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BOOT CAMP!!

The Educator Workshop Program: A uniquely Marine idea in which high school teachers, guidance counselors, coaches, and others are invited to observe and participate in boot camp. I was fortunate to have been chosen to participate, and I joined a group of New Jersey and Pittsburg educators leaving for Parris Island as a guest of RS New Jersey; Maj Jason Smith.

MCRD Parris Island, S.C.

"Get off my bus," screamed the Drill Instructor to a busload of visibly worried recruits. It was 0130 as the boots scrambled off the bus onto the famed yellow footprints. Most of the co-ed group of high school teachers, counselors, and administrators had no prior military experience, so they found the next few days "extraordinary." From participating on the rifle range, to challenging an instructor in the Pugil Stick pit, the educators learned how the Marine Corps gives the recruits the physical, mental, and emotional training necessary to win in combat.

"I'm not anti-military," said one high school counselor, "but neither did I see it as a career opportunity. But I do now." She'd just spent the afternoon at New River Naval Air Station talking to jet engine mechanics, logistical specialists, and others who were not considered 'college track students', yet now have a career as long-term and rewarding as that of any college graduate.

MCRD San Diego, Ca.

Invited by 6th District Des Moines IA office, (Maj Sean Quinlan); I joined a group of Midwest educators for a tour of Recruiting Depot San Diego and nearby Camp Pendleton and Miramar Air Station. We toured base housing and saw how the single Marines lived, and learned how the Marine Corps promoted continuing education.

"Boot camp is just the first step to becoming a Marine," Maj Quinlan explained, "What you see here; from boot camp to family housing and even the base library, is a microcosm of our mission: we make Marines, we win battles, and equally important, we return some absolutely first-class citizens to the United States."

For some of us the highlight was to participate in the Combat Assault Course... in flak jackets, kevlars, and a full-size and weight M-16; we divided up into fire-teams ran the assault course... through the galvanized sewage pipe, across the rope bridge, each team met up behind the wall before continuing our bayonet charge past the fighting holes to the finish. "Let's hear your war cry NOW!!"


At the Parris Island rifle range. 6 of 7 at 185 yards!


The NJ Educators were rarely in step


Educators with SSGT Jesebel Hamler


Pugil Stick; I'm on the left battling the instructor to a draw


Maj Sean Quinlan at graduation; MCRD San Diego



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