The Ultimate Marine Recruit Training Guidebook: A Drill Instructor’s Strategies and Tactics for Success

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Nick Popaditch
Pub Date:
June 2012
Trade paper, 6 x 9
Photos, charts, tables, 192 pp
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About the Book

The transition from civilian to that of a Marine is a process unlike any other in any branch of the military. As any potential recruit can imagine, Marine recruit training is difficult and challenging. Its purpose is to mold a Marine from the inside out.

Nick “Gunny Pop” Popaditch is best known as the “Cigar Marine” and author of Once a Marine, a candid memoir about his service as a tank commander in Iraq, his horrific wounding in the first battle of Fallujah (where he was hit in the head by a rocket-propelled grenade), and his long and difficult recovery. Gunny Pop has experienced the Marine recruit training process from both perspectives: as a new recruit and as a drill instructor. This new book brings together his nearly 16 years of Marine Corps expertise.

The Ultimate Marine Recruit Training Guidebook is a comprehensive, practical, and easy-to-follow guide written specifically for every new or prospective recruit about to enter Marine recruit training. Gunny Pop offers step-by-step instructions and solutions, including helpful charts and graphics, for how to prepare both physically and mentally for recruit training. Written by a Marine who experienced it firsthand many times over, Gunny Pop explores what recruits will be asked to do (and in many cases, explain why) and the motivating forces behind drill instructor lessons and behavior.

The Ultimate Marine Recruit Training Guidebook was written by a Marine and former drill instructor for young men and women who want to become one of the few and the proud. No one should undertake Marine recruit training without having read this book.


From East Chicago, Indiana, Nick Popaditch enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1986. He was wounded while commanding a tank in Fallujah (Iraq) in 2004 and medically retired from the Marines in 2005 at the rank of Gunnery Sergeant. “Gunny” and his wife April have two children, Richard and Nicholas. They reside in Chula Vista, California.