Week 9

You’re probably at that point now when the anticipation is too much to bear. The recruits have made it so close; their biggest fear is getting dropped. Travel arrangements are being made and your bags are already packed. Stop looking at the calendar already… watching a pot of water doesn’t make it boil any faster.

The recruits probably have lost track of training days by now because they realized to just fight until the fighting is done and only then will the madness come to an end. The DIs don’t even know what day of the week it is, hell, I don’t even know what day of the week it is. The only thing that’s on their minds is the finals coming up in Week 10.

MCMAP Testing
A time consuming event has finally come to a close, at least for now. The recruits were tested on their skills they were required to master to receive and wear the first of five belts. This means they no longer have to wear the skinny web belt that is made for other uniforms.
Some people may never touch MCMAP again. Others will take the training and run with it until they are an instructor trainer or even higher.
During the testing, the recruits went from station to station and executed a series of movements. They then received a pass or fail grade based on accuracy of their performance. At the end of the day, everyone passed and they are now authorized to wear a tan belt.
The one thing that I could never understand is the way testing takes place. As long as the first recruit knows the movement, everyone will pass it. Granted it’s not that hard, but still. Perhaps that is why they divide the recruits in 9-man sticks (when I say sticks, I mean groups).
Bayonet Assault Course
The recruits aren’t strangers to this course as they have visited it once before.
I must say they moved through it a bit more smoothly than the first time they assaulted hanging dummies dressed as terrorist, especially their movement under barbwire (thanks Field Week!).
So what makes this time around different than the other? They used real bayonets. Now, I don’t know about you, but if I was a DI I would not want to get as close to some of the recruits as they normally do knowing they are all running around with knives… but that didn’t stop them from getting in the recruits faces when all else failed.
Pugil Sticks III
Another battle of the sticks came and went with a jab to the face. This pugil sticks event is by far the best of them all. The combination of mud, sticks and pissed off recruits make for a great time, at least or whoever is winning.
After they are suited up, they stood by the thunder dome in preparation to defeat the next recruit in line from opposite platoons. Hearing the company staff stand by shouting at them to hit harder or wince when someone got smoked was pretty entertaining, but getting that perfect photo took a lot more than I expected it too. The staff would hype the recruits up, promising them phone calls and even food for winning. It was interesting to see the intensity someone can show just for a meal.
They slammed each other against the walls and pushed each other down into the mud. I’m pretty sure these recruits were picturing DIs in their head when they charged at one another at full speed.
No Marine Left Behind
A few weeks ago my shop went out for our daily afternoon PT. It was family day. I remember seeing this recruit walking alone. I pointed him out to my SNCO and said “That makes me sad. Why is he by himself?” It appeared that he was with the family ahead of them, but it was just an illusion. He was alone. So after PT I went out to look for him, I couldn’t find him anywhere. Then I realized, he was probably on the parade deck because by that time family day was coming to an end. To this very day (it’s only been a few weeks) I feel like I let him down. I could have at least invited him to run with us. I regret not approaching him.
That time is coming up again and I noticed you guys are recognizing the importance of family, friends and a solid support group. In the Marine Corps, we NEVER EVER leave a man behind. No matter if they are breathing, dying or already deceased they come home to their family.
The parents of Golf Company have created a family of their own. Each recruit has 500 moms, 500 dads and a whole lot of siblings. Please continue to express that importance to the recruits by taking them under your wing when they are alone. I know you guys won’t let me down.
GET SOME
What is the significance of the Eagle, Globe and Anchor and how did is derive? Did you know that the EGA for enlisted and officers for the uniform are different? Explore this on your own time and familiarize yourself with the single item that will distinguish your recruit from any other branch.
SCUTTLEBUTT
The finals are near and the DIs and recruits are working hard to achieve the best scores possible. Visit back to see the final results in the Week 10 post!

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About echo5fox

Sgt. Frasier enlisted in the Marine Corps July 2005 from Florida at the age of 18. After completing boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, she proceeded to Marine Combat Training in North Carolina. In 2006, she attended the Personnel Administration Course aboard Camp Johnson, N.C. She was stationed at Camp Lejeune upon graduation of her military occupational specialty. After deploying to Iraq with 3/10 in 2008, Sgt. Frasier reenlisted with the option to lateral move into another occupation, combat correspondent. Sgt. Frasier has worked at The Globe, the base newspaper aboard Camp Lejeune; The Convoy, the group circular for 1st Marine Logistics Group and The Chevron, the base paper for Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. Sgt. Frasier served as the Community relations and Media noncommisioned officer in charge for the Public Affairs Office aboard the depot. Currently she is the Marketing and Public Affairs Director for Recruiting Station Chicago, 9th Marine Corps District. Her awards include the National Defense Service Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism, Good Conduct Medal (2), Iraqi Campaign Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2) and the Navy Unit Commendation Medal.

20 thoughts on “Week 9

  1. Thank you Sgt Frasier…I will be on the look out for graduates with no family on family day and graduation. That breaks my heart that some experiance this special time alone. I’ve written my son asking if he knows of any recruits that will not have family on either day to let them know they are part of our family!

  2. How did you know I was looking at the calendar! lol I have told my son too if there is anyone who needs a family.. we’re there.. they will be ours for the day or 2 days..Whatever they need! This is family! Go Golf Co!! Thanks again for all that you do!

  3. Sgt. Frazier,
    Any Marine walking alone on Family Day is welcome to be a part of our family. Consider it done!
    Thank you for all your posts, pictures, videos and a wealth of information about the Marine Corp. My son wrote he can’t wait to come home and read your blog and relive the experience all over again.

  4. My grandson is in Golf Co 2151 and my co-worker said she saw a special the other night on TV about Marine recruits at Camp Pendleton and she was sure she saw him. Did you do a TV special on them? By the way, we have loved your manner of writing and being so personable. How we have appreciated the info you’ve given us!

  5. I will write my son and do the same. Any graduate is welcome to celebrate with our family. They will one of ours as well.
    Thank you Sgt. Frasier

  6. Thank you Sgt for the update. I will never forget my family day. I didn’t have anyone visit me and being alone with other recruits who didn’t have any family visiting either. I promised never to be without a family again. Because of situations like that, I’ve coached for over 25 years youth sports from boys Little League baseball, Pop Warner Football, basketball & girls fast pitch softball. I’ve never let my children’s side for one moment. And now that my only son will become a Marine on 11/18, I will be there Wednesday night only to awake our 20-25 family members up at 0430 hours on Thursday morning to be there for Family day by 0600 hours. And bye the way, I wrote my son that if any recruit in his platoon does not have any family visiting for Family Day or Graduation, we will adopt them for that time. Semper Fi Sgt Frasier.

    • thank you for your service to our country. Wow 25 family members! don’t suppose anything willl ever make up for that day though…I have heard of other families that have had as many and it has made me a little jealous. Though I come from a large family, almost no-one is coming because they either cannot travel, too old, too sick, don’t have the money, no vacation time….It has made me sad for my son because his dad is gone, died six years ago, and the reason why my son is joining the Marines. I just hope he understands. I am flying out there from Texas with my four younger children. I think it will make quite an impression on them. I know this will be an emotional weekend for you. Congratutations on your son’s success. My son is in 2150 so maybe I will see you at that breakfast! God bless you..

  7. I feel the same as all of you. I have wrote my son and asked if he knew of any of them who will be alone. I will take any of them under wing. My family feels the same. Thank you for the update and looking forward to the next one.

  8. I remember seeing something on the Marine Corp website that there is a fundraising activity to help families that cannot afford the expenses for the trip. I am making this a personal mission to try and get as many donations as possible for this fund! I can’t imagine missing my son’s graduation and no other parent should have to miss either! How do we get the word out to everyone about this opportunity to help? And how do the families that need the assistance know that it is available?

  9. Its amazing how quickly the 13 weeks go when your son isnt in the mix. Im quite amazed that this company is this close to graduation already. It is true then.. the water boils faster if your not watching 🙂 Congrats to all the parents who wrote letters everyday and prayed til their knees hurt !!

  10. Thank you so much for keeping this blog up-to-date! It is one of the highlights of my week (right behind marking each day off the calendar!). I also have asked my son to check with anyone who has no family coming to graduation. I’ve also offered for them to spend their leave time with us including Thanksgiving if they so choose. We will work out the transportation back! So if you know of anyone, please let us know and thanks again for all you do to help keep us part of this fabulous experience!

  11. The DI’s should be made aware of this issue and have it covered. I am very surprised this has been overlooked. My nephew’s family day was this August, and it seemed like his whole platoon had someone to be with. Good on you all for stepping up.

  12. The Parker family will gladly welcome any recruit into our family too. I can’t thank you enough Sgt. Frazier for all the photos and updates.

  13. Th Sarsoza Family would also Welcome anyone who’s family for whatever the reason was not about to share in this Blessed Day , I Know my son has probably extended that offer as well to his fellow recruit’s , as was his custom through out his school years

    Praise and Blessing to all those Graduates and Proud Parents

  14. Hi, my son in plt.2153. We from Ukraine. And it amazed me, how you ALL step in front to say:”i will adopt this marine” or “he is welcome to my family’.We received our citizenship not long time ago and just read these words make me feel-you are really honest ,proud people.I have hope ,that my son have a chance to be with your sons.Semper Fi.Iryna

  15. I am so grateful to Sgt. Frasier for this site, the priceless pictures and videos, and the informative blogs – it has helped me so much during the 13 weeks I’ve been waiting to see my boy become a Marine. I am proud to say that today he is one. Thank you Sgt. Frasier, thank you DI’s, thank you Marines.

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