Jon Gosselin Says Son Collin Gosselin Is Thriving In Marine Corps: 'It's What He's Always Wanted To Do'

As with so many reality shows, the untold truth of "Jon & Kate Plus 8" was that Jon and Kate Gosselin were anything but a loving couple. The series ended along with their marriage, and to this day, the two households are deeply divided. Two of the Gosselin sextuplets, Hannah and Collin Gosselin, have lived with their dad since 2018, while the remaining four, plus twins Mady and Cara Gosselin, are in their mom's custody. But all eight are far removed from their years as cute toddlers and grade-schoolers: The older girls just graduated from college, while the sextuplets are high-school grads. 

While not much has been revealed about the other Gosselin kids' futures, Jon recently opened up about Collin. The 19-year-old, who was a member of the junior Army ROTC in high school, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and is currently in boot camp in Parris Island, South Carolina. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Jon reported that his son's life is almost entirely devoted to the demanding recruitment process. "It's very, like, at 4 a.m. they get up, they do PT [physical training], they go eat, then they go study, classroom, then they eat, then PT, you know?" he said. "It's what he's always wanted to do."

It's a goal Collin will have to work hard for. Per the USMC website, the 13-week training period culminates in a 54-hour trial called "The Crucible," involving simulated combat, punishing obstacle courses, marches with heavy equipment, and other challenges. Recruits must also pass a swimming test to graduate.

Collin Gosselin wants to be one of the few and proud

Becoming a Marine is an impressive achievement, but perhaps even more so for Collin Gosselin, who has long been painted as the "troubled" sextuplet. At age 12, he was placed in a behavioral facility for three years by his mom Kate Gosselin before being released to live with his dad Jon Gosselin. Interviewed for the VICE TV docuseries "Dark Side of the 2000s," Collin and Hannah Gosselin made shocking claims about their mother. Kate made Collin her scapegoat, they alleged, isolating him from his siblings and taking out the brunt of her frustrations on him. Jon has also said Collin's behavior was never serious enough to require institutionalization. 

In response, Kate made a statement to People, saying her son "has received multiple psychiatric diagnoses over the years" and her decision to put him in the facility was for her family's safety. Whatever the situation, Collin was deemed fit to enter Marine training. The Corps requires a mental health screening for recruits with "any history of psychiatric hospitalization ... [including] drug or alcohol rehabilitation," or "any history of outpatient mental health treatment."  

Collin is living in a different type of isolation now; Marine recruits are barred from making phone calls or going online until after they pass the Crucible test, and they can't receive visitors until the Thursday before their graduation. Jon told Entertainment Tonight that his son is doing fine, but longs for food that doesn't come from the mess hall. "[H]e just writes like, 'Hey, I miss you guys, I can't wait to eat a real meal.'"