Camp Pendleton, CA (WXOW) The Crucible is the final phase of Marine Corps recruit training. The 3 day continuous field training exercise is designed to simulate combat situations and includes 48 miles of marching and obstacle courses, as well as sleep and food deprivation. It's on the final day of the crucible recruits are finally awarded the title United States Marine.
High in the hills above Camp Pendleton, the reality of what the recruits of India company have just completed is setting in almost as quickly has the rising sun. Together they conquered the crucible; a 48-mile march that ends when they summit a steep hill appropriately dubbed "The Reaper". "When they finally get to this moment all the emotions they tried to keep inside all comes out when they get here.", says Sgt. Kyle Caito.
It's only after they reach this point, nearly 3 months into boot camp, recruits win the approval of the Marines who stand before them. They are awarded the title Marine.
Sjan Bystrom joined the Marines to part of something bigger than himself. He found that something among the men in his platoon. "I honestly don't know how I would have done it without them. We're a team. We went through it together. We came out together. It's who we are. It's the Marine Corps."
Being called a Marine for the first time can move even the toughest recruit to tears. Even more emotional for some is receiving the eagle globe and anchor. Drill instructors, who once looked down on these recruits, stand toe to toe, eye to eye with their new peers. They place in their hand the Marine emblem. "Having that eagle, globe, and anchor put in my hand made the past 13 weeks just worth it."
Sjan's sweat and tears instantly replaced with the Crops' values of honor, courage, and commitment. The pain he felt climbing the reaper now the pride he carries in his heart.
See more related stories and videos on our special Marching Orders web page.