This afternoon I was going through the TV channels and came across "Making Marines" on the Military Channel. It was a documentary about the training the Marines go through at Parris Island, South Carolina. Some of you may remember my trip to Parris Island, many will not. Back in November of 2010 about 100 of us from as far north as here in Maine, and as far south as New York, all went on an "Educators' Workshop" to see how the Marines were trained.

Pool At Parris Island

Our tour started where the Drill Instructor gets on the bus and yells at recruits to get off the bus and get in line on the yellow footprints. In that first building we saw where new recruits got their first haircut and called home. When they call, recruits can only say they made it to camp safely.

The tour of the Parris Island campus consisted of seeing the largest pool on the east coast. This is where recruits learn to swim or learn to swim better, swim with gear, swim while carrying another person and so forth. We did, or I should say attempted, many obstacle courses. It's similar to what you might see on 'Wipeout' and 'Survivor' or if you remember 'Dog Eat Dog.' All of the stages on the course tested any and some of the following; endurance, strength, agility and mental toughness. We ate mostly at the Mess Hall, which is a fairly large cafeteria with fairly good food. Some meals were off the base or in the VIP lounges.

Parris Island Museum

The tour of the museum was very interesting. The museum featured stories and artifacts of the US Marines from the the past conflicts and wars. Showing the different uniforms of the different eras and the weapons and vehicles, etc. I saw a lot of weaponry and shot some too. My aim was horrible with an M-16. Surprised at how easy and soft it was to fire. I'm not a gun expert but I can tell you there is no kick with an M-16.  We saw the bunk quarters. Recruits run, train and obey their Drill Instructors.

My Skills.

In this post, I'm sure I'm forgetting some of what we did because it was almost two years ago, but I was certainly blown away. I've always had respect for Marines and military in general, but seeing it up close gives you a whole new perspective on what these young men and women go through. The skills Marines get include everything from shooting to the finale, a course referred to as The Crucible. The Crucible is 54 hour obstacle course with only eight hours of sleep and two-and-a-half MREs (Meals Ready to Eat.)

Our four day field trip ended with a Marine graduation ceremony. I didn't even know anyone and I teared up. All I can say is "wow."  Dismissed!