SAN DIEGO, CA-
It’s a transformation that’ll last a lifetime. You get an exclusive look into the Marine Recruit Depot San Diego. Something that most people will only get to see in movies and even fewer could witness in life. We take you inside The Man Behind the Eagle, Globe and Anchor.
Christian Ofalla, who was then a recruit and now a Marine says, “The anxiety built and built and built and I thought awe man this is getting real this is about to happen right now. As soon as you get on that bus it was directly heads down orders already, automatically. Yes sir, no sir, I I sir. As soon as you start to move you had your head down and could not look up and you didn’t even know if they were on the bus. They could be on the bus they couldn’t have been you don’t know and you didn’t want to look up to see if they were. Or else you’d be destroyed so you just kept your head down and followed orders. ”
Ofalla adds, “As soon as you pull up to MCRD the depot you just jump up on the bus and you hear the foot steps of the boots and everybody yelling get off of the bus, get off the bus. You just hurry, run and your tired, hungry and don’t know what to expect there’s just whole new environment you’ve never been rushed like this before.”
The Marine Corps journey is a 13-week and a three phase process in San Diego at Marine Corp Recruit Depot where the recruits step on these famous yellow footprints where the past, present and future Marines have all stood and will stand. This is the first step they take in transitioning from civilians to marines.
These recruits have committed themselves to completing the most difficult recruit training in the world. But they can’t do it without the person on their left and to their right. The drill instructors immediately take over and begin yelling and screaming orders.
Staff Sergeant Drill instructor, Luis Esparza says, “It’s important to be that way towards them because you develop that stress. The program itself is demanding of the recruits. It’s crucial because if they don’t have that stress while they’re trying to perform small tasks it allows them to think in critical times even when that pressures on.”
Drill Instructors play a key role because they develop discipline and give the recruits the outside stress they need in order to perform in combat.
The Drill Instructors then search their belongings and give them their one and only scripted phone call home.
Marine Krystian Garcia says, “I picked up the phone and I was reading out the script I started stumbling on my words and it was definitely a struggle reading that script. Right at the end you just hang up and you start being a recruit.”
After that they then have to get their hair shaved off and begin their journey as a recruit.
Watch part 2 of The Man Behind the Eagle, Globe and Anchor on KYMA News 11 at 6.m. on Thursday.