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    Earning the Cover

    R.O.K. Marine Graduates from Drill Instructor School

    Photo By Cpl. Daniel Johnson | MSgt. Hyuk Kim, with the Republic of Korea Marine Corps, leads drill on Marine Corps...... read more read more



    Story by Lance Cpl. Michelle Brudnicki 

    Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island           

    The U.S. and Republic of Korea (ROK) Marines have fought side-by-side for more than seven decades, in battles such as Incheon Landing, securing Seoul, and the battle of Tra-binh. After the establishment of the ROK Marine Corps in 1948, the two nations have maintained a working partnership since the ROK-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty was signed in 1953 - still one of the longest standing in modern history.
    The relationship between the United States and the ROK Marines has sustained the proverbial elements of hardship, and even travelled across the world to Drill Instructor School on Parris Island, where one particular ROK Marine found himself training amongst, and ultimately graduating alongside his American counterparts.
    Master Sgt. Hyuk Kim, from the Republic of Korea Marine Corps, graduated from Drill Instructor School aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., June 25th, 2021.
    Kim has served in the ROK Marine Corps for 22 years and has worked with United States Marines on multiple occasions. He said he came to observe, participate in, and collect knowledge of different aspects of the training drill instructors receive to bring back with him to the ROK Marine Corps.
    “I think DI school instructors are the best of the best,” said Kim. “They are smart, professional, and motivating.”
    Kim was educated on the instruction and care of recruits, drill and marching, and participated in the rigorous physical training that drill instructor candidates perform in order to graduate.
    “I’ve learned a lot through the professional attitudes of the instructors and through physical training,” said Kim. “I feel stronger than ever before.”
    Despite his prior military experience, Kim was eager to try something new and take up the opportunity to attend drill instructor school.
    “I wanted to go through DI school to challenge myself,” said Kim. “I wanted another challenge in my life and to become a better person.”
    Gunnery Sgt. David Yi, an instructor at drill instructor school, was one of the Marines who trained and guided Kim during his time in class. Yi said he saw the Master Sgt. as a mentor to his juniors in class because his desire to set the example and succeed regardless of language barriers.
    “Having Master Sgt. Kim attend DI school was very inspirational,” said Yi. “Knowing and understanding that someone like him at the age of 41 was able to keep up with 25-26 year olds in all aspects of training encouraged everyone else to be better.”
    Kim trained with the class of candidates for 11 weeks, going through the same training any U.S. Marine would to become a drill instructor aboard Parris Island. He was an honor graduate, presented with a campaign cover at the graduation ceremony, and recognized with the “Gung-Ho” award which reflected his determined and motivated spirit during the class.
    “Although Master Sgt. will not work in the capacity of a drill instructor, he made it through the school,” said Yi. “Completing all graduation requirements earned him the campaign cover.”
    Bilateral training not only strengthens bonds between the United States and its allies, it also offers an opportunity to share individual strengths from both sides to make for a more effective united force. Kim said the knowledge he learned and relationships he established going through the course will stick with him as he transitions back to his unit.
    “I think we motivate each other by exchanging our experiences,” said Kim. “Exchanging experiences, culture, and combat power always makes good changes and it improves both U.S. and ROK Marines.”



    Date Taken: 06.29.2021
    Date Posted: 06.30.2021 11:17
    Story ID: 400037
    Location: PARRIS ISLAND, SC, US 

    Web Views: 836
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