Civilians run as recruits at Boot Camp Challenge
By Pfc. Charlie Chavez
| | October 13, 2006
MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO --
Thousands of motivated civilians and service members participated in Marine Corps recruit training for a day, at the depot’s fifth annual Boot Camp Challenge, Oct. 7.
People came from all over the United States, including a group from Ewa Beach, Hawaii, to compete in the challenge. One group from Los Angeles also showed up for a team-building exercise.
After running the Camp Pendleton Mud Run a few months ago, Rayna Hiscox and her group of eight from the Veterinary Centers of America, West Los Angeles Animal Hospital, decided to try out the Boot Camp Challenge.
Their team, called “Muddy Paws,” finished the grueling course together. Hiscox said they try to do team events every three months, and that the Boot Camp Challenge is on their radar for another future event.
Everyone who competed in the challenge was released from the starting line in four different categories, individual male and female runners, three-person teams, and five person teams.
As they ran along the three-mile course, runners encountered various obstacles including bales of hay to climb over and the depot’s bayonet assault course. Participants were motivated along by drill instructors who yelled at them to move expediently.
“It was awesome!” exclaimed Wendy Bram, individual runner and a resident of San Diego. “Marines are the bomb; I would definitely do this again.”
As the last of the runners began to move through the course, the stragglers encountered the full experience of boot camp, as drill instructors swarmed around them like hornets.
“The best part was watching the civilians getting yelled at,” said Sgt. Nick C. Bredehoft, Recruiters School student. “The race was set up very well, and I had a lot of fun.”
Marine Corps Community Services planned the annual event and provided a vendor area after the challenge, which included free food, drinks and massages. The depot barbershop even had their clippers in hand in a booth next to the main stage.
As the depot and Western Recruiting Region Commanding General Brigadier Gen. Angie Salinas handed out medals during the awards ceremony, a 15-year-old boy who had hair down to his shoulders received a Marine regulation haircut – trimming his hair almost down to the skin.
Sean Moulin, of Santa Monica, came to the depot for the challenge and was determined to finish the race and get his hair cut. His brother was the encouragement behind his head getting shaved.
“He came here and earned his hair cut,” said Moulin’s 33-year-old brother, Rob Stevenson, who is also from Santa Monica.
The Boot Camp Challenge gave an opportunity for civilians to experience the depot and for military servicemen to relive a little bit of boot camp. Next year’s challenge is sure to be a success because of the motivation and support generated from the United State’s patriotic people who love the competition.