MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. - Arriving at the aircraft rescue firefighting parking lot aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, 24 Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training cadets filed off a bus into a four column formation, April 10, before Sgt. Randall Campbell, a Marine rescue fireman.
Campbell split the cadets into two groups for demonstrations and tours throughout the fire station facilities, the first sight-seeing stop during the cadets’ week-long visit to the air station.
After traveling more than 300 miles from Taylorsville, N.C., the high school students spent five days aboard the air station getting an inside-glimpse into Marine Corps life.
“Most of these students have never been more than 25 miles away from home,” said the cadets’ naval science instructor, Nelson Evans, a retired Navy master chief. “It gives them a chance to ask questions and get exposure to real life scenarios involved in the military. I have no doubts that after this trip you’ll have a new batch of Marines on your hands.”
Other stops during the cadets’ visit included Marine Transport Squadron 1, explosive ordnance disposal, air traffic control, the Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer facilities, the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training and Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252.
“It’s important for the students to hear what it’s like from someone actually doing the job,” said Staff Sgt. Kurt Brenneman, a section leader with Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting. “I would have liked to have had this when I went to high school. I went in almost blindly, and a trip like this would have set me a little more at ease.”
Cadet Lt. Nathaniel Wall, a sophomore and cadet commanding officer said the trip gave him a better understanding of what was available for him and what life would be like if he joined the Marine Corps.
“I heard a lot of the Marines we talked to say when they go back home nothing has changed, but everything is different. I know that in my life I want to go do bigger and better things,” said Wall.
Making the most of their stay at the air station, the cadets even ate at the mess hall and stayed at the station quonset huts.