No damsels in distress here
By Sgt. David Drafton
| | February 11, 2006
Raleigh, N.C. --
Making the choice to become a Marine is one of the hardest, but for these women it was easy.
“I know that I wanted to become a Marine, and I am willing to make the proper changes in my life to make it happen,” said future Marine Brianna Stuckey recruited out of Raleigh, N.C.
Recruiting Station Raleigh conducted its biannual all-female pool function recently. Although there was a sparse showing, the message was received nonetheless. The day’s events included a motivation run, flex-arm hangs and crunches competition, and real life experiences shared from a few female Marines stationed here.
“I feel it’s important that they (future Marines) get an opportunity to ask the ‘hard’ questions and also a chance to get some good information,” said Sgt. Maj. Timothy Ruff, sergeant major of RS Raleigh.
Upon arrival to the RS headquarters the ladies had no idea of what to expect, some of them actually thought they were going to boot camp.
“I knew that we were going to see a little bit about what the Marine Corps was about. I just didn’t know what was going to happen … I just knew that a DI (drill instructor) was going to pop out of a corner or something,” said future Marine Kasey Smith recruited out of Salisbury, N.C.
The day began with a brief from the RS sergeant major followed by a short class on the proper way to address the various ranks in the Marine Corps.
“They all just came in lollygagging … I knew that sergeant major was going to say something to them,” said Sgt. Starlett Beam, administrative noncommissioned officer.
As the ladies sat around the oversized conference table intently listening to the speakers’ comments, their faces showed both worry and excitement.
At the conclusion of the day’s events each of the future Marines were granted an opportunity to have a roundtable discussion with the female Marines present about any and everything dealing with boot camp and life in the fleet.
“I didn’t know that women could attain high ranks in the Marines. The ones on the posters and pamphlets (collateral material) were all of lower ranks. It gave me hope that I could one day be a gunnery sergeant or higher,” said future Marine Tonya Bailes recruited out of Southern Pines, N.C.
“I wish there was something like this when I was recruited,” said Gunnery Sgt. Collette Soloman, canvassing recruiter from Recruiting Sub-station Winston-Salem.