San Diego --
Some recruits arrive at the Depot with a good understanding of the Marine Corps’ history and some arrive with no prior knowledge, however throughout their journey to becoming Marines, they are immersed in the illustrious past of the Corps.
On Training Day 10, recruits of Company H, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, learned about the rich tradition of the Marine Corps during a history class aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego June 28.
“History is one of the things that keeps Marines united, it is what we have in common," said Sgt. Gersom Canlas, academic instructor, Instructional Training Company, Support Battalion. “History is the foundation that makes us who we are, past, present and future. It’s important to teach it to recruits so they have that foundation to build upon.”
There are six phases of Marine Corps History classes which encompass everything from the birth of the Marine Corps to the recent war in Iraq and Afghanistan. However the knowledge isn’t only taught in the classroom, drill instructors also help recruits review, understand and reinforce the information learned in preparation for the Comprehensive Exam on Training Day 55.
"We not only teach recruits the subjects they need to pass the Comprehensive Exam, we also teach them the Corps values, honor, courage and commitment, that we’ve lived by since 1775," said Canlas. “Learning about the values and how they were displayed throughout gives recruits a sense of inspiration and pride.”
The pride also brings motivation to recruits and helps them be successful during recruit training as well as during their Marine Corps careers, according to Canlas.
“I enlisted in the Marine Corps because they are the best,” said Recruit Patrick Salazar, Platoon 2174. “To be a Marine means so much, you have to work really hard to achieve it. I want to earn the title and be part of something so big and historical. I want live up to the title and uphold the legacy with pride.”
While this class’s focus was Marine Corps history, recruits are taught everything from general military studies and history to combat first aid and financial classes.
"It's good to have academically trained Marines.” said Salazar. “These classes are important because they teach us about the past and give us another aspect to being better, well-rounded Marines."
All of the knowledge gained in recruit training will stay with the recruits long after they graduate and become Marines. As for the instructors teaching the classes, it fills them with a different sense of pride.
“What really matters is showing recruits that you care about the Marine Corps and take pride in being a Marine, so that they too gain that pride as they strive to earn the title Marine,” said Canlas. “As an academic instructor and a sergeant, it’s an honor to be a part the Recruit Depot. Making an impact and helping transform recruits into United States Marines is priceless.”