If you are interested in joining the Marines and have an ingrown toenail that is infected or symptomatic, you may want to hold off on going to the military entrance processing station until you have your ingrown toenail taken care of. An ingrown toenail can exclude you from eligibility in serving in the United States Marine Corps. Here's why and what you can do to become eligible to serve.
Ingrown toenails are painful
As you are probably already aware, ingrown toenails are quite painful. They can also worsen over time. Boot camp and infantry school in the Marine Corps is extremely rigorous, which can cause you a significant amount of pain that could easily prevent you from fully participating in activities, such as the Marine Corps' Crucible, which consists of various activities covering 48 miles while wearing 45 pounds of gear in 54 hours.
Solution: Go to a podiatrist who provides ingrown toenail services to get treated for your ingrown toenail. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may need to have all or some of the toenail surgically removed. If your toenail is only slightly ingrown, the podiatrist will carefully lift the ingrown edge and place a splint or cotton to help the nail grown above the skin. Follow the podiatrist's guidelines for optimal healing during your recovery.
Military footwear may become uncomfortable
Military footwear can be difficult to wear when you have an ingrown toenail and also after you've had an ingrown toenail treated. Boots are meant to be well-fitted. The thing that is important to understand about the sizing process when service members get fitted for boots is that they don't do it while wearing a heavy ruck on their backs. Even if the boots do fit well and feel comfortable at first, your feet will spread when carrying heavy weight, making your feet wider and feel cramped inside the boot. This would put additional stress on your problematic toenail or any other problems in your feet.
Solution: After your toenail has healed from treatment, ask your podiatrist to correctly measure what size your feet are when you wear a 100 pound rucksack, which is roughly the amount of weight that you will end up carrying on 12-15 humps during infantry school, which is the phase after boot camp. When you get to boot camp, politely inform the personnel who sizes your feet that you would like the size your podiatrist recommends.
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