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Recruits of Company L, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, participated in team week aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego Oct. 30. Team week is a week long event that allows recruits to work around the depot with Marines and civilian workers. This is a chance for them to conduct themselves as Marines and gives them the opportunity to take leadership roles.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Bridget M. Keane

Team week allows recruits to build teamwork, camaraderie

6 Nov 2012 | Lance Cpl. Bridget M. Keane

            A big lesson learned in recruit training is teamwork, which requires recruits to put aside their differences to complete a common goal.  

            The recruits of Company L, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, worked together and helped out during team week aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Oct. 27.

            “The purpose of team week is to see how far the recruits have come and how well they work as a team with little supervision,” said Staff Sgt. Anthony Caldwell, drill instructor, Platoon 3254, Co. L. “They get a chance to get out and work. They’ll experience Marines other than drill instructors and are expected to act like Marines.”

            Team week marks the first week of Phase Three, the last phase of training. It’s a weeklong event that takes recruits away from the watchful eyes of their drill instructors and into the hands of Marines and civilian workers around the depot.

            “They help out everywhere on base, different battalions, clothing issue and anywhere that needs help,” said Caldwell, a 31-year-old Tuscaloosa, Ala., native.     

            Those Marines and workers task out the recruits to complete jobs, such as landscaping work, moving furniture, cleaning, preparing supplies and whatever else needs to be done.

            Some recruits may be put in a leadership position. They are expected to delegate tasks to their fellow recruits and take charge of the situation, thus sharpening their communication and leadership skills.

            “They are given leadership roles and more responsibilities,” explained Caldwell. “This is also a chance for them to gain confidence when speaking to other Marines,”

            When the recruits graduate and become junior Marines, they will have to work and talk with other Marines. If they aren’t confident when speaking, no one will be confident in their abilities to carry out tasks.

            “As third phase recruits, we’re being held accountable to act like Marines when our drill instructors aren’t around,” said Recruit Anthony Avina, Plt. 3250, Co. L. “They want to see how far we’ve progressed.”

            Although not having the drill instructors around is a bit of a relief for the recruits, they are still expected to act disciplined and respectful.

            “It’s kind of a break from the usual training schedule and drill instructors,” explained Avina, an 18-year-old Chicago native, “But we’re still supposed to conduct ourselves as Marines.”

            Team week also gives the recruits a chance to interact with each other more, building teamwork and camaraderie, said Avina.

            “We already know how to work with each other during certain events, but this is to see if we have the ability to do it without being told to,” explained Avina.

            With the teamwork and camaraderie that was built through team week, the recruits of Co. L are expected to use those skills when they embark for the Crucible, a 54-hour field training exercise that push recruits mentally and physically to complete missions.