Council on Foreign Relations visits depot for better understanding of recruit training techniques
By Lance Cpl. Alicia Small
| | March 02, 2007
MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO --
Twenty members of the Council on Foreign Relations, a nonpartisan and independent membership organization, visited the depot Monday.
The purpose of their trip to the depot was to provide a forum for select members of the CFR to observe the United States military and gain a better understanding and appreciation of the Armed Forces of the United States.
The CFR, consisting of 4,000 members, takes 20 members on an annual week long trip to visit military installations. Each branch of service is observed for about 1 ½ days, said Jeff Newell, Air Force representative, CFR.
During their visit, council members were taken on a tour of the Recruit Training Regiment and were able to watch recruits train.
Senior leaders of each training area demonstrated and explained what tasks the recruits performed during that period in training.
As a surprise for the visitors, senior leadership in RTR arranged for the council members to go through the experience of the yellow footprints. They were taken to the receiving area on a bus, where they were greeted by a smiling and polite drill instructor who kindly asked them to step off the bus and get on the yellow footprints, said Newell.
“It was such a privilege to be able to see how our troops train and live,” said Dr. Evelyn Dahm, senior associate. “It is truly rigorous training, and it amazes me what they can do and live through.”
Members were also given the opportunity to ask questions and speak with senior leadership on the depot.
This helped the visitors see the human side of the military way of life, said Marco Vicenzino, Foreign Affairs analyst and commentator. Seeing the training and everyday life of those in the Armed Forces helps people see the reality of the way our troops live instead of just what they see on the television, said Vicenzino.
For many of the visitors, the most striking aspect of the Marine Corps training and way of life was the young age of its members. After visiting Camp Pendleton earlier in the day and seeing the recruits here at the depot, they came to the conclusion that most of the military is made of 18 to 20-year-old men and women.
As the tour ended and the group departed from the depot, the members of the CFR walked away with better insight on what it takes to be a Marine and live the Marine Corps way of life.