Mid-Atlantic educators attend Marine Corps workshop
By Lance Cpl. Kari D. Keeran
| Marine Corps Recruiting Command | June 29, 2006
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. --
The 4th Marine Corps Recruiting District Educator’s Workshop was held here, June 19-22. Twenty-seven educators from universities throughout the district participated in the 4-day event.
According to Maj. Raphael Hernandez, assistant of officer procurement, 4th Marine Corps District, the main purpose of the workshop is to educate college representatives on the opportunities the Marine Corps offers college students and graduates entering the officer ranks.
The Marine Corps opened up its doors for the educators to have an in-depth look at the process required to train today’s Marine officers.
The group attended briefs at the Officer Candidate School (OCS) and The Basic School (TBS); witnessed lieutenants training at the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) and at swim qualification; ate lunch with Marines in one of the chow halls; had hands on training and fired different weapons; and even spent an evening in Washington, D.C. to watch the Sunset Parade hosted at 8th and I Marine Barracks Washington.
“This workshop allows college and university educators, who have little to no military background, the chance to get an inside look at creating officers,” said Lt. Col. Chris M. Grooms, head of officer procurement, Marine Corps Recruiting Command.
The requirements needed for OCS and an idea of what is expected of lieutenants throughout the twenty-four weeks at TBS was explained to the group by several senior ranking officers.
Brigadier General Richard T. Tryon, commanding general, Marine Corps Recruiting Command, highlighted some of the different officer programs in the Marine Corps, such as going from enlisted to officer and how midshipmen from the Naval Academy become Marine officers. He also explained the qualification criteria and training requirements.
Colonel Royal Mortenson, commanding officer, TBS, made an instant connection with several educators during his discussion about the importance of leadership values in the Marine Corps.
“Colonel Mortenson’s concept of leadership is on track with what I do on a regular basis and I connected with him instantly because leadership is so important,” said Lisa Reeves, the director for Student Leadership and Development at Central State University.
In addition to the very informative briefs, the educators received their greatest education by watching lieutenants train and while talking one-on-one with the future leaders of the Corps during chow.
The Marine Corps coordinated an opportunity for the educators to eat lunch at the base chow hall with lieutenants from their respective universities. It gave them a chance to talk to someone currently going through the program and who could relate more on a personal level.
Dr. Robert Topmiller, the assistant professor of history at Eastern Kentucky University, said the information given here helps put out a positive image of the Marine Corps on college campuses. Topmiller was a Navy corpsman in Vietnam and when he was invited to attend the workshop he saw it as an opportunity to learn about the officer side of the Marine Corps. After this experience, he plans to invite an Officer Selection Officer (OSO) to his classes to speak to students about OCS and the Marine Corps.
Aside from the educational aspect of the trip, the guests seemed to have the most fun learning about and shooting some of the weapons.
“Shooting the weapons was scary but fun,” said Reeves. “This was a very motivating and enlightening experience that I will remember for a lifetime and will definitely go back and tell my students about.”
Before departing the base, the group was given time to shop at the Marine Corps Exchange and purchase memorabilia from their trip.
The workshop gave the educators insight on how Marine Corps officers are trained and prepared them to better communicate the opportunities offered in the Marine Corps with interested students.
“We hope to continue to build personal and professional bonds between the OSOs and the universities by influencing key staff members and educating them on how we make Marines,” said Grooms.
The Marine Corps Recruiting Command accesses approximately 1,500 officers each fiscal year. For more information about officer programs in the Marine Corps, visit www.marineofficer.com or call 1-800-Marines.