Recruiting, a family affair
By Staff Sgt. Jonathan Agee
| | August 20, 2004
MARINE CORPS RECRUITING SUBSTATION, FALL RIVER, Mass. --
Recruiters are constantly seeking highly qualified young men and women to fill the future ranks of the Marine Corps. One recruiter, however, did not have to look any further than home to find what he was looking for.
When Sgt. Seth Bai checked into Recruiting Station Springfield in May he knew that his brother had what it takes to become a Marine.
Bai's brother, Andrew, first became interested in the Marine Corps after seeing his brother graduate recruit training in 1998. After watching his brother march across the parade deck, it was only a matter of time until Andrew enlisted into the Corps.
"It was a shock," said Andrew recalling his brother's enlistment into the Corps. "When we went down to see him at the recruit depot, the change was amazing -- both physical and mental. He came back a different person, a better person."
Andrew admits that the positive changes he witnessed in his brother are the same that he hopes to have after Recruit Training. "He has a stronger sense of duty than anyone I know," said Andrew. "He doesn't give up on anything and the patriotism he has for this country ... It's just something that I want."
When Bai first arrived to recruiting duty nearly three months ago, his goal was to talk with Andrew about his future. At the time, Andrew was in college and not very challenged. "It is a great school and I am having a good time there, but I don't know what I want to do, so I need something to spark my interest," said Andrew when talking to his brother.
"I then asked him if he had checked out opportunities around town or in the country," said Bai. "He said no, so I told him that moving around the world a little may give him the opportunity to interact with people and spark some interest in things he may want to do ... Then the cool twist to this is that my brother has never been involved with mechanics, but he wants to have a technical skill to fall back on so we began looking at technical skills ... and he picked diesel mechanic."
From that point, Bai referred his brother to the Fall River recruiting office, where Andrew was screened, tested and later sworn into the Marine Corps delayed entry program.
Andrew is scheduled to ship to recruit training in November, but he has already started training for the challenges ahead. To help prepare Andrew for the challenges ahead, the brothers are working out three times a week with a focus on endurance.
Andrew is only one of Bai's poolees and his devotion to his brother's success is no different than any other poolee. Each week, Bai spends time training his poolees both physically and mentally for recruit training. "I always check up on them," said Bai referring to his poolees. "I am like their guidance counselor, but I am not at school. I check them out to see how they are doing."
After a weekly pool meet, Bai sits down with his poolees and opens up the floor for questions. He speaks about his experiences in the Marine Corps and also addresses any concerns his pool may have about recruit training.
When Andrew ships to recruit training this November, Bai has only the highest hopes for his success. "I would like my brother to graduate guide," said Bai. "I cannot see one reason why he wouldn't. The knowledge that I know, the physical fitness I know, there is no reason he shouldn't graduate guide; and I know he has the drive to do it."
Only time will tell where Andrew's Marine Corps career will take him, but right now, with the help of his brother, he and his fellow poolees are on a path to success.