Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Timothy Diamond

Second Advisor

Dr. Barry Goetz

Third Advisor

Dr. Victoria Ross

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study is an attempt to understand the transformation of an individual that takes place during Marine Corps basic training. Primarily, it is an inquiry into how United States Marines talk about how they became Marines.

To assist in this inquiry, I turn to the field of military sociology, general role socialization literature and the notion of social identity. I conclude that while themes do emerge in the transformation of individual to Marine, it is still quite a personal experience -- one that could only be understood by positioning myself close to the experience via those who have lived it.

Through a series of interviews with Marines (active, reserve, past, and present), I uncover themes that are central to understanding the transformation of an individual in this context. Among these themes are unit cohesion, pride, role of the drill instructor, and suppression of prior identity.

Included in

Sociology Commons