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.

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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.

10 thoughts on “Week 10

  1. Great to hear of the recruits’ collective progress! I can’t wait to hear them tell tales of their Crucible! In the mean time, didn’t you promise to give us the results of the platoon competitions in the week-10 blog? From the looks of the platoon videos, it appears that 2155 won Final Drill and 2156 won the Final Combat Fitness Test, but who won what else? (2153 and 2155 have shiny brass-looking trophies in their videos… what are those for?) Any progress on selection of the Honor Platoon? How about Company Honor Man? What can you tell us, Sgt Fraasier? We’re all ears!

  2. ….Really appreciate how often you post and put up photos-especially when you are also in the thick of activities with our recruits! 🙂

  3. My 2nd recruit has just begun….I found this page through the recommendation of another parent.
    Thank you! You are doing a fabulous job of chronicling the boot camp experience. Where were you when my first Marine was in boot? 🙂 Keep up the good work. And Thank You for your service! Happy Veterans Day.

  4. Thanks once again for letting us know how our boys (soon to be Marines) are doing. Sad to hear that about the tower – knowing one of my son’s favorite activities is rapelling. Maybe when he return for further training! Prayers are continuous in the next few days during Crucible. For you as well as the recruits and DIs. How awesome to complete on the Marine Corps Birthday and then Veterens Day the next day! Ooh-rah! It’s a great time to be part of the Marine Family.

  5. Sgt. Frasier, Thank you so much for all you’ve done. I know parents have gone through this without pictures, videos, updates, etc. and survived. Because of you, I understand more fully what my son has gone through, the training he’s received, the ups and downs, and I also learned how much the Marine Corps cares for my son and protects him. So many parents I know have told their kids “hell no!” when they were told they wanted to be a Devil Dog. After viewing his experience through my eyes as a parent, my son’s eyes as he wrote me letters, and your eyes as I feel I was able to experience boot camp with him, I would tell any parent at any time that the Marine Corps wants their son/daughter to succeed. Yes, the process will be difficult. Yes, there will be bumps along the way. But the end result is absolute self-confidence, being able to push yourself further than you ever thought possible, pride, confidence and, above all else Pride, Confidence and Courage. I have full faith now that my son has received the best training and that he will be fully prepared for anything that comes along the way….and that’s all because of you and your dedication to our new MARINES! Thank you for all the sacrifices you’ve made to make this possible. I can’t wait to meet you at the Meet and Greet.

  6. Sgt. Whitney Frasier- with the crucible behind us, I wanted take a few minutes and attempt to express my gratitude for many things..
    When my son was born, he had a birth defect. My only child was separated from me immediately after to be flown to a hospital for emergency surgery. As soon as I could get there I prayed and spoke to my only child saying, “fight for me because I am fighting for you.” I watched and marveled at the milestones he achieved throughout his lifetime. I was his biggest supporter, his loudest cheerleader, and his greatest admirer! Before he graduated high school, he told me of his intentions to join the Marines!! I was not happy about this decision! I had many false impressions about Marines!  I did not want my son to become a heartless, stone-cold figure of death! Ultimately, he became of age and overrode me stating, “Mom, freedom isn’t free!” I watched him for as long as I could when he boarded the plane to MCRD!! For weeks after, I called my mother and various friends crying sooo hard that I literally could not breath!! But suddenly my outlook began to take a new direction! I started following your posts and would catch a glimpse of him in a video or picture!! I desired to learn more about the Marines so that I could better understand his decision.  You, Whitney Frasier, have changed my perspective on the Marine Corp. You have shared with us yourself: as a soldier, a mother, a wife, and most importantly an individual. You must know that I felt the passion and loyalty you have for your career in every word you spoke. Because of your blogs, videos, pictures, and interactions, I now know that it is possible to be a compassionate, genuine, and loving Marine! I am sold on the morals and values of the Marine Corp and that was accomplished through your example! Just as you remember your drill instructor, I will look back on my sons bootcamp and will think fondly of you!! What you have given to me, I can  never repay! Most of all…  Thank you for being “real” and giving me the opportunity to experience the Marine Corp at it’s finest!!  Today, I am the proud mother of a Marine and am honored that he will follow in the footsteps of others just like yourself!!  Always believe that The Power of One can change the hearts of many!!  Semper Fi ! 

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