FRESNO, Calif. --
FRESNO, Calif – Becoming a United States Marine is a process requiring devotion to bettering yourself and the community. For many, the enlistment process involves entering the Delayed Entry Program where one can spend up to a year waiting for their “ship date” to recruit training. Recruiters use this time to prepare them both physically and mentally for the rigors of recruit training. For the Marines of Recruiting Substation (RSS) Fresno, Calif., becoming a Marine includes service to your community. Because of this the Marines and their members of the Delayed Entry Program spent their Saturday morning volunteering at a local homeless shelter on January 11, 2020.
The Marines and poolees, the common title used by the Marine Corps for a person in the Delayed Entry Program, volunteered as part of their monthly meeting. Recruiting Station (RS) Sacramento selects one Saturday a month to gather all of their future Marines to conduct team bonding activities, group workouts, or as in this case volunteer work. This month they chose to volunteer at the Fresno Rescue Mission (FRM), whose mission is to serve homeless men, women and children in the community.
The activity presented the poolees with the opportunity to directly impact their community through service. As they wait for their “ship date,” the day which they leave for recruit training, they are taught the different values Marines live by. This particular opportunity was aimed toward reinforcing selflessness, a core concept adopted by all Marines.
“We don’t really get military volunteers often,” said Phil Roberts, the food service director at the FRM. “It’s amazing to have the Marines and their poolees helping out.”
The Marines and poolees helped in various ways to include picking up trash around the shelter, organize food, and inventory items in their warehouse. They wrapped up the morning by serving lunch.
“It may not seem like much, but what everyone did helped us out tremendously,” commented Roberts.
The Marine Corps prides itself in making the leaders of tomorrow, but that journey starts before these men and women arrive at recruit training. The transformation begins the moment they step into a recruiting office and say “I want to be a United States Marine.” While the recruiters focus on having their future Marines physically, emotionally and medically ready to ship to recruit training, they believe giving back to the community is an additional aspect of the whole Marine concept.
“We do this to reinforce the Marine Corps mission of making quality citizens and giving back to the community and to those who need our help,” said Staff Sgt. Ryan Tucker, the Staff Non-Commissioned Officer-In-Charge of Recruiting Sub-Station Fresno.