The 6th Marine Corps District held a ribbon cutting ceremony at its headquarters building to celebrate the opening of its new Recruiting Historic Exhibit here, Nov. 9.
The exhibit includes displays on subjects such as woman Marines, a collection of original recruiting posters, Leatherneck articles, and is beginning a display dedicated to the Montford Point Marines.
“The exhibit is meant to fill that gap between recruiting people and creating Marines and offer a historic perspective on marine recruiting,” said Master Sgt. Ramon P. Gallimore, 6th MCD contact team member.
“It’s not like people just walk into a recruiting office and say ‘I wanna be a Marine.’ There’s so much hard work, blood, sweat, and tears that go into recruiting the world’s finest warriors and this exhibit will hopefully inform people of that hard work,” said Gallimore.
The assembly of the exhibit began in June of this year and was completed in early November, in time for the 236th Marine Corps Birthday.
Colonel Paul Timoney, 6th MCD commanding officer, gave a presentation on the advancement of recruiting and the vital effects it has had on shaping the corps to the Marines who were in attendance. “The same reasons people joined back in World War I are the same reasons of today— recruiters are there to remind you what they are,” said Timoney.
A majority of the exhibit includes posters dating back to different times during Marine Corps history. “Many are originals that were donated to the exhibit by several different people. All except one poster are original copies, giving the exhibit that overall genuine and unique presence,” said Gallimore.
David Robles, a retired Marine sergeant major and founder of the historical society on Parris Island, also attended the ceremony. Robles donated some artifacts to the exhibit and was able to see them proudly displayed.
“I’m very impressed by how everything turned out,” said Robles. “Now people can see all the hard work that recruiters go through, because we all know that without recruiters there would be no recruits, and without recruits, we wouldn’t have Marines—meaning no Marine Corps.”
Sue Robles, Robles’ wife, remarked on how moved she was by the exhibit, especially by the woman Marines portion. “One of my biggest regrets was not joining the service, but seeing all the history of the women that did join and reading about their journeys just makes me so proud.”
The exhibit has several unique artifacts on display that no other museum or Marine Corps establishment is in possession of, including a very rare recruiting service patch. This patch was worn by Marine recruiters during World War II on either an arm band or directly on the uniform. Its rarity makes it highly desirable amongst Marine Corps collector’s items.
The recruiting exhibit also had the honor of receiving a piece of steel from the World Trade Center that they proudly display in the center of the room.
“I think it shows great representation not only of the 6th Marine Corps District, but also the Marine Corps recruiting command, that we took the initiative to create this exhibit. This could be the first step to finally putting recruiting on the map, where it should be,” said Gallimore.
Gallimore couldn’t be happier with how the exhibit turned out and is looking forward to adding more to the project.
The 6th Marine Corps District Recruiting Historic Exhibit is open to anyone and everyone wanting to know more about the less acknowledged, yet one of the most significant roles in the Marine Corps— the recruiter.