Marine stands test of time, leaves legacy of his own
By Lance Cpl. Brian Kester
| | April 09, 2004
MCRD/ERR PARRIS, ISLAND, S.C. --
Shortly after seeing the events that took place on Sept. 11, 2001, Bradley Scott, like a lot of people in the United States, wanted to do something about what he had seen on the television that day. He joined the Marine Corps and in October of that year he began his long journey to become a Marine.
That journey began in 2001 and should have concluded in early 2002. Instead, Scott's journey will conclude today when he graduates as a member of Platoon 1025, Delta Co., 1st RTBn.
While the average recruit spends approximately 13 weeks on the Depot, Scott has amassed more than 12 months in Special Training Company alone.
During his first attempt at completing recruit training, he broke his left wrist and spent approximately nine months in Medical Rehabilitation Platoon and a Physical Evaluation Board, before being sent home with a medical discharge.
"In MRP I was kind of de-motivated at times, but I tried to keep my spirits up," said Scott, who hails from Holyoke, Mass. "When I was told I was going to be discharged and that I was unable to train I was really upset. I did not enlist to be sent home. After spending that much time on [the Depot] just to be sent home with no accomplishments and nothing achieved, it was kind of a blow."
Even though his spirits may have been somewhat dampened, Scott showed the initiative and enthusiasm that led him to his date with destiny on the Peatross Parade Deck.
"I actually called my recruiter before I left the [Depot] to let him know that I wanted to come back," he said.
After leaving, Scott went through occupational and physical therapy and several medical evaluations prior to being reaccepted into recruit training. He came back to recruit training Oct. 27, 2003, to complete what he had started. Suddenly, the process began again, as during routine training, Scott broke his right wrist.
"I made it to Training Day 12 [before injuring my wrist]," he said. "I was in shock. I broke my wrist at the start of the obstacle course and didn't believe that it was actually broken until I got to the rope. I got half way up and couldn't climb anymore."
Scott then spent another 12 weeks in MRP, where the familiar sights and sounds began to overwhelm him.
"I got the feeling that I had never left," he said. "I was sleeping on close to the same rack and I felt like I was having déjà vu."
Scott was beginning to have feelings of self-doubt and sorrow when hope came his way in the form of Staff Sgt. William Augurson, the MRP senior drill instructor.
"I talk with the recruits three or four times a day," said Augurson. "I have always thought it was important to motivate them, and with recruit Scott, it was too easy. Sometimes you look at a recruit and you just know. Even though he was [at MRP] he carried himself as if he was still in the recruit training process. He was as loud as if he was anywhere [but there]."
Acting as if he was still marking off training days on a makeshift recruit calendar, "He would always say he was going back to recruit training and that he didn't want to lose what he had," said Augurson. "He didn't want to have to be taught anything over again."
Augurson said Scott's motivation led him to be the first one on line, the first one dressed, the first one to sound off and the first one to make his rack.
"In MRP there are so many injuries that [in the morning] we turn on the light and say 'get up,' and they make their racks," said Augurson. "But if you looked at recruit Scott, he was doing it fast and he was on line, and he would say 'I'm still in training.' I liked that about him so much, that I never thought for one instant that he would not [make it back] into training."
Augurson attributes much of the accomplishments of recruits within the MRP platoon to Scott's motivation.
"He gave me more than I gave him," he said.
That fact is mirrored in the words Scott used to describe Augursons leadership and confidence in him.
"I really owe my motivation to get back into training to Drill Instructor Staff Sgt. Augurson," he said. "[His help is] the only way I made it through."
Once Scott was back in the recruit population with his new platoon, he put forth just the same, if not more, effort than he had in MRP and during his first stint at recruit training.
"I went all out, because I felt that I had held back the first time around," he said. "I had just gotten out of high school and was kind of immature. [Now I just want] to utilize the experience I have had in recruit training to be better this time around."
The manner in which Scott carried himself in MRP will leave a lasting impression on Augurson and it seems as though the same could be said for Scott's current drill instructors.
"He is a highly motivated, awesome recruit," said Staff Sgt. Joe N. Wilborn Jr., drill instructor with Platoon 1025. "He came to me from MRP and he was one of those recruits who stood out. If anyone deserves to graduate it should be him."
While Scott is a standout, coming into a platoon late in the training cycle could lessen the chances of showing the leadership skills he has. Scott, however, found those chances and showed what he had in every situation.
"He came to me so late in the game that I already had a guide who had established himself," said Wilborn. "Had I had Scott a little earlier, he would have been my guide. He even pulled a couple of the recruits having doubts to the side and spoke with them. They look at his situation and it kind of motivates them to tough it out. This is the first time I ever met a kid like that."
Wilborn continued by saying that he had never seen a recruit like Scott, and that seems to be the common impression he leaves with all who have met him.
"I bet that anybody that has met Scott will still remember him 10 years down the road," said Augurson. "If I were to say anything about him I would say this, and I live off of this quote. General Patton once said, 'You can build a statue of a man and your memory will only last a decade, but leave an impression in an individual's mind and your legacy will live forever.'"