MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO --
Millions of young Americans have earned the title of United States Marine and have marched countless miles across Shepherd Memorial Drill Field here at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.
The drill field is a revered and respected part of the depot where civilians become Marines. There is even an order that delineates what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior pertaining to the drill field.
“The drill field is a historic landmark where many Marines who have died for this country once marched; therefore the rules should be respected,” said Gunnery Sgt. Samuel Mortimer, chief drill instructor, Company B, 1st Battalion.
Only men and women in uniform are allowed the privilege of walking on the drill field. Depot personnel and visitors are also not authorized to wear civilian attire, talk on cellular phones, smoke, spit or carry gift exchange bags, while on the parade deck, according to Regimental Order 1510.37H.
Although everyone may not be familiar with these rules, they have been in effect since the depot was established, said Staff Sgt. Martin Huizar, drill master, 1st Battalion.
Depot personnel and visitors are reminded that if they want to talk on cell phones or smoke, they must step off the drill field or go behind the bleachers to do so.
The only bags that are authorized to be carried while crossing the drill field are military issued bags, said Huizar. No personal bags are allowed on the drill field.
“As easy as the rules may seem, they are broken daily,” he said. “When civilians cross the parade deck without knowing I understand. But when they are briefed prior to our ceremonies and argue and question our heritage, it is a sign of disrespect.
“As drill masters, the parade deck is very important to us. The parade deck is the home for close order drill which is the foundation of discipline and esprit de corps,” said Huizar.
“It is not an asphalt road, huge side walk, or short cut to the other side. It is where Marines are born, and where we continue our traditions of excellence associated with drill,” said Huizar.