Boot Camp Behind the Scenes Final Phase

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. –  About six weeks into boot camp training in San Diego recruits are moved from Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego to Camp Pendleton.  One of the first things recruits learn after the move is mastering the M-16 Rifle.

Gunnery Sergeant Edward Brickert is one of the main instructors teaching these future marines. “This is in their second phase of training when they come here and learn the fundamentals of Marksmanship,” he explains.

Learning to be an excellent shot is important for Marines. One of the Marine Corps main mottos is every marine a rifleman.

During phase two recruits also have to take a Combat Fitness test of CFT. It’s a physically grueling process which tests a marines readiness for combat. Marines have to retake it every year, if they don’t pass there are serious consequences.

11 weeks into Boot Camp recruits embark on their most difficult mission to date: The Crucible. For three days recruits hike with little food and no sleep. When they finish the crucible they become Marines, and are handed an eagle globe and anchor.

Yuma recruit and new marine Krisitan Garcia explains his experience with the mission. “For me, finishing the crucible was the hardest challenge of my life,” he says.

Two days after finishing the crucible these new marines get to see their families.

“At first it was overwhelming seeing them,” Garcia said. “I mean just the amount of emotions running through you at the time.”

The world’s newest Marines then get a 10 day break and embark on their new life as a select member of one of the most elite fighting forces.

Yuma Recruit and New Marine Christian Ofalla explains the awesome burden.  “Risks are associated with the Marine Corps. I am willing to give whatever I have including my life for this country.”



About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

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