RS Portsmouth Holds Annual Female Pool Meet
By Staff Sgt. Ken Tinnin
| | March 25, 2006
RECRUTING STATION PORTSMOUTH, N.H. --
Marine Corps Recruiting Station Portsmouth, N.H. held an annual female-only Pool Event March 25 at the Portsmouth Young Men’s Christian Association. Fifteen female poolees, (those who have enlisted in the Marine Corps, but are awaiting training) and three guests attended the event, which included a mentoring session with female Marines, an Initial Strength Test, and an introduction to the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program.
The event focused on preparing the poolees for their future in the Marine Corps and to build camaraderie.
“The purpose, as with any pool event, was to come together, learn, and prepare for not only recruit training, but also life as a Marine,” said RS Portsmouth Pool Coordinator Master Sgt. Aaron Winchenbach. “For this function, the focus was specifically on our female poolees.”
“Female-only events are important because often times females have questions about becoming Marines and their training, which might not be able to be answered by a male Marine recruiter,” said Winchenbach. “The mentoring aspect of the female pool functions is very helpful in this regard. At our function we were fortunate to have five female Marines participating in this mentoring capacity.”
The high point for many of the attendees was a Marine Corps Martial Arts demonstration by Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Langella, staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge, Recruiting Substation Southern Maine, Sgt. Ian McConnell, recruiter, RSS Southern Maine and Cpl. Jeremy Hite, operations clerk, RS Portsmouth.
“It was fun getting together with the other female poolees,” said Claire Bastille an 18-year old poolee from Buxton Maine. “I like testing my limits physically.”
Other poolees echoed Bastille’ thoughts.
“The training was difficult, but good,” said Allison Hollingsworth, 17, a senior from Winnacunnet High School in Hampton, N.H. “I didn’t like the training while I was doing it, but I felt rewarding after it was done. Like I had accomplished something.”
When all was said and done, all the poolees had all accomplished something.
“The event was very successful. All attending poolees were able to run an Initial Strength Test in the morning - they were all involved, motivated each other, and got a taste of the esprit de corps they'll experience at Parris Island by coming together from all 12 recruiting substations,” said Winchenbach. “They also were able to get a sample of some MCMAP training from Staff Sgt. Langella and most importantly mentoring from Capt. Tomko and the other female Marines who participated. That was the primary mission of the pool function and it was certainly accomplished.”