MCRD San DIego --
Moments prior to an inspection a senior drill instructor took his recruits aside to give them a few pointers. This is a common practice among many platoons – senior drill instructors lending that little bit of extra wisdom during their senior drill instructor time.
In recruit training they’re allotted periods of time for recruits to sit down with their senior drill instructor to discuss various topics from drill to life in the fleet Marine force.
Staff Sgt. Antoine Griffith, senior drill instructor, Platoon 1031, Company B, says senior drill instructor time is about guiding and teaching the recruits and is not subject to only a specific time of day. Griffith says he tries to talk to his recruits as much as possible.
“My thing is that they can learn many different things. They can be a super recruit but they need to learn to be a proficient Marine,” said Griffith.
Griffith says he advises them on things like managing their money, not deterring from Marine values and describing the lifestyle of the fleet Marine force.
Recruit Gerado Sarabia, Plt. 1031, said he learned from his senior that they need to carry themselves as Marines at all times.
“He said, ‘even out of uniform people should be able to tell you’re a Marine from your behavior and mannerism,” said Sarabia.
For many recruits, the open conversations and advice allows them to see a different side of their senior.
“The time lets you know they’re not just here to physically make you a Marine,” said Sarabia. “They’re here to help you mentally as well. I know of one recruit who got some help about some issues at home. He’s not just a brick wall. He’s a person who wants you to succeed.”
Although the main purpose of senior drill instructor time is about recruits learning to be Marines. For some recruits the time spent with their senior serves multiple purposes. Recruits like Timothy M. San Miguel, Plt. 1031. think the time adds to their platoon’s togetherness.
“It’s good for the platoon because it brings us closer as a family. It’s a time we’ll always remember,” said San Miguel, Plt. 1031. “I’ll always remember when he said, ‘it’s always about the man on your left and right.’”
Another bit of advice Griffith has for recruits is to never lose sight of the goal they came in the military with. When Griffith was a recruit he had the goal of being a drill instructor. Today he lives that goal and attributes part of his military success to working toward it.
Griffith says he believes the time together has an impact on the recruits and looks forward to seeing the Marines performance in the fleet.