Earning the Title

Many of you have been impatiently waiting for an update, and after much frustration on our end with the technical difficulties, we’re finally able to post again!

At this point your recruits have become Marines and those long 13 weeks have finally passed. It’s without a doubt they receded back to when they were babies and did nothing but eat, sleep and poop the entire time they were home on leave. But can you blame them? It was much deserved after what they had to endure to earn that Eagle, Globe and Anchor.


There is no better feeling in the world than when that EGA is placed into the palm of your hand. It’s the first moment you face your drill instructors as “equals,” as Marines. It’s the first time they’ll ever talk to you like you’re not an imbecile. And talk about seeing a bunch of grown men cry! But I guess, given the circumstances, it was acceptable. The thing that made their particular EGA ceremony unique was that it was actually held on the Marine Corps’ birthday. There’s no better date to earn the title Marine. And to make it even more glorious a day, several original Montford Point Marines were there to witness.


The second best feeling in the world, or at least at that moment in time, is being able to shower for the first time in days and make your way into the mess hall for the Warriors Breakfast. No more monitoring what you eating, whether you’re normally a double rats or diet recruit, but just eating, eating and eating everything in sight. They grab mountains of pancakes, piles of bacon, loaves of bread and bowls overflowing with ice cream. If you imagine a pack of hyenas preying on a single antelope, that’s what these boys looked like trying to inhale their food and get up there for seconds before it all was gone. Most of them eat so much their stomach begins to hurt but they still keep eating. Disgusting as it sounds, several probably take trips to the head just so they can finish their plates!


Their final week of recruit training is called Marine Week, for obvious reasons. They spend countless hours preparing for the Battalion Commanders Inspection and graduation. It’s not unusual for the drill instructors to go back to treating them like Week 1 recruits as punishment because of their big heads though. They think that because they’re Marines now they can act all crazy, but in order for everything to go smoothly for graduation, that discipline they learned throughout recruit training is still necessary.


This is also the week they get seen by medical for any injuries they may have gotten while on the crucible. The main difference now is they’re not worried about being kicked back in recruit training or held from graduation because they can see the light at the end of the tunnel. They know they’ve earned the title and within a matter of days they’ll be able to see their family again and walk across that parade deck for the last time.


It was probably a very proud day for every parent out there to see that ill-mannered, lazy child of theirs ultimately reborn. I can guarantee they didn’t act the same way as before they shipped for training.


On a more personal note, I didn’t have the best approach in telling my dad when I joined the Corps. I was going to college with a full-ride scholarship at the time. One day I walked into his office and placed one of those “Proud Parent of a United States Marine” magnets on his desk. I’m a bad child, I know. Needless to say, whatever was on his desk at the time wasn’t there for long. He was furious! But he knew I was hard-headed and once I made up my mind there was no changing it. I shipped a few months later, and much to my surprise (he hates to travel), he actually showed up to my graduation. It meant the world to me, but I still sort of felt he was just there because my mother was there and he didn’t want to look like the bad parent (they’re divorced). However, when I went home on leave, EVERY time we ran into someone, he introduced me by saying, “This is my daughter, Kristin. She’s a Marine.” I knew from that moment on that he really was proud of me for what I did.

13 weeks is only 13 weeks. It may have seemed like forever, but there may be times where you’ll go months or even years without seeing your Marine. Just remember how proud you are of them and how important their service really is. It’s because of them that you’re able to sleep under that blanket of freedom at night. Be proud of your United States Marine.




Week 10

Another busy week down and only two more until graduation. This week is one of the most important weeks for drill instructors and recruits. It marked their last chance to prove their worthiness in drill, the knowledge they retained on first aid and Marine Corps history and they put their physical capabilities to the test. At this point, your recruits are a direct reflection of the hard work and effort their drill instructors put forth this cycle.

Final Drill

Recruits were led in final drill by their senior drill instructor. During this event, the drill instructor and the platoon are graded separately. This event goes into the calculations for honor platoon.

Looking back on their first go round at drill (at the end of the third week) they have came a long way. Their appearance looked good and they were certainly confident. Many, many weeks had gone into preparing them for this moment. Even the senior drill instructors were caught practicing when recruits weren’t looking.

On performance day it all came together nicely, except for the few mistakes here and there.

One senior drill instructor told me that the key to being graded was not showing that you were nervous and acting like you already had it in the bag. He did win. Maybe this just proves that confidence in your performance really shows on the outside. Marines have always been quick to talk smack, especially because they are pretty cocky to say the least. One thing I will say to him is, keep calling me ma’am Frasier because you haven’t won honor platoon yet.

Prac App

Mass testing took place this week in several areas of military education. The recruits were ran through first aid scenarios, applying tourniquets and bandages to life size dummies while maintaining a combat mindset.

The rank structure was also a portion that held great importance. They were tested on all of the ranks that applied to the Marine Corps. One thing I find helpful is to know the Navy rank structure too. I don’t have it all the way down yet, but we work so closely with the Navy your recruit is bound to work with or for one eventually.

Weapons manual and procedures will never go away. Remembering when and how to apply these function checks are important, mostly for the range and when in combat.

The Rappel Tower

I know most of you have seen this rappel tower in Marine commercials and recruiting posters all over the place. It’s not just for looks, it really happens. However, Golf Co. recruits did not participate in this event due to inclement weather. The smallest hint of rain will cancel this event for safety purposes.

Here is what they missed: Recruits get a class on how to properly tie their harness and move down the rappel tower using the rope and safety equipment. Drill instructors are at the bottom monitoring the event and holding the rope to ensure recruits aren’t injured. (When I was in boot camp I couldn’t remember what they said for the life of me, so I just let go and went to the bottom full force. I don’t recommend this, the punishment from the DI was far worse than just hitting the ground). They are checked, than double-checked before allowing to climb the stairs to the very top where they will be instructed when it is there turn to glide down the wall.

The Company Commanders Inspection

Yes, another one. The company commander (Capt. Sandoval) inspected your recruits in their Alpha uniform. This uniform is one of the oldest uniforms belonging to the Marine Corps. The reason why this event is so important is because they were not in the normal camouflage utility uniform they have worn in previous inspections. Oh, and they are finally starting to resemble a Marine.

Prior to graduation, there will be one last inspection in Alphas.

The Museum

Recruits were afforded the opportunity to visit the museum and interact with Marines from the past. These speakers took the time to show them around the different rooms in the museum and provide them with stories and knowledge they have gained when they were on active duty and while volunteering within the walls of the Depot.


The Marine Corps ball is a military tradition that has gone on for decades. It is a chance for Marines to celebrate who we were, who we are and what we will become. Each year the commandant puts out a birthday message video. I encourage you to look for it and listen to what he has to say, as your recruits will be considered Marines on this day.


The crucible is well on its way. The recruits and DIs have been preparing for this day, as most of the parents fear for their child’s life. The crucible is not made to break anyone. It is designed to test their endurance, stamina and their ability to complete a mission under a stressful environment. Please don’t worry to much, they are ready to take on this challenge.