Educators' Workshop: What all recruiters should know

8 Jan 2004 | 9th Marine Corps District

The Educator’s Workshop (EW) is in place to familiarize educators who are influential within the recruiter’s target market, and who are indifferent toward the Marine Corps, about the opportunities the Marine Corps provides.“The right persons would be counselors, teachers, coaches, principals, and superintendents,” said Staff Sgt. Jesus A. Lora, public affairs media chief, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. “These civilians play a huge role with young kids. It should be these civilians who can bring back a taste of knowledge of what it takes to be a Marine.”When the recruiter is looking for that certain individual to send to the EW, three things must be considered as criteria: How will this person benefit the Marine Corps and help in its positive promotion? Does this person have any military experience? Is this person already an advocate of the Marine Corps? If the answer is yes to the second or third question, that person should be disqualified.The EW is designed to specifically dispel all misconceptions about the Marine Corps that infiltrate the American society.“Before I went on the trip, I looked at the Marine Corps as not a good option,” said Pat M. Bowen, assistant principal’s office, Traverse City High School, Mich. “I only knew what I had heard from others and didn’t have a good opinion toward it; I previously wouldn’t have recommended them (the Marine Corps).”The EW takes an educator or an influential person from normal every day life and propels them into boot camp at MCRD San Diego, where they see first hand the transformation of civilians into the Marines of today.A few things EW participants experience include the Yellow Footprints, where drill instructors receive educators off the bus as if they were recruits, a tour of the entire depot, and a sneak peek of the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.“The average civilian has no idea what boot camp is all about or what it takes to change a young boy into a man. The shock of the Yellow Footprints sets the stage of this mind-boggling transformation,” said Lora.According to Bowen, the next group of EW participants should look forward to the Yellow Footprint experience.“It was so terrifying, yet it wasn’t real. It shows you how dedicated these young kids are and that they’re willing to go through the whole process of boot camp,” said Bowen.While on MCRD, the participants have the opportunity to witness many recruit activities and interact with drill instructors as they are taken on a tour to places like the confidence course, martial arts training facility (with a live demonstration), the barracks, swim tank, personnel exchange and the museum.They also eat lunch with the recruits from their own state at the recruit chow hall. During this time the educators will gain raw and truthful information from the recruits, as the drill instructors are hands-off for about 30 minutes. Participants may even see the recruits in action on the firing range and during the 72-hour Crucible.“Everything we saw was real,” said Bowen. “Nothing was sugar-coated and that is really important. Everything we did– Crucible, recruit lunch – we got the honest reactions from (the recruit) about what he was going through.”“The Crucible at Camp Pendleton is a favorite among the educators,” said Lora. “The dirt, the hills and all the obstacles set the stage for these future warriors. The educators really get a taste of the physical challenges that are placed upon the recruits.”At the end of the week the participants witness a graduation ceremony and fly back homes.The educators stay near MCRD at the Humphreys Half Moon Inn and Suites where they pair up with a roommate. Their stay is paid by the government and they are reimbursed with $225 per diem, via electronic funds, transfer upon their return home, which subsidizes food and other expenses. There are 40 participants per recruiting station who go on this all-expense paid working trip. There are also about four Marines who accompany them from each recruiting station.It is the recruiter’s job to find and convince educators to go who are indifferent to the Marine Corps, and who hold an influential position that directly affects the recruiting target market age. “I gained a better understanding of who the Marine Corps accepts and rejects, and I can discern between them,” said Brown.“The emotions vary with each educator. I've talked to one from last year's Educator Workshop and she said it was an experience that will be treasured forever,” said Lora. “She now passes the experiences she felt last year and teaches it to her students. After her visit to the Depot, she has had two students enlist in the Marine Corps.”
9th Marine Corps District