San Diego —
Throughout the week, educators were given “briefings” or classes on everything from how recruits learn to handle a weapon to their version of fireside chats with their senior drill instructors.
“Everything they do is training,” MCRD Chief of Staff Col. Rob Gates said. “We try to build a good foundation.”
That foundation is what educators aimed to get a better understanding of and take back to their classrooms this fall. Earl Coleman, a guidance counselor from Portage, said he attended the conference to help his students make a more informed decision.
“I just wanted a better understanding of what the Marine Corps is all about,’ he said. “We have a lot of interest for students who may or may not or can or cannot go to college.”
Danvilleresident Jennifer Segner, a media specialist with Cloverdale Schools, also attended the conference and participated in the drills throughout the week. As a parent and educator with a son headed to college, she actively participated in the challenges presented to the attendees.
“I have a whole new understanding of what goes on here,” she said.
Educators were also presented with a unique opportunity to watch recruits as they returned from the capstone event of Marine Corps basic training called “The Crucible.” The Crucible consists of a 54-hour physical and mental test of the all the recruits have learned during their 13 weeks of training. During the Crucible, recruits are tested on only four hours of sleep and three meals. Upon its completion, recruits are officially referred to as Marines and receive the eagle and globe emblem from their drill instructor. The capstone is part of the overall mission of the corps.
Staff Sgt. Jason Gibson explained, “It’s success driven. No is not an answer. Boot camp is one of the hardest things, but your mind is more powerful. If you tell yourself that you can do something, you’re going to be able to do it.”