Poolees preview Corps with help of 13th MEU
By Sgt. Mark P. Ledesma
| 12th Marine Corps District | April 01, 2003
MARCH AIR RESERVE BASE, Calif. --
During the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit's training in an Urban Environment Exercise at March Air Reserve Base, Calif., the "Fighting 13th" Marines interacted with more than 100 prospective Marines currently enrolled in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) from Recruiting Stations San Diego and Orange during "Poolee Day", March 30.
The DEP is a program that allows potential Marine recruits the opportunity to get personal affairs in order and become better physically and mentally prepared before leaving for boot camp.
Static displays of communication equipment, CH-46E Sea Knights, CH-53E Super Stallions, UH1N Hueys and AH-1W Super Cobras were at the event for the DEP enrollees also known as poolees to enjoy. Along with the static displays, Marines from several Military Occupational Specialties were on hand to answer any questions as well share their Marine Corps experience with the poolees.
Some of the poolees brought still and video cameras to record the eventful day.
"Seeing all these Marines out here motivated me even more to be one of them," said 17-year-old Sierra Vista High School senior, Alma Sanchez of Baldwin Park City, Calif. "I'm motivated even more to leave for boot camp coming out here."
The day was also not only a learning experience for the poolees, but for the Marines as well.
"This was a great learning experience for me," said Sgt. Tim G. Otto, S-3 satellite technician, 13th MEU Command Element. "If I ever have to go on a billet (like recruiting) which requires interacting with kids, I'll have a better understanding of it."
According to Otto, the poolees asked several questions.
"I think a lot of us were able to answer questions they had about what potential job field they were going to and what boot camp is going to be like," said Otto. "A lot of the kids were asking questions about how certain job fields and experiences in the Marine Corps can be transferred in the civilian sector."
Some of the Marines were surprised by how much some of the poolees knew about the equipment the Marines used.
According to 1stLt. Anne M. Klokow, CH-46E pilot, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 163 (Rein), some of the pooles asked detailed questions about the aircraft she operates.
"It was pretty amazing how some of them were asking questions about the fiber glass composition and the hydraulic system of the aircraft," said Klokow. "I thought the event was a great experience for these kids, who are about to join the Marine Corps to learn about the service."
According to SgtMaj. Leonard R. Rivera, Recruiting Station Orange, it went well.
"The poolees really liked the fact that they were able to talk to Marines who weren't recruiters," he said.