Editor's note: This is the third article of a three-part series on the Recruiting Station Twin Cities mini boot camp.
Recruiting Station Twin Cities' mini boot camp concluded May 8 with a moto run and awards ceremony, recognizing several participants who stood out among their peers throughout the three-day training evolution.
More than 600 aspiring Marines and guests from Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas voted on one person from each station to receive the Gung-Ho Award.
"Everybody in my platoon deserves their name on this plaque because we all put a lot of heart into this weekend," said Samuel Faraone, a 17-year-old senior at the Vessey Leadership Academy and guide for Recruiting Substation Woodbury.
Faraone, a Savage, Minn., native, also said it was an honor to stand in front of every recruiting office and receive an award from RS Twin Cities Commanding Officer Maj. Kenneth Gawronski.
"All 623 individuals who finished the training this weekend gave their all," said Gawronski, a 35-year-old Liberty, Mo., native. "Among those were 14 individuals who went above and beyond and we wanted to highlight their efforts and recognize them in front of their peers."
Each recruiting office packed and parted ways following the awards ceremony, leaving each participant with life-changing stories to tell friends and family once they returned.
Mini boot camp also acted as a catalyst for those uncertain about a future in the Corps, according to Recruiting Substation Fargo's noncommissioned officer in charge.
"It made the people on the fence decide to enlist or go to a different branch," said Staff Sgt. Jason Knudson, a 29-year-old Fargo, N.D., native. "By the looks of it everyone chose the Marines, because I haven't talked to one poolee or guest who didn't love it."
Click here to read the first two articles of the three-part series. Additional imagery from the event can also be found at www.facebook.com/rstwincities.