Recruits learn of Corps' triumphs

Recruits learn of Corps' triumphs

Sgt Joseph Rice, academic instructor, Support Battalion, gives a class to recruits of Company C, 1st Recruit Training Battalion aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Sept. 7. Rice taught about various Marine history topics such as The Landing of Da Nang and the battle of The Chosin Reservoir. Photo by Cpl Walter D. Marino II.

MCRD San Diego (September 13, 2012) — Since the birthday of the Marine Corps, Nov. 10, 1775, Marines have fought in numerous battles across the globe. During recruit training recruits are taught about these major battles and how each has affected how the Marine Corps trains, as well as the appearance of their dress uniform aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego Sept. 7.

One recruit said that learning about the battles made him understand why Marines carry themselves with so much confidence and why the Marine Corps has a reputation as an elite fighting force.

"I've learned that the blood stripe is for all the blood that was lost at the Battle of Chapultepec," said Recruit Luis Alvarez, Platoon 1042, Company C, 1st Recruit Training Battalion. "I've learned the uniform code and every little piece of the uniform is something that represents our history."

Both Marine instructors and drill instructors constantly teach Marine history throughout recruit training and don't limit themselves to teaching solely what's in the books. Early in their training, recruits are given a green book filled with Marine knowledge as a reference during such classes.

 "We just try and give them that extra step. There is a lot of knowledge you can't fit into that green monster they have," said SSgt Antonio J. Curry, drill instructor, Plt. 1042, Co. C. "The more you teach them the better they will be. We don't give them the bare minimum we give them our all."

During their class recruits gathered in an auditorium sized classroom and listened to Sgt Joseph Rice, academic instructor, Support Battalion, try and relate some of the topics to current events such as Afghanistan.

Rice said he believes relating the history topics to events happening now is his way of giving recruits an opportunity to compare it to something that has happened during their lifetime.

 "If the topic happened way before they were born it's harder for them to relate to it then something current like Afghanistan," said Rice. "I try and tie it in with something current to get them to relate to the material better."          

After the class ended recruits were able to recall information such as why Marines wear a blood stripe, the Corps birthday and famous battles that added to the Marine Corps' reputation as an elite fighting force.

 Alvarez, 18 years old, explained he noticed a difference between history taught in high school and history taught in recruit training.

 "In the military history is different. It's more about honoring those who have made the Marine Corps what it is," said Alvarez. "Civilian history has more of a theme of knowing the past because it repeats itself."

Whether learning about the battle of Chapultepec and why it has affected the Marine dress uniform or learning about Afghanistan, recruits are all learning Marine history to ultimately become more knowledgeable and better Marines.

Curry explained one day the table could turn and years from now it could be new recruits learning about what these ones did.

 "One of these days it could be one of these recruits who receives a medal of honor," said Curry. is the official website of the United States Marine Corps and is maintained by the Marine Corps' Division of Public Affairs.