Marines Prepare Poolees Both Physically and Mentally

Marines Prepare Poolees Both Physically and Mentally

Marine Corps RSS Madison Heights poolees perform Thai-burpees, which are an exercise to increase endurance during RSS Madison Heights' weekly warrior training in Madison Heights, Mich., July 29, 2015. The Marines of RSS Madison Heights conduct these weekly training sessions to test and prepare the young men and women for challenges they will face at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. Photo by Sgt Joshua Heins.

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. (August 20, 2015) – More than 15 Marine Corps poolees along with several guests attended Marine Corps Recruiting Sub-Station Madison Heights' warrior training in Madison Heights, Michigan July 29.

The warrior training is set up weekly by RSS Madison Heights recruiters to prepare their future Marines for success during the rigors of recruit training.

"We try to simulate an environment similar to what these young men and women will experience once they step off the bus and set foot onto Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina," said Sgt Joseph F. Barton, a canvasing recruiter at Marine Corps RSS Madison Heights. "Our goal is to have them as prepared as possible before they leave."

The warrior training events are used as ways that Marine Corps recruiters can track the preparedness levels of their poolees. 

"The purpose of the warrior training is to prepare the poolees not only physically, but mentally for the challenges they will face at Parris Island," said Barton, a native of Warren, Michigan.
The training session began with a Marine Corps knowledge class given by Gabriel Tosto, a poolee squad-leader for RSS Madison Heights.

"I've always wanted to join the military," said Tosto, an 18-year-old native of Warren, Michigan. "I talked to a lot of former Marines, the way they carried themselves and the confidence they displayed made me want to be like them one day."

According to Tosto, before joining the Delayed Entry Program, he would have never pictured himself leading a group of more than 20 of his peers.

"The weekly training seasons have boosted my confidence," said Tosto. "We always have a lot of fun, but there's a feeling of extreme seriousness with everything we do."

According to GySgt Dominic Freda, the staff noncommissioned officer in charge of RSS Madison Heights, it is all about increasing the standards the poolees already possess and bringing them to the level of proficiency and standard of excellence expected by the Marine Corps.

"There are three things we want the poolees to take away with them following each weekly warrior training session," said Freda, a native of Livonia, Michigan. "First, is to build camaraderie amongst their fellow poolees; second is to physically and mentally work them out, which is done by testing them on their rank structure and other general Marine Corps knowledge; and third is clearly painting the picture of what each individual needs to work on, while instructing them on how to effectively better themselves"

"As recruiters, we only get the chance to see these young men and women once or twice a week and that alone will not make them successful in the Marine Corps," said Freda. "All we can do is give them the tools so they can apply them in their lives even when we are not around."