Parris Island, SC - WALB's Re-Essa Buckels got her first full day of Marine Recruit Depot bootcamp at Parris Island, South Carolina. Buckels was invited to attend Marine Corps Educator's Workshop to study how Marines are made.
A Marine says "You have just taken the first step at becoming a member of the world's finest fighting force."
Sixty educators, some from Jacksonville, some from Baton Rouge, lined up on the legendary yellow footprints; the first place all recruits stop, before learning about all of the do's and don'ts of bootcamp in formation.
We marched into the receiving center where recruits make their first phone and only call to parents. After that, they can only write letters over the next 13 weeks
But the intensity picked up, once we stepped out of the center, as drill instructors belted out harsh commands to test how well we can work as team.
"All you look at me, when I scream 'stop,' you scream 'Stop, aye ma'am,' do you understand?"
We all shouted 'Yes, aye ma'am."
But when we didn't... "Say aye sir, you have a volume problem right? You're about to have 25 more volume problems with you."
Somehow we made it off the footprints, heading to the squad bay barracks
"Each one of you can become a Marine if you develop discipline and spirit," said the instructor.
And we all quickly learned, any deviation from that would land us in the sand pit, where jumping jacks in the sand whipped us all into shape."
And learning what it takes to make a Marine. Every Marine is a rifleman, so we're learning how to shoot the M-16 rifle. Of course this is on a simulated training course, but a little later today, we'll actually go outside and fire live rounds
This was the first time for many of us firing rifles. Half of recruits also don't know how to shoot them, so they're trained and tested on all well they can hit the targets.
And with blood, sweat and tears, recruits aim to hit all of their targets, in hopes to transform from civilians into Marines.