SPECIAL REPORT: What it takes to become a Marine, Part II

SPECIAL REPORT: What it takes to become a Marine, Part II

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - In 13 weeks, civilians transform from recruits to the nation's force in readiness.

KPLC's Erica Bivens and local educators got to experience the intensity on Parris Island, during a workshop designed to help teachers guide interested students.

Mobile user cans see video and photos from Erica's experience HERE.

Core Of The Corps

It didn't take long for our educators to learn Parris Island runs on this foundation.

"Following orders and respect for authority are one of the most important things we teach here," explained one of the drill instructors or D.I.'s.

Specially trained D.I.'s instill that same value into 20,000 recruits they transform into Marines there, each year.

For educators, it was a new lesson.

"I thought I kind of knew what it was about but now I really got to know what it's really like," explained Kinder High School head football coach Bret Fuselier.

Educators learned firsthand becoming combat ready isn't easy.

Pushed To Physical Limit

Besides mental challenges, boot camp transforms these recruits physically.

"It's definitely challenging," said recruit Adam Romero of Johnson Bayou.

But they'll tell you, it's worth it.

"It's the physical training that really drives me to continue," added recruit Garrett Ellison, a former Barbe student.

While we got the watered down version of physical training, it was still exhausting.

There were pushups, even lifting of human beings.

And just when you got the hang of things, it was onto the next challenge.

At the Confidence Course, comes another lesson: to never give up.

Lessons Learned

But the M.O. on Parris Island, is that every Marine is a weapons specialist.

First, comes weapons safety indoors. Then, it's onto the field range to master the M-16.

Thankfully educators weren't tested on being an expert rifleman.

Sure enough, another lesson.

Because Marines are amphibious, recruits have to pass a water survival test and 25-meter swim.

"You always have respect for Marines, but it gave me a new respect," said Chad Guidry, a Calcasieu Parish School Board member.

Educators then had to whip up a little courage to rappel 67 feet from the top of the Bell Tower.

Of course teamwork is another important concept there.

Honor, Courage, Commitment

While comradery is built, so is character, as drill instructors continue to instill core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment.

Although it's just a glimpse into what real young men and women recruits go through, it's obvious becoming a Marine is no easy feat.

"Seeing the commitment and the sacrifice they make for us and for our country is unbelievable," said Carl Klein, Barbe High School head basketball coach.

It's a newfound respect for educators, but for recruits, graduation day is one they'll never forget.

But before graduation, recruits must pass a final 54-hour grueling test known as The Crucible.

Friday, hear from two Marine graduates, former Washington-Marion students.

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