News: Western Recruiting Region educators get an inside look at the Corps
Story by Lance Cpl. David Flynn
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. -- Marine Corps Recruiting Command hosted the second of two College and University Educators’ Workshops here July 11-14.
The workshop provided staff and faculty from colleges and universities across the Western states an in-depth look at the Marine officer accession and development process and an opportunity to develop purposeful relationships with MCRC personnel.
Educators began the workshop with a visit to The Basic School. After completing Officer Candidate School and accepting their commission, Marine officers continue on to TBS where they are prepared for duty as company grade officers in the operating forces. Particular emphasis is placed on the duties, responsibilities and war-fighting skills required to be a rifle platoon commander.
While at TBS, educators witnessed and experienced the elements of training received by second lieutenants. The atmosphere of TBS reminded one educator of his youth.
“I grew up in a missionary school in Nigeria,” said Bolanle Olaniran, department of communications chair, Texas Tech University. “We followed similar regimented schedules as [the lieutenants at TBS] do.”
While at TBS educators witnessed students prepare for a patrol in armored vehicles, saw a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program demonstration from three experienced black belt instructors, received a lesson in squad based tactics and had lunch at the same chow hall that some of their former students now dine in.
“I know a lieutenant at TBS now,” said Rod Keller, English professor, Brigham Young University- Idaho. “He is the person who told me about this workshop and was very excited when I said I was going.”
Like Keller, Olaniran also found out about the opportunity the Marine Corps offers to educators through a student.
“I know a young man who became a lieutenant a few weeks ago,” said Olaniran. “That’s how I got invited to the workshop.”
Following their trip to TBS, the educators headed over to the Marine Corps University for a series of briefs about the different professional military education programs offered to Marines.
“I really enjoyed hearing about the PME because I can relate to that,” said Olaniran. “It’s similar to what I teach; strategic decision making, crisis management and conflict management. I can wrap my hands around it a little more.”
After their day on base, educators spent their evening at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., to see a performance by the Commandant’s Own Drum and Bugle Corps and the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon during the Sunset Parade. The Sunset Parade is conducted every Tuesday night during the summer.
Day two of the workshop started with a tour of base housing at here followed a look at the Corps’ future with a presentation of former commandant Gen. James T. Conway’s Vision and Strategy 2025.
“I really liked the way they showed us the Marine Corps’ plan for 2025,” said Keller. “It’s good to know that the Marine Corps has an eye on the future.”
After enjoying a large lunch at the Clubs at Quantico, some educators may have worried about riding aboard a CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter. Workshop participants had the unique opportunity to fly with Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1).
Marine Helicopter Squadron One is the unit responsible for the transportation of the President of the United States and uses the call-sign “Marine One” when he is onboard.
“The helicopter ride was my favorite part of the workshop,” said Olaniran. “It’s probably everyone’s favorite.”
On the final day of the workshop the educators visited Officer Candidate School. They were greeted at OCS by the commanding officer, Col. Richard C. Jackson.
“Here at OCS, we screen and evaluate candidates to find out if they have what it takes to be a Marine officer,” said Jackson. “Just being here means a candidate meets our moral, physical and educational requirements to be offered a commission. It will all depend on how much effort they’re willing to give us. Think of OCS as a 10 week job interview.”
At OCS the educators witnessed training and had the chance to sit in on a guided discussion between candidates and their platoon sergeant.
The workshop concluded with a tour of the National Museum of the Marine Corps.
“The workshop has been amazing,” said Keller. “It’s been a great experience.”