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U.S. Marine Pvt. Robert Garcia, with Mike Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, gets his harness fastened before conducting the rappel tower at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, July 21, 2023. Rappel training is one of the final events during recruit training that is conducted to build confidence in the new Marines and prepares them for similar circumstances they may encounter while in the Marine Corps. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Yvonna Guyette)

Photo by U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Yvonna Guyette

The Transformation - Through the Crucible

26 Jul 2023 | Story by Sgt. Yvonna Guyette Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego

As the sky begins to wake up, fog rises from the ground. The smell of sweat and dirt lingering in the air. It is brisk, yet his nerves start to set in, and sweat begins to form over his brow.

Today marks day two of what will push most men and women to their breaking points; the Crucible. The platoon stages their gear and receives instruction on the first of many obstacles for the day. For many recruits today is about making it through, pushing themselves past their limits, but for Robert Garcia, it is much more.

Recruit Garcia, a native of Oxnard, California, joined the Marine Corps at 30 years old to inspire his children, to be an example that with hard work and determination they can do anything they set their minds to. Garcia dreamed of joining the Marine Corps right out of high school but choose to stay and support his family when news of having his first child arrived.

Upon turning 29, Garcia knew that this was his last chance to do something that he always had his sight set on; becoming a United States Marine. “I want my kids to grow up seeing me as an example, that they can accomplish anything they want to as long as they work hard,” said Garcia.
For Garcia, this is an opportunity to prove to himself and his family that with grit and determination, anyone can overcome hardships and adversity. “This experience has pushed me further than I thought was possible,” explained Garcia.

As the day ends and a new one begins, Garcia’s company takes on their final challenge, a grueling 15-kilometer hike through the rolling hills of Camp Pendleton. They move with purpose to receive their eagle, globe and anchors, signifying that they have earned the title of United States Marine. “Receiving my EGA was humbling. To come so far and finally make it and earn the title of Marine. That moment holds so much pride,” said Garcia.
For many of the new Marines the moment they received their EGA will stick with them forever. For Pvt. Garcia, he hopes that his children look at what he accomplished and know that there is no goal to big when you have grit and determination.