Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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June 20, 2011

Local residents immersed in Marine Corps culture

San Diego — SAN DIEGO, Calif.— The U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) has developed a reputation for being the best of the best and transforming men and women into an elite group of skilled warriors.

Last week, the corps put that process on display for educators from throughout the Midwest.

High school teachers, coaches, and counselors were invited to a Marine Corps Educators Workshop in San Diego, Calif., to get a behind-the-scenes look at how the corps conducts its boot camp and transforms recruits.

Educators from Indiana, Nebraska, and Iowa — including some from Hendricks County — were shown first-hand how recruits become Marines.

Lt. Col. Tom McCann of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) said, “The goal is not to make you fall in love with the Marine Corps. It’s to give you the facts. I think you’ll learn a lot about the Marine Corps.”

The educators were divided into groups, based on the recruiting station (RS) in their region. RS Indianapolis and RS Des Moines were each assigned a drill instructor who would show them a week in the life of recruits, by treating them like recruits.

“It’s going to be really fun,” Drill Instructor Staff Sgt. Suan Garrett said.

Garrett, a nine-year veteran of the corps, was assigned to RS Indianapolis.

“You’re going to see a lot of stuff,” he said. “Hopefully, out of this trip, you’ll get a better understanding of what it’s all about.”

From the time educators stepped off the Marine Corps recruits’ bus on Tuesday, they were treated similarly to how a brand new recruit would be. Meaning they were ordered around in an elevated voice by drill instructors, taking a version of the Marine Corps code of military justice, and taken to the Contraband Room to empty their pockets of their belongings.

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