ones and send it to him

During your Marine's time in the service he will undoubtedly travel to new places and locations far from home. Take a group photo with loved ones to print and mail to him at his next training school or duty station. A printed photo is a great reminder for him of what he is fighting for and will keep him from missing everyone back home. 

5. Create a Memory Box for your Marine

Ask any Marine Corps veteran, memories made in boot camp are priceless. Safely store all items from your Marine's boot camp in a box for him. Photos from before shipping out, his yearbook, platoon photo, and any coins or gifts you've ordered for him. Add sealed letters from family and loved ones for him to read when he comes home.

6. Purchase his Company Shirt (one for him and one for you!)

Whether your Marine stays in for only a few years or a whole career, he will look back on his time at MCRD San Diego as a tipping point in his life. It was the time he left civilian life behind and EARNED the title of United States Marine. Order two company shirts, one for you to wear now and one to put away for him.

7. Read up on USMC History

Your loved one has just completed the transformation from civilian to United States Marine and is now a part of the world's finest fighting force. During his training your Marine learned about USMC history, culture, and traditions from our Museum Docents. Now its your turn! Read up on Marine Corps history and the training your son has gone through. Check out the Museum's blog to learn about USMC history from Command Museum veteran docents and staff!

8. Get Custom Dog Tags

There's no better way to feel closer to your new Marine than wearing his dog tags. Order a set of authentic USMC custom dog tags here. Each set of custom dog tags is hand pressed on an authentic Vietnam War era dog tag press.