MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO --
High school administrators, teachers, counselors and Marines from Recruiting Stations Orange and Sacramento today wrap up a week-long synopsis of Marine Corps recruit training during an Educators Workshop.
The educators begin their depot visit being welcomed the way new recruits are greeted, with a drill instructor in the face.
As the buses stop at the depot’s famous yellow footprints, drill instructors quickly board the vehicles and make their intimidating presence known.
Educators are requested to quickly exit the bus and assemble on the yellow footprints where drill instructors pace up and down the lines barking orders and ensuring the educators get into the proper position of attention. When the drill instructors are satisfied with the formation, they stop the controlled chaos and take a moment to congratulate the educators on surviving the first two minutes of Marine Corps Recruit Training.
Then they are taken on a tour of the rest of the receiving process with drill instructors as their guides.
“I have seen the yellow footprints before as a Navy corpsman,” said Scott Browar, a teacher at Yosemite High School, Oakhurst, Calif., “but never actually experienced them.
“Standing there and being yelled at made me think about how dedicated and disciplined the young men and women serving our country really are. It’s inspiring.”
The tour includes classroom briefings describing the enlistment process from initial contact with future recruits, the enlistment process recruit training, graduation and initial assignments to further training and eventually the Fleet Marine Force.
During their visit, educators also visit training sites around the depot. They watch demonstrations in water survival training, the Confidence Course, the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program and much of the training their former students experience in recruit training.
Educators also are offered the opportunity to take part in the depot’s Bayonet Assault Course at the end of their first day. They maneuver through obstacles, crawl through tunnels, and navigate a rope bridge while in flak jackets and Kevlar helmets. At the end of the course, the educators engage their simulated enemy positions with only their rubber M-16A2 service rifles with training bayonets and war-cries to aid them.
“It was intimidating at first,” said Jessica Cortes, career advisor, Montebello Unified school District. “But now I see how the training, core values and drill instructors can really make these recruits respectful and teach them a lot as they become Marines.”
During the week, the educators also visit Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar; and Weapons Field Training Battalion, Edson Range, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. They get a close look at some of the aircraft the Marine Corps employs, witness weapons firing and field training and observe a company during the company Emblem Ceremony.
As they leave the depot today, the educators have a better understanding of the Marine Corps and the young men and women who embody it.
“You hear a lot about the military from people, but usually those people don’t have any actual experience dealing with the military,” Cortes said. “Now I can bring actual information back to my students without being naïve.”