MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. --
Marine Corps Recruiting Command hosted the Eastern Recruiting Region College and University Educators’ Workshop here this week.
The workshop provided staff and faculty from colleges and universities across the Eastern states an in-depth exposure to the Marine officer accession and development process and an opportunity to develop purposeful relationships with MCRC personnel.
The workshop began with a trip to The Basic School. After completing Officer Candidate School and accepting their commission, Marine officers continue on to TBS where they are prepared for duty as company grade officers in the operating forces. Particular emphasis is placed on the duties, responsibilities and war-fighting skills required to be a rifle platoon commander.
While at TBS, educators witnessed and experienced the elements of training received by second lieutenants. They got a lesson in small arms and squad based tactics and heard from Col. Dale Alford, the commanding officer of TBS. The workshop guests also had the chance to climb aboard an amphibious assault vehicle. The educators had the pleasure of eating lunch with Marines attending TBS, which facilitated meaningful one-on-one engagements.
“I got a really good look at the way they train the lieutenants,” said Louis Scala, an instructor with the Department of Aviation, State University of New York Farmingdale.
Educators also saw a demonstration of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program at the Martial Arts Center of Excellence here. During the demonstration, educators observed some of the Marines Corps’ most highly trained martial arts experts put their skills on display.
Day one of the workshop wrapped up with a trip to Arlington National Cemetery to see a Marine Corps Sunset Parade. The Sunset Parade is a weekly performance, put on every Tuesday night during the summer, in front of the Marine Corps War Memorial and features performances by the Commandant’s Own Drum and Bugle Corps and the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon.
The second day began at the Marine Corps University with a talk from Col. Jeffrey M. Peterson, the outgoing chief of staff of MCRC, about what the Marine Corps is looking for from them and what type of individual the Corps wants to recruit. Peterson also took the time to address the educators on the Marine Corps’ efforts to improve diversity amongst its officer ranks.
“This is an opportunity for you to be exposed to what the Marine Corps is,” said Peterson. “You’re not here to become recruiters for the Marine Corps. We’ve got plenty of fine Marines out doing that now.”
Peterson then explained the qualifications for a potential Marine officer.
“We want a young man or woman who is intelligent, in superb physical condition and has top-notch moral and ethical values,” said Peterson. “Our officers are expected to come in and set the standard.”
Following Peterson’s talk, the educators received briefs from MCU leadership about the Corps’ continuum of Professional Military Education opportunities.
“I thought the briefs we got were very educational,” said Scala. “I really got a sense of what they’re doing as far as training Marine officers.”
After visiting the Gen. Alfred M. Gray Marine Corps Research Center for a tour of the library and Marine Corps archives, the workshop guests went to the Marine Corps Air Facility here for arguably the most exciting event of the workshop.
Attendees had the unique opportunity to fly aboard a CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter from Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1). HMX-1 is the unit responsible for the transportation of the President of the United States and uses the call-sign “Marine One” when he is onboard.
Upset stomachs aside, few educators stepped off the helicopter without a smile beaming across their face.
“It was fun,” said Toni Glover, director of writing program, University of Scranton. “I loved [flying on the helicopter].”
In the final day of the workshop, educators had a chance to visit Officer Candidate School. They received tours of a squad bay, training areas and saw a candidate close order drill evaluation exercise. Following OCS, the group completed the workshop with a tour of the National Museum of the Marine Corps.
This week’s workshop is the first of three that MCRC will host in the coming weeks. Another workshop will be held July 11-15 for educators of the Western Recruiting Region, and a Key Influencers Workshop will take place July 18-22 here.