Photo Information

Twenty-four aspiring Marines with Recruiting Station Twin Cities take the oath of enlistment at the Metrodome before the Minnesota Vikings battle the Jackson Jaguars on Sept. 9. All 24 of the Vikings Platoon members will ship off to boot camp Sept. 10-11. For additional imagery from the event, visit

Photo by Staff Sgt. Clinton Firstbrook

Aspiring Marines enlist inside Metrodome before Minnesota Vikings game

9 Sep 2012 | Staff Sgt. Clinton Firstbrook 9th Marine Corps District

Thousands of football fans watched 24 aspiring Marines take the oath of enlistment before the Minnesota Vikings battled the Jacksonville Jaguars Sept. 9.

Recruiting Station Twin Cities Sgt. Maj. Sean Cox marched the Vikings Platoon onto Mall of America Field where Commanding Officer Maj. Kenneth Gawronski asked them to make a commitment in front of 56,607 people and become part of the nation’s elite fighting force.

“Every one of them is capable and determined to earn the title United States Marine,” said Sgt. Jacob S. Bucinski, a recruiter out of the Rochester, Minn., office. “That’s why they’re here.”

Over the next two days, each member of the Vikings Platoon will ship off to San Diego or Parris Island, S.C., and face the physically and mentally rigorous challenges of boot camp.

"They will all make a fine addition to the Marine Corps," Gawronski said. "I look forward to serving with them in the future."

Following the ceremony, football fans high-fived the two dozen aspiring Marines as they walked toward their seats. A few even met Minnesota Vikings principal owner Zygmunt Wilf, who thanked them for the service.

“To be a part of the Vikings Platoon and watch this amazing game, I can’t think of a better way to kick off my Marine Corps career,” said Tyler Whittaker, a 2009 Forest Lake High School graduate.

For additional imagery from the event, visit

Vikings Platoon Participants:

Trevor J. Meador – New Prague, Minn. – RSS Bloomington

Michael A. Shaleen – Lindstrom, Minn. – RSS Coon Rapids

Tyler R. Whittaker – Forest Lake, Minn. – RSS Coon Rapids

Leo J. Kisla – Forest Lake, Minn. – RSS Coon Rapids

Alex J. Johnson – Almelund, Minn. – RSS Coon Rapids

Brett A. Sortebrg – Minnetonka, Minn. – RSS Duluth

Adrienne E. Thalacker – Chippewa Falls, Wis. – RSS Eau Claire

Justin A. Hicks – Barron, Wis. – RSS Eau Claire

Jason M. Schubich – Spooner, Wis. – RSS Eau Claire

Austin A. Ostby – Balsam, Wis. – RSS Eau Claire

Jaymz E. Colvard – Chetek, Wis. – RSS Eau Claire

Nathan E. Best – Fordville, N.D. – RSS Fargo

Derek R. Tollefson – Pelican Rapids, Minn. – RSS Fargo

Samuel J. Peck – Arden Hills, Minn. – RSS Roseville

Miriam Hernandez – St. Paul, Minn. – RSS Roseville

David J. Deyonge – Staples, Minn. – RSS St. Cloud

Andrew J. Schweisthal – Medford, Minn. – RSS Mankato

Kody L. Burmeister – Lakefield, Minn. – RSS Mankato

Christopher M. Viscomi – Faribault, Minn. – RSS Mankato

Travis M. Watje – Springfield, Minn. – RSS Mankato

Megan E. Ripley – Cannon Falls, Minn. – RSS Rochester

Jose E. Serrato – Rochester, Minn. – RSS Rochester

Austin C. Eigenberg – Brandon, S.D. – RSS Sioux Falls

Jesus A. Wheeler – Worthington, Minn. – RSS Sioux Falls

9th Marine Corps District