Marine Boot Camp: Local teachers learn what makes a Marine

Special Reports
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Drill instructors are key in recruit training, and NEWS10 ABC got a taste of how intense they can be. But it’s not all yelling.

“I really just imagined like a tour, kind of walking through,” Olga Ashline, of Averill Park, said. “I never imagined I’d actually be doing what they do.”

Eye opening, and at times, back breaking!

It was a taste of U.S. Marine Corps boot camp for teachers from Averill Park to Glens Falls, South Glens Falls and Gloversville.

The Marine Corps invited local teachers and NEWS10 ABC anchor Lydia Kulbida to see exactly what goes into the making of a Marine.

“Starting now, you will train as a team! You will live, eat, sleep and train as a team! The words ‘I’ are no longer part of your vocabulary, do you understand?”

“Yes sir!”

“Yes sir!”

Educators and drill instructors might not seem like a good mix. They’re both used to being in charge.

“The hardest thing was staying in line like the troops do, and following the order, and trying to stay in formation,” Ashline said.

We did start getting the hand of it as we tried our best to absorb the lessons at the rifle range.

“I was very nervous, but they were so nice and patient in talking us through, and I was so happy I did it. And I hit eight out of 10 of my targets,” Melissa Catania, Gloversville High School, said.

And the obstacle course.

“I felt mentally prepared, like the yelling didn’t get to me. I was a majorette in high school so even those commands getting yelled at by the band director, I’m used to it. So the hardest part was the physical, I guess I’m not in the shape I thought I was,” Marisa Howlan, Gloversville High School, said. 

Frankly, neither was I even though I managed some extra jumping jacks in the gas chamber. As the Marines used this Educators Workshop to get past the misconceptions, some may have about recruit training; the teachers used this glimpse behind the curtain to see how to help their students. 

“Our kids in our district, not a lot of them are college ready or are interested in going to college, and you know I think it’s a different path for them,” Catania said.

“It’s certainly a good way to make some money, grow up, mature and then figure out what you want to do from there,” Michael Yeager, of South Glens Falls High School, said.

“So many different fields that they can go into that the Marines can give them the opportunity to explore,” Mary Greene, of Mount Markham, said.

Some of the teachers were veterans, some had children in the service, and some had no connection at all.

Every one gained a deeper sense of respect at the dedication and discipline a recruit needed to become a Marine today.

“It’s intense, it’s really intense, to see where they start and how they end up, I think it’s an incredible transition,” Tracy Palmer, of Mount Markham, said.

CLICK VIDEO TO WATCH MARINE CORPS BOOT CAMP WEB EXTRA:

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