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Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego

Depot Command Museum offers inspiration

By Cpl. Walter D. Marino II | Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego | May 02, 2013

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Recruits with Company I, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, take a look at weapons used in Vietnam during a guided tour of the Command Museum aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego April 17. Recruits were also able to see prior Marine uniforms, war photography and topographical maps at the Command Museum.

Recruits with Company I, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, take a look at weapons used in Vietnam during a guided tour of the Command Museum aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego April 17. Recruits were also able to see prior Marine uniforms, war photography and topographical maps at the Command Museum. (Photo by Cpl. Walter D. Marino II)


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Retired Capt. Joe Larkin, docent, MCRD Museum Historical Society, explains the details of a topographical map of Vietnam to recruits of Company I, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, in the Command Museum aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego April 17. Larkin and fellow docents gave recruits of Co. I a museum tour prior to their Crucible.

Retired Capt. Joe Larkin, docent, MCRD Museum Historical Society, explains the details of a topographical map of Vietnam to recruits of Company I, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, in the Command Museum aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego April 17. Larkin and fellow docents gave recruits of Co. I a museum tour prior to their Crucible. (Photo by Cpl. Walter D. Marino II)


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SAN DIEGO --     The Command Museum’s walls are decorated with illustrations of infamous Marine battles, and glass cases display prior Marine uniforms, weapons and gear used in wars such as Vietnam and World War II. 
    Despite these grand visual displays, it is the museum’s docents, also former Marines, who quite possibly have the largest impact on visitors.
    Recruits of Company I, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, received a tour of the Command Museum by docents aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego April 17.
    Company I was broken into groups and led on a tour by docents who stopped in each room to describe the significance of art works, maps and gear. The docents spoke with conviction and passion that left recruits inspired to be future Marines.
    “It’s very motivating to hear what Marines before us went through and learn the progression of gear used,” said Recruit Axtell Charles, Plt. 3201, Co. I, 3rd RTBn. “I was nervous about the Crucible and this definitely helps out a lot. It gives us a mindset of what it is to be a Marine. I’m very excited about being a part of it.”
    Docents are supposed to inspire recruits through personal stories and to show them Esprit De Corps, explained retired Capt. Joe Larkin, docent, MCRD Museum Historical Society.
    Many recruits are given the tour of the museum prior to a demanding three day physical challenge—the crucible. The visit offers a history lesson, yet a majority of recruits take away much more.
    “The history and tradition is being taught to them by Marines who have lived the experiences,” said Larkin. “We’re supposed to fire them up for the crucible—their biggest hurdle coming up. We try to give them the inspiration of what the Corps is about, esprit de corps, and the only way to understand that is from a Marine.” 
    Each time a docent spoke of a personal war experience, recruits appeared to have a look of astonishment and admiration.
    “Seeing all the (docents) in the Museum, helps me know I’m going to be a part of a big family,” said Recruit Zach Evetts, squad leader, Plt. 3201, Co. I, 3rd RTBn. “It’s also really inspiring knowing all these (docents) have been through so much. It makes me feel like I can (endure hardship) too.” 
    No matter what history education level or Esprit De Corps each recruit had prior to their visit, it seemed all recruits were instilled with a little more of both after their tour.


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