Corps history is major training element
By Cpl. Liz Gleason
| Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego | April 11, 2013
SAN DIEGO --
The recruits of Company A, 1st Recruit Training Battalion dove into the rich tradition of the Marine Corps during a history class aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, March 28.
During the class, the academic instructor used different educational tools such as a video, a slideshow and a game of jeopardy to teach the recruits about World War II and the Korean War.
"The importance of teaching the recruits history early on is like the old adage, if you don't know where you came from then you don't know where you're going," said Sgt. Michael Pelaez, academic instructor, Instructional Training Company, Recruit Training Regiment. "It's our history, our tradition, our foundation, the Marine Corps has a rich tradition and it's important to indoctrinate the recruits before they become Marines."
There are six phases of Marine Corps History classes which encompass everything from the birth of the Marine Corps to the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the knowledge isn’t only taught in the classroom. Throughout training, drill instructors help recruits review, understand and reinforce the information learned which helps prepare them for the Comprehensive Test on Training Day 55.
"It's important to have these classes because the Marine Corps is highly based on tradition, values and pride, and you can't really be proud of something that you don't know anything about," said Recruit Michael Hoskins, Platoon 1002, Co. A, 1st RTBn. "Part of it is the pride in knowing what other Marines accomplished before you and another part is that those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat its mistakes. It’s absolutely vital to pay attention to what's happened in the past and learn from it to implement it in the future."
The Marine Corps is known for having a proud tradition and Marines are known to uphold the traditions passed down, it's what sets us apart from the other military branches. It's the pride in where we came from, said Pelaez.
"It's really exciting to be here learning about Marine Corps history," said Hoskins. "It's a good and a bad thing at the same time to learn about the stories of some of the Marines and what they've been through. It's bad because they died but it’s amazing to learn about what Marines and different units have been able to pull together and accomplish."
Learning history and gaining the sense of pride also brings inspiration and motivation to recruits and helps them gain new perspective to face difficult challenges.
According to Hoskins, it gives a sense of “If the Marines before me were able to endure so much, there is no reason why I can't make it through this.”
All of the knowledge gained in recruit training will stay with the recruits long after they graduate. With the history they learned about the legacy left to them by past Marines, they will be able to build on that heritage and leave their own for the Marines to come.