Many people have different answers to this question. Some might say strength, another might say courage. Ask a recruit and they would probably say a Drill Instructor. But the making of a Marine goes deeper than your obvious answer.
Desire is the main ingredient. When recruits sign up for boot camp, they want it bad. The title of being a United States Marine burns within and for those who make it, it never weakens. They will endure 13 hellish weeks of training. They will crawl through dirt and mud without ever spitting it out. They will run themselves into the ground to the point they don’t want to take another step. They pop their rifles so hard they never notice their bruised skin.
Mix desire with a little trust and you will have non-swimmers jumping off the deep end, city boys shooting at moving targets and men with acrophobia climbing the stairway to heaven without ever looking back. There is nothing this combination won’t bear.
What’s your answer? Follow me on a 13-week journey through boot camp with Golf Company, and at the end, you can decide for yourself. But whatever the case may be, Marines are made. America, you can sleep sound tonight.
[Editors Note: Opinions expressed are not to be considered an official expression of the DoD, DoN, or the USMC.]