MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif. --
For the young men of Company C, 1st Battalion, who are claiming the title of Marine today, it may seem like an eternity since that first night on the yellow footprints here at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and their first experience of recruit training.
After their night of controlled chaos, the recruits have been moving nonstop toward their goal of walking across the parade deck proudly as Marines.
Their drill instructors have spent the last 13 weeks molding the young men into basically trained Marines – teaching them close-order drill, hand-to-hand combat, rifle marksmanship, and the history of our Corps.
The drill instructors have also passed on the meaning of our Corps’ values of honor, courage and commitment.
Since that first night on the yellow footprints, every hour of training has been to prepare the new Marines for their final tests of recruit training.
One major test is the Crucible a 54-hour training evolution were the young recruits put to practice all the leadership and physical training they have received during recruit training. They receive rationed food and are deprived of sleep to simulate a combat environment and test their ability to accomplish tasks in a high stress environment.
After the completion of the Crucible, the young men receive their eagle, globe and anchor emblem and are called Marines, but still must undergo the Battalion Commander’s Inspection to evaluate if they are ready to graduate.
Before the inspection, the recruits underwent the Senior Drill Instructors Inspection and the Company Commander’s Inspection.
“The Battalion Commander’s Inspection is the final step in the training process,” said Lt. Col. C. M. Cromwell, battalion commander, 1st recruit training battalion. “It evaluates that the Marine is indeed ready to graduate.”
During the inspection, the inspecting officer or drill instructor evaluates the Marine’s appearance in uniform while the Marine is asked questions on Marine Corps knowledge, such as the maximum effective range of their rifle and the proper measurements of uniform articles, such as belt length and trouser length. They are also asked personal questions such as if they have family members coming to graduation or why they joined the Marine Corps.
The questions are designed to not only test whether the new Marines have retained the basic knowledge they have been taught throughout recruit training, but also to test their military bearing.
“As Marines, they will be required to interact with officers,” said Cromwell. “The Battalion Commander’s Inspection ensures that they will be able to conduct themselves with proper bearing and not be intimidated when dealing with higher ranks.”