EDITOR’S NOTE: Herald reporter Jennifer Parks will file reports from the Marine Corps workshop throughout the week. She will wrap the experience with a comprehensive accounting of her time with the Marines.
PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. — Dozens of civilians, mostly educators, from south Georgia and Florida are at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island this week for a workshop that allows a first-hand look at what Marine recruits experience after stepping on the depot’s yellow footprints.
At least three representing southwest Georgia were part of the group, with the majority of them from Florida. They traveled to South Carolina on Tuesday for the workshop, which will continue until Friday.
“We (conduct) these types of events to get to those fence-sitters,” Maj. Joseph Gill II, commanding officer of Sixth Marine Corps District Recruiting Station Jacksonville in Florida, said. “It’s to gain first-hand knowledge of the transformation (into Marines).”
The island is where the “East Coast Marines” train. There is also a boot camp for Marine recruits at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, the products of which are known as “Hollywood Marines.”
The station in Jacksonville is where recruits are usually processed before going to Parris Island.
For the participants departing from Albany, including a representative from The Albany Herald, here was the rundown of Tuesday’s events:
— 6 a.m.: Arrival at the Armed Forces recruiting office on North Westover Boulevard;
♦ 6:30 a.m.: Departure from recruiting office to Recruiting Station Jacksonville;
♦ 9:40 a.m.: Arrival in Jacksonville;
♦ 10:30 a.m.: Roll call, welcome and briefing from recruitment station officials;
♦ 11 a.m.: Bus loaded at recruitment station for departure to South Carolina;
♦ 11:25 a.m.: Break for lunch;
♦ Noon: Journey recommences. Time to catch up on sleep and mingle while traveling;
♦ 3 p.m.: Arrival and check-in at hotel. Participants receive their gear and settle into their rooms;
♦ 5:30 p.m.: Departure from hotel to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort for dinner and drinks;
♦ 8:30 p.m.: Arrival back at hotel.
The events on Wednesday resumed with a departure to the island at 6 a.m. Workshop participants were expected to meet their drill instructors before taking a look at the squad bay, have lunch with the recruits, take a look at the rifle range and view the air station panel and display.