Frederick, Maryland --
More than 300 future Marines and their families from across parts of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, gathered at the Frederick Community College soccer field in Frederick, Maryland, on April 18 to get a glimpse of Marine Corps basic training.
The event tested the young leaders in competition with each other while also demonstrating to their families what recruit training will be like.
"Part of the reason we have the future Marines here today is to work on their physical fitness and mental preparedness…before they go to Parris Island," said Maj. Paul B. Bock, Recruiting Station Frederick commanding officer from Francestown, New Hampshire. "Another reason is to show the parents what we're all about if they don't already know."
The participants competed in various activities such as pull-ups, crunches, ammunition-can lifts, relay races, tug-of-war and an iron man and woman competition. Drill Instructors from Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, motivated them every step of the way.
"Our standards are tough because we want to make sure these future Marines are successful when they go to Parris Island. Our standards are tough because we don't want these future Marines to disappoint their parents or themselves," said Bock.
Encouragement swarmed the poolees from the drill instructors, the recruiters, and even retired Marine parents such as former Sgt. Victor Gaetan cheering from the sidelines.
"It's awesome to see my boy growing up and taking the same route as I did," said Gaetan. "It's great the poolees get this taste of what boot camp is going to be like, what teamwork is all about and the reality check of they're not kids anymore. They're transitioning into adulthood."
Competition was stiff between the young men and women of the recruiting substations. With females being a minority in the military, their efforts made Staff Sgt. Angela L. Arounerangsy, a drill instructor at the function, proud to witness them pushing past their limits. .
"It makes me feel good to know there are still females out there willing to keep going the extra mile when they're tired," said Arounerangsy, a native of Honolulu, Hawaii. "That's the type of character who will keep pushing no matter what, and hopefully, influences those around to do the same."
Following the challenges, the drill instructors took time to have a discussion with the future Marines and gave the poolees the opportunity to ask any questions.
"It's one thing for them to hear about what goes on in recruit training and what's expected of them, but it means more to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth," said Arounerangsy.
The day ended with many individuals being awarded for their performance during the event. The best overall performance went to the young men and women of Marine Corps Recruiting Substation Leesburg. This marks Leesburg’s second consecutive year as the event champion.