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 www.facebook.com/rstwincities
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