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Graduation: An Unparalleled Achievement

Booker: From the time the Senior Drill Instructor gives his pick-up speech…

Senior Drill Instructor: You are now aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina.

Booker: … to the time he dismisses them off the parade deck; the transformation is huge.

White: For the majority of recruits that go through recruit training, that's the hardest thing they've ever done in their life.

Altrichter: The first time that my Drill Instructor actually called me a "Marine," it was like this wave just washed over me, and it felt like I was no longer the person that I had been.

Drill Instructor: The transformation has taken place, and you have successfully earned the title, "United States Marine."

Salinas: The culminating moment will always be that drill instructor, that mentor who has been the role model for these young people for the last 12 weeks, will hand them that Eagle, Globe and Anchor and call him "Marine" for the very first time.

Kohlmeyer: You walk on that parade deck, and your drill instructor comes up to you and hands you an Eagle, Globe and Anchor … no words to describe it.

Dietz: When my senior drill instructor handed me that Eagle, Globe and Anchor, I was so relieved, and I worked so hard to get it, and it was the best feeling.

Ivery: My proudest moment as a Marine … walking across that parade deck on graduation day to know that you're one of them: The Few and The Proud.

Singleton: During graduation it was just immense pride, you know, for this man in front of me I was so impressed with. The transformation was enormous.

Roberts: It was the most incredible thing when we went to Boot Camp graduation and there's this man standing upright, so self confident, so sure of where he's going and what he's doing, what his life's all about. He grew up.

Morataya: When I see my recruits graduate, it makes me feel proud. The way they conduct themselves, the way they act, they walk, that's what makes me proud.

Kent: It was awe-inspiring I think to watch, and even more as a citizen and a civilian to watch the commitment that they're willing to make for our country.

Haynes: To become a United States Marine honestly is the best thing in the world. I can't imagine anything I could have done better.