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    Marines, Helix Charter High School face off on the field

    Marines, Helix Charter High School face off on the field

    Photo By Sgt. Erica Kirsop | (left to right) Bryan and Aaron Camacho load paint balls into their weapons during...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Erica Kirsop 

    12th Marine Corps District

    MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. - Adrenaline is pumping through his veins. Quick mental snapshots before ducking his head behind the wooden wall for protection are all he has to rely on – how many of his men remain, where the enemy is approaching from, and how to rally his team into a better firing position. One wrong move and BAM!, he will be down for the count. It was time to use all the training the Marine Corps taught him.

    This is the fourth year the Marines of Marine Corps Recruiting Substation El Cajon, Calf., partnered with Helix Charter High School’s military basics program for an annual paintball game to give students a real and up-close experience with Marines in action.

    “What better way to do so than on a paintball field, in a combat-like situation where Marines thrive?” said Staff Sgt. Adam Marquis, a recruiter with RSS El Cajon.

    The military basics course teaches students, grades nine through 12, about discipline, life skills, respect, drill, responsibility, customs and courtesies, as well as all of the opportunities the military can provide after graduation.

    “As the program instructor, it was part of my job to approach each branch of service to work with our class, but it was the Marine Corps who really stepped up and helped out with the students the most,” said Marissa Haskin, course instructor.

    Marine Corps recruiters from RSS El Cajon work with the class at least twice a month to plan weekly workout regiments, and give leadership and educational talks. The paintball match also served as a learning opportunity.

    Marquis gave a brief history on Carlos Hathcock, a Marine Corps sniper during the Vietnam War, explained different Marine Corps tactics, and talked about weapons handling and safety before the match began.

    Students were numbered off and split into two teams.

    In a matter of minutes the first match was done. They had lost to the team with Marines on it. Everyone regrouped to discuss what strategies worked and what did not.

    The participants soon realized they would need to work together to win. Each student had to provide covering fire for their teammates, communicate over the chaos the enemy’s locations, and approach obstacles with a plan of attack like the Marines they were facing.

    The next match lasted longer and the third, longer still. Soon it was an actual battle and the students were applying all of the things the Marines taught them during class.

    “This is my third year in this class and the Marines who have come and help us taught me a lot about discipline, professionalism, self-integrity and the [importance of] communication,” said Alfonso Garcia, a Helix Charter High School senior. “Communication is so important. Especially in a situation like this where you have to take care of your teammates and talk to them so [both of] you don’t get shot.”

    Each year this trip serves as a practical application of all the tactics, traits and leadership skills the students learned throughout the previous semesters.

    The kids having fun, working together and smiling is always great, but watching them take what they learned and apply it to a real-life situation is why this program and event are so successful, explained Haskins. They learn to work as a team, and take the Marine Corps principles and leadership skills to heart.

    For more information on a Marine Corps-high school partnership please contact Cpl. Erica Kirsop at 858-675-4932.



    Date Taken: 03.13.2014
    Date Posted: 03.24.2014 17:37
    Story ID: 122460
    Hometown: EL CAJON, CA, US
    Hometown: LA MESA, CA, US
    Hometown: LAKESIDE, CA, US
    Hometown: SAN DIEGO, CA, US
    Hometown: SANTEE, CA, US

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