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Drill instructor Sgt. Bryce E. Torrence 26, from Caldwell, Idaho, politely instructs Dacota J. Gaffke, an 18-year-old senior at Battle Lake High School, on the proper way to respond to a question at the Recruiting Station Twin Cities mini boot camp May 6. Gaffke was recruited out of the Fargo, N.D., office by Sgt. Conrad B. Billie. For additional imagery from the event, visit

Photo by Staff Sgt. Clinton Firstbrook

San Diego drill instructors supply warm welcome for Midwest Marine applicants at mini boot camp

9 May 2011 | 9th Marine Corps District

Editor’s note: This is the first article of a three-part series on the Recruiting Station Twin Cities mini boot camp.

Hundreds of high school and college students received a small taste of recruit training while attending the Recruiting Station Twin Cities mini boot camp May 6-8, courtesy of a few instructors straight from the drill field.

Just like the individuals who arrive at Parris Island, S.C., or San Diego, more than 620 men and women from the Midwest found themselves near a set of yellow foot prints with a handful of Marines waiting to greet them.

"The initial shock always has them asking 'what the hell did I get myself into,'" explained senior drill instructor Staff Sgt. Salvador Moralessolis, 26, from Lompoc, Calif. "After more than two years on the drill field, we've definitely picked up a few techniques to stress them out and build them up from the basics."

Moralessolis also said everyone finds out very quickly that speed and intensity are a must. According to one participant, yelling at the top of your lungs doesn't hurt either.

"I lost my voice within the first 20 minutes," said Benjamin Burns, an 18-year-old senior at Delano High School and Recruiting Substation Buffalo's guide. "I learned from last year's mini boot camp that anyone who doesn’t sound off receives special attention."

Burns, who ships off to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego on June 27, also said the three-day training evolution eased some of the concerns involving his upcoming adventure.  

"Everything we learned will help me when I leave for boot camp this summer," Burns said. "I'm looking forward to it more every day."   

For additional imagery from the event, visit

9th Marine Corps District