Learning to be Marines
By Pfc. Jericho W. Crutcher
| Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego | September 20, 2013
San Diego --
Before recruits earn the title Marine, they must develop knowledge and understanding on how Marines present themselves.
For recruits of Company I, 3rd Recruits Training Battalion, the first step was the introduction of Marine Corps customs and courtesies on training day two aboard the depot, Sept. 4.
All recruits go to several different classes such as: Marine Corps history, traditions, leadership traits and uniform regulations. Classes are used to teach recruits about all areas of Marine Corps knowledge.
“This class helps build on the professionalism and gives the recruits a basic foundation on how to act as a Marine,” said Sgt. Enrique Uribe, drill instructor. “Taking pride in our customs and courtesies is what sets us apart from the other branches in our military.”
Customs and courtesies help drill instructors instill traditions into recruits as well as show acknowledgement and respect to fellow Marines.
Marine Corps traditions stood out the most to one recruit during the class.
“Customs and courtesies have been around since the beginning of Marine Corps history, every year the Marine Corps birthday is celebrated,” said Recruit Timothy B. Do, Platoon 3205, a Houston native.
The Marine Corps holds a tradition for cutting the cake. A piece of the cake is given to the oldest and youngest Marine present, symbolizing the experience and youthful spirit that are hallmarks of the Corps. After the cake ceremony, the birthday is followed by the Marine Corps Ball.
Giving the proper greeting of the day is another form of courtesy. Enlisted Marines are required to salute all officers, which is a form of courtesy that shows respect to them.
The class is taught early in recruit training to build the mentality and mindset of a Marine, explained Uribe, a Houston native.
Now that the recruits of Co. I have received the class, they will be expected to carry customs, courtesies and traditions throughout the rest of recruit training and their Marine Corps career.
“It’s important for recruits to be handed down the knowledge from those who came before them, and be trained into well-rounded Marines to carry on our Corps legacy,” said Uribe.