Recruits learn to hold bearing with confidence

Recruits learn to hold bearing with confidence

Recruits of Company H, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, performs inspection arms as his drill instructor steps in front of him. Inspection arms is a rifle manual technique that shows the drill instructors that the recruits weapon is clear of any ammunition before passing it off to them. Photo by LCpl Jericho W. Crutcher.

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO (Oct. 18, 2013) - Bearing is defined as the way one conducts and carries him or herself in a manner that reflects alertness, competence and control.

Recruits of Company H, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, had their bearing tested during their senior drill instructor's inspection. The recruits were tested on Marine Corps knowledge, uniforms and rifle manual on training day 16 aboard the depot, Oct. 4.

The purpose of the SDI inspection was to test the recruits on what they've learned in recruit training while under the pressure of drill instructors.

"When things are calm it's easy for someone to retain everything that's going on," said Sgt Omar J. Garcia, drill instructor, Platoon 2162. "We as Marines are expected to stay focused even in complete chaos, when everything's going wrong, and still be able to be strong, quick and keep the fellow Marines around you alive."

A drill instructor walked up to a recruit and snapped his heels together coming to the position of attention. This signaled the recruit to report to the drill instructor by sounding off with his name, hometown and Military Occupation Specialty. After reporting, the drill instructor asked the recruit Marine Corps knowledge questions and inspected his uniform.

Other drill instructors swarmed the platoon creating chaos, this tested the recruits bearing, one of the Marine Corps leadership traits.

"The more challenging task about the SDI inspection is holding your bearing while a drill instructor is screaming in your face and asking you several questions while you're performing different movements with the rifle," said 20-year-old recruit Benjamin B. Hamrick, a Paw Paw, Mich. native. "We must be trained to react under all the chaos, because one day it can be a combat situation where Marines' lives are at stake."

It was crucial for the recruits to remain calm, keep their eyes forward while at the position of attention and answer the questions they were asked. It was a sign of confidence and bearing; some of the traits drill instructors were looking for.

"I sit the recruits down the night before the inspection and try to boost their confidence about being inspected. They can't be intimidated when a drill instructor is yelling in their face," said Garcia, a Riverside, Calif. native. "Recruits need to feel confidence in themselves, their uniforms, and the answers they give for each question while maintaining a strong bearing."

Garcia explained, Marines find themselves in stressful environments, especially on deployments. When things go wrong in combat, Marines must be able to stay calm and react to the situation without freezing up or second guessing their decisions. Thus, upcoming Marines must be trained to adapt, whether it's drill instructors yelling or in a combat situation while being fired upon. is the official website of the United States Marine Corps and is maintained by the Marine Corps' Division of Public Affairs.