News: Mike Company meets their drill instructors
Story by Lance Cpl. Francisco Abundes
PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. — “Sit up straight and look at me!” Sgt. Jaime Andrade, Platoon 3016, Mike Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, yelled at his new recruits. “My name is Sgt. Andrade, and I am your senior drill instructor.”
The Marine’s volume jolted the recruits’ attention. This man was not the man who had received them off the bus – he was not their recruiter– he was not their high school gym coach. He was the man who would father them throughout their journey of becoming Marines.
“Discipline and spirit are the hallmarks of a Marine,” Andrade continued reciting the senior drill instructor speech.
The senior drill instructor is the head drill instructor of a platoon. The men standing behind Andrade during the speech, who were no less intimidating, were his drill instructors.
Within moments of the speech, the recruits would understand why there was such a big emphasis on Pickup, the day recruits finally meet their permanent drill instructors.
“Today is pure confusion; they have no idea what’s going on – everything is new to them,” said Sgt. Lucas Warner, a drill instructor with the platoon. “We are about to change their whole lives.”
As soon as the drill instructors were let loose by the senior drill instructor, they herded and corrected the recruits in an intense manner and pace.
Mike Company staff stood a few meters away from the recruits and drill instructors, observing the new additions to the unit.
“Starting now, you will treat me and all other Marines with the highest respect, for we have earned our place as Marines and will accept nothing less than that from you,” Andrade continued. “We will treat you as we do our fellow Marines, with firmness, fairness, dignity, and compassion.”
In the fleet, right before deployment, everyone gathers together before departing – families included, said Sgt. Mitchell Brown, another drill instructor with Platoon 3016.
“This is our family – Mike Company – so that’s why they all come to watch us start our first day,” he said.
After seeing everything get off to a good start, the staff departed, leaving the recruits with their drill instructors.
“We’re very demanding, but at the same time, understand that these kids don’t know anything about anything,” Warner said.
Warner said the recruits were introduced to some Marine Corps ways during receiving, but now their drill instructors were going to demand that they follow these rules to serve as their new lifestyle.
“We will give every effort to train you, even after some of you have given up on yourselves,” Andrade continued.
They might not speak or do things correctly yet, but only because they do not know better, Brown added. It will take them a while to get used to it and the drill instructors are here to teach them.
“We offer you the challenge of recruit training and the opportunity to earn the title United States Marine!” Andrade ended. “Now, when I tell you to, you’re going to rise to your feet and walk back to the line. Ready? Set? Move!”
Editor’s note: “We make recruits” is a three-part series highlighting the events recruits endure during the first week of their journey to becoming Marines.