San Diego, CA (WXOW) The days of judges sending troubled youth into the Marine Corps to "straighten them out" are long gone. Today's recruits are intelligent and motivated. In fact, most students with a criminal history are not eligible to join the Marines. A message the Marines are working hard to spread.
That's why the Corps send educators from around the country to boot camp. 25 Wisconsin educators made the trip in April. For one the experience was eye-opening.
At 50-plus, Judy Flaten shipped off to boot camp. The soft spoken, high school guidance counselor says it was her duty to her students. "It seemed important to me to know a little bit more about what it's all about; what are the good points and bad points and all that."
Judy and 24 other educators enlisted in the Marine Corps educators workshop. A free, week long program, where high school educators step into the boots of future Marines.
The Marine Corps of today is not the Marine Corps of 25 years ago.", say Major Matthew Miller. The recruiter says educators play a major role in Corps recruitment. Their opinions matter. "Whether they are for us, on the fence, or against us, at least they are armed with the correct information of what the Marine Corps is all about."
The Marines don't sugar coat. The educators are assigned a real drill instructor who talks to them like a real recruit. They go through the receiving night process; minus the hair cut of course. Fire a real weapon. Learn about education and career opportunities in the Corps. And; most importantly talk to real Marines about their experience.
Judy says boot camp is intense, and the screaming and grueling work-outs you see on TV are real. But she now understands why Marines do the things they do. "There is very definitely a purpose. It goes from being an individual person in their own right to working as a team and caring about the people around you which a lot of us could use more of." Information she plans to share with her students.