I always have these ideas here and there about what I should write about next. I am always searching for a pen to jot down random thoughts, but the question still remains: What would really, truly be beneficial to recruit parents aside from what is happening during Week 3 or graduation info?
I don’t know why the idea has never come to me before now. But…
Building Blocks: Start with camaraderie
The Marine Corps is built on something I feel that other services don’t provide. Brotherhood. I have never been in another service, but I am friends with many people who belong to one. We all serve for the same thing; the Marines just have a different way of doing it.
At some point in time, your Marine will probably work for someone who they don’t see eye-to-eye with. They may argue and maybe even fight, but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty there is nothing they wouldn’t do for each other. There will never be another place quite like this, where you can take two people who have absolutely nothing in common and turn them into life-long friends.
As tradition, the Marine Corps uses camaraderie on familiar soil and in a combat zone. Those who surround each other will become part of each other. The Marine to your left, is your left and the Marine to your right, is your right.
We are a different breed almost like a certain strand of encoded DNA. They have instilled us with discipline, pride and passion. The discipline to get it done right the first time, passion to be the best at everything we do and the pride to not throw our success in the faces of others. We will always be proud of what we have accomplished.
More than half-way through and looking back: Who will you remember?
I remember picking up your recruits from the airport. I was thinking to myself, “Man, they have no idea what they are about to experience.” Well, neither did I. I have watched boys begin to shape into men. I have seen them go from tripping over their own feet and falling over other recruits, to walking with with a strut and their heads held high. They don’t stumble across their words when speaking to the DIs anymore, and their demeaner proves to be prouder than ever that they have made it thus far.
What I see on the other side of the house is what has surprised me the most. The DIs have become protective over their recruits and truly care about the wellbeing and morale of the platoon. As they begin to familiarize themselves with each one on an individual level, they have created a mutual link of respect for one another.
I will never forget my “kill hat” (she was equivalent to a third hat, except she was the forth DI for our platoon). Her name was Sgt. Richardson back then. I remember thinking, “I will never be able to be like her, this woman is insane. How does she go and go and why does she hate me so much? The Marines might not be for me.” To think I am the same rank now that she was, I never would have thought I would come so far in the Marine Corps.
Now, I am at a recruit depot surrounded by DIs who will have the same impact on your recruit as my DIs have had on me. The recruits should be honored to share their work space with some of the best leaders around.
Marines do it for the nation, they do it for us all.
Ever wonder who trained me?
The picture below is a recruiting poster you may be familiar with. First Sgt. Smith is shown here demonstrating MCMAP. She was my “Drill Hat” (or the J) while I was in boot camp in July of 2005. And yes, she was mean as hell.
[Editors Note: Opinions expressed are not to be considered an official expression of the DoD, DoN, or the USMC.]