SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Recently, a group of educators traveled to California to take on Marines boot camp in an effort to better prepare themselves to counsel students who choose to enter the military after finishing high school. These educator recruits spent three weeks going through Marine boot camp. Marines spend 13 weeks at boot camp, and FOX6 News tracked down some young men from Wisconsin working to earn the title.
Marine Corps recruit training is not exactly a walk in the park. You do what you're told, when you're told and you better do it fast!
Milwaukee native and Marine Corps recruit Jonathan Kaiser is in the final phase of his training. FOX6 News had the opportunity of witnessing Kaiser's experience - a side of the Marine Corps. you rarely get to see. Kaiser made it through seven weeks of grueling conditions, mental challenges and physical exhaustion."I was originally intending to go into the Marine Corps. right out of high school, go into the ROTC program, but my parents said they weren't exactly too comfortable with it and at age 17 I had to respect their wishes," Kaiser said.
However, that didn't mean Kaiser had to give up on his dream. " I gave my parents a few years break, confronted them again saying 'hey, you know, I'd really like to do this. I'd very much like to serve and I believe the Marine Corps is the best option for me," Kaiser said.
Kaiser isn't alone in his journey. Roughly 16,000 young men and women take up the Marine Corps challenge each year. "It takes a special young man to come to the Marine Corps and try to do that,"
Waukesha native Thomas Bina is another Marine Corps recruit FOX6 caught up with in California. "You look at a Marine and you know they have pride in what they're doing. I wanted that. I wanted to be part of something bigger than anybody around me could do," Bina said.
Recruits must endure 13 weeks of around-the-clock training, culminating in "The Crucible" -- a 54-hour event that includes nearly 50 miles of marching, four to eight hours of sleep and only three meals. Amid the sleep deprivation and starvation, the recruits must employ all of their newly-acquired skills.
After surviving the final test, they're given their emblems and are called Marines for the first time.
Honor, courage and commitment are the three core values of every U.S. Marine. They're training to be the deadliest fighting force in the world, but not without a strong sense of morality. "Whether it's one enlistment or a 20-year career, they return back to society as better citizens and they continue to contribute to society in other ways,"
Over its 236-year history, hundreds of thousands of Marines have served for one reason or another, but one thing remains constant: the support needed to make their service possible. "I can't say enough to my family and friends back home - the letters they're sending me have helped me so much and motivated me to get through all this," "I can't tell you how much I've needed the motivation and the love and the care that they delivered in those letters and admittedly, the Power Bars do help too!"
CLICK HERE to learn more about Marine Corps recruit training.