Chad Foster of Greenwood, Ind., is even more pumped about becoming a Marine and shipping to boot camp after the events of April 9.
Foster received his motivation from three drill instructors at RS Indianapolis’ annual state-wide pool function at Grissom Air Reserve Base April 1.
"It was fun interacting with the drill instructors," the Greenwood High School student said. "Getting IT’d (incentive training) was the best part. They were harsh, but it wasn’t anything I didn’t see coming."
According to Maj. Christian F. Wortman, commanding officer of RS Indianapolis, this result was right on target.
"Today’s event was to get the poolees ready for boot camp, give them a taste of some of the challenges, and to hopefully motivate them," Wortman said.
The drill instructors’ presence gave the young men and women a taste of what recruit training is all about and allowed them to get in the proper mindset, said Staff Sgt. Smith, SNCOIC of RSS Anderson.
"As far as the mental aspects of boot camp, you can never get it right," Smith said. "We always try to explain, but this will show them what boot camp is actually going to be like. I hope my pool grasps it a little better."
After some intensive training, the drill instructors allowed the poolees to ask questions in a more relaxed environment.
"It’s a rare opportunity that a poolee has a chance to ask a drill instructor questions in a halfway-relaxed environment," said Staff Sgt. Jon G. Tehan, a drill instructor from MCRD San Diego.
"This was good training for poolees," agreed Staff Sgt. Tama C. Richardson, a drill instructor from MCRD Parris Island. "A lot of people don’t get this."
While the drill instructors set a boot camp environment, the poolees completed an initial strength test to ensure they were prepared for training.
The IST was an important part of the screening process, said Wortman. The screening identified any issues that will impact shipping were identified.
According to Smith, the IST also gave the poolees a chance to physically gauge their abilities, and learn the meaning of teamwork.
"I have three sectors, and they are all pushing each other," Smith said. "This is giving them a chance to see how motivation works and how it can push you through."
Static displays of military equipment set up by local Marine reserve units, according to Wortman, were an important part of the day.
"The static displays were to give them a glimpse of what life is going to be like after boot camp, so they are at least introduced to what Marines do on a day-to-day basis," Wortman said.
Poolees from past functions have said the experience was eye opening and unexpected, but overall, they were prepared, according to Smith. This year his poolees impressed him.
"My poolees reacted better than I expected," Smith said. "They got into the rhythm right at the beginning. They are definitely motivated."