Photo Information

Recruit Seth Steele, Golf Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, stands at attention at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Nov. 28. Steele served as a squad leader in Platoon 2150 after going through trial training. Annually, more than 17,000 males recruited from the Western Recruiting Region are trained at MCRD San Diego. Golf company is scheduled to graduate Dec. 9.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Kailey J. Maraglia


9 Dec 2016 | Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego

 “I don’t want to go back to how I was,” said Private First Class Seth Steele, Golf Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion. “I’m going to keep this effort I’ve been showing.”
    Steele, a Fort Wayne, Ind., native can truly say boot camp changed him.

The golf company Marine was very laid back and care free prior to recruit training. He didn’t face many challenges simply because he failed to challenge himself.

“I came [to recruit training] because I didn’t have the drive to be good in school or have the drive to do anything,” said Steele. “I wanted to come and seek direction to find that drive and do something better. I feel like that has happened.”

However it wasn’t exactly easy for Steele to shake his lethargic habits. When he arrived aboard the depot, Steele had a hard time adjusting to his drill instructors and their constant stress and fast-paced instruction.

“Steele came here and had a bad attitude,” said Sgt. Levi Smith, Steele’s senior drill instructor.  “He probably never been yelled at before he got here.”

Steele took out his frustration in ways that led Smith to question if he should be allowed to finish training.

 “At the beginning of training I wasn’t a good recruit,” said Steele. “I was belligerent.”

His bad behavior was brought up to his series commander who placed him on trial training for one week, meaning if there were any other acts of misconduct, Steele would never become a Marine.

It was after this reality check that Steele began to change.                                                   

“Something just clicked,” said Steele “I needed to do it for my family. I came here for them and to make myself a better person.”

Steele’s new attitude allowed him to make it through his trial training successfully.

“His attitude did a complete turn for the better,” said Smith. “His change was able to inspire the other recruits to be better.”

Steele’s drastic change in motivation was noticeable not only to his drill instructors, but to the other recruits in his platoon as well.

            “I proved myself to senior drill instructor because after I made it through my trial training, he made me squad leader,” said Steele. “I’ve heard, from my platoon, they’ve seen a huge change from what I was in the beginning to what I am now,”

Steele’s changes affected not only his leadership, but his physical capabilities as well.

“I’ve lost 35 pounds since I’ve got here,” said Steele. “I improved all my [physical training] scores by a substantial amount.”

 Following recruit training, Steele will report to the School of Infantry at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendelton, Calif., and then to his military occupational specialty school to become a logistics specialist.