RS Portsmouth Poolees get a taste of Boot Camp
By Staff Sgt. Ken Tinnin
| | September 25, 2005
MARINE CORPS RECRUITING STATION PORTSMOUTH, N.H. --
Nearly 200 poolees and 70 Marines turned out for Marine Corps Recruiting Station Portsmouth’s Fourth Annual Mini Boot Camp Sept. 24-25. For the second year in a row the event was held at Blue Hills Reservation in Milton, Mass. The two-day event included classes on close order drill, an introduction to the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, field hygiene and gear silencing.
The events kept poolees motivated and gave them a small taste of what to expect at recruit training.
According to RS Portsmouth Pool Coordinator Gunnery Sgt. Cory Mitchell, “The Mini Boot camp allowed the poolees to get together, build camaraderie and brotherhood. It also gave them opportunity to interact with drill instructors and experience first-hand what will be expected of them at Parris Island.”
The mini boot camp was an experience that most would not soon forget.
“Scream! That’s not screaming, scream!” shouted Drill Instructor Sgt. Richard C. Donathan 1st Recruit Training Battalion Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C.
Donathan’s intensity and animated-like movements set the pace for the afternoon’s close order drill classes.
“These poolees need to get used to having the drill instructors in their face,” said Donathan. “This is just a little taste of what they need to expect at Parris Island.”
“Nothing they do will ever be perfect,” added Staff Sgt. Daniel S. Perry 3rd Recruit Training Battalion MCRD Parris Island, S.C. “The drill instructors will always be pushing them.”
But the poolees didn’t mind being pushed; in fact the time with the drill instructors was their favorite part of the event.
“The drill instructors were incredible and their intensity was awesome,” said poolee Frank Grenham, a 17-year old from Dedham, Mass who goes to recruit training June 19.
“Just hearing their voices and seeing how we all reacted to them was intense,” said poolee Dominic Golini, a 17-year old from Wakefield, N.H. “It was hard not to be overwhelmed by the experience.”
The main purpose of the Mini Boot Camp was to prepare the poolees for recruit training and success as Marines, said Mitchell. The poolees did not forget that.
Along with the close order drill classes, poolees learned field hygiene and gear silencing with Staff Sgt. Jason Fournier, a recruiter from Recruiting Substation Manchester, N.H. Poolees were also given an introduction to the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program by Staff Sgt. Jeffery Langella the staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge of RSS Southern Maine.
After the afternoon’s classes, poolees got to witness a reenlistment an awards ceremony, received a motivational period of instruction from RS Portsmouth Commanding Officer Maj. T. Shane Tomko and spent a chilly night in the field with manyb of them getting their first taste of an MRE (Meals Ready to Eat).
In the morning, poolees participated in a 5k-road race running with the recruiters and fellow poolees from their recruiting stations.
When the Mini Boot Camp was over the weekend was deemed a success.
“I joined the Corps to serve my country and contribute to the war effort,” said poolee Nick Xiarhos from Yarmouth Port, Mass who leaves for recruit training June 20. “Our generation has a chance to make history and I want to be part of that.”