ALBANY, GA (WALB) - One of WALB's own will be heading to Parris Island, SC to get a taste of marine life.
It's called the Educator's Workshop, an annual awareness program geared toward informing educators and the media on how U.S. Marines are made.
Re-Essa Buckels will get up close and personal with the marines in less than two weeks.
To kick off the series, Buckels spoke with a poolee Jimmy Swan.
A poolee is an individual who has already signed up to become a marine but hasn't left for the 13-week recruit training at Parris Island.
In the next few months Swan will be put to the test.
"I like being part of a team, something bigger than myself," explained Swan.
Dougherty Comprehensive High School Junior ROTC program was Swan's first introduction to military life.
Swan walked us through some of the first steps applicants take before they become marines.
But why this career path?
"I wanted a challenge," said Swan.
And he got it from the moment he stepped foot in the recruiting office.
"They told me, they'll work with me but you're about 50 pounds over weight," remarked Swan.
He dropped those pounds, with the help of U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant Thomas Dailey.
"We're the building blocks and foundation, someone can't just wake up and go to recruit training, they're going to fail," said SSgt. Dailey.
Poolees are required to know how to do pull ups and several other exercises before going to bootcamp training.
Females are required to do one pull up. And males have to do 23.
Swan was up for the challenge.
Coming in at 08:00 for three months straight doing burpees and wall walls.
"That's what really surprised me and at that point of time I knew he was going to be a fantastic marine," said SSgt. Dailey.
And hopefully Swan makes it on the wall at the recruiting office.
"They'll have the before and after photos of when they're a poolee, and they'll take their marine corp photo and put it right on top of there," explained SSgt. Dailey.
Swan leaves on May 29th for bootcamp, and hopes to return as a US Marine.
Next week, Buckels will be doing more preparations for my trip to Parris Island to experience what it takes to make a marine.
You can follow her journey on her Facebook page.