PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. — Melanie Matthews, Starmount marketing teacher, attended a simulation of the Marine Corps’ boot camp from May 10-13. Matthews said the teachers were invited to participate in the program by Assistant Principal Mike McCann, a former Marine.
This boot camp is a great opportunity for teachers, coaches, principals, assistant principals, secretaries, or counselors to attend and provides snap shot of what boot camp is and how the Marines do different types of training.
The workshop gives attendees the opportunity to ask questions, face-to-face, with Marine Corps drill instructors and see every aspect of recruit training from recruit to the graduation as a U.S. Marine.
“My reasons for going initially were personal. My son Jacob went through basic training after his junior year of high school with the National Guard at Fort Jackson, S.C. It was hard to understand all that he was going through and this would give me a great inside view of how the military trains their recruits. This workshop would be a once in a lifetime experience and I wanted to take advantage of that,” Matthews said.
During her time there, Matthews said she and the other participants were treated as if they were actually going through basic training.
“On the first morning the educators were required to be up and ready for breakfast at 5 a.m. and be on time getting on the bus at 5:45 a.m. to leave for Parris Island. Your heart is racing when you see the yellow footprints and realize that your drill instructors are about to pounce on you verbally. The DI’s were yelling ‘Get off the bus! Go stand on a yellow footprint.’ These DI’s were for real and didn’t joke around with this. At this time, we were informed that we were going to be put through a mini version of the three phases of recruit training. The educators from RS Raleigh (my group) and educators from RS Richmond embarked on an exhausting, exhilarating, and awesome experience.”
Among they activities they participated in were water survival brief, M16-A4 brief and the chance to shoot at the shooting range. They also visited the Marine Air Station, where they were able to see inside an F-18. They had a squad bay tour, museum visit, rappelled the 50-foot tower, completed an obstacle course team building exercises and much more.
“As you can see this boot camp encompasses a tremendous amount of activity. We were active approximately 14 to 16 hours a day. Our group RS Raleigh marched at regular time or double time the entire time. We were required to move across the base just as the Marines do. It was just awesome,” Matthews said.
Those in charge of the program also were eager for feedback from the participants, Matthews said.
“After graduation, our final activity, Brigadier General Williams addressed us and asked for feedback regarding our time at Parris Island. He was very open to all the comments made and showed appreciation for us taking to time to come and go through this boot camp.”
Matthews said she was grateful for the experience and would encourage other educators to take advantage of the program.
“I highly recommend this boot camp to all coaches, high school teachers, guidance counselors and administration. It was highly informative and overwhelming. A special thanks to our Drill Instructor Williams, she is one lady I will never forget,” she said.
“Thanks to my administration Cody Hemric, Mike McCann and Chris Petree for allowing me to go to this boot camp,” Matthew said. “I would like to thank all the men and women in our military and their families for the commitment and sacrifice to serve and protect our country. I will pray for you constantly.”
For more information on the program, contact Sgt. Henderson at: http://www.mcrc.marines.mil/4thmcd/Units/RecruitingStations/Raleigh.aspx.