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9th Marine Corps District
RS Des Moines Logo
Recruiting Station Des Moines
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Individuals from the Des Moines area who have recently enlisted in the Marine Corps attempt to follow commands from Staff Sgt. John Leech, drill instructor, 1st Recruit Training Regiment, during a Drill Instructor Family Night at Events Center West in West Des Moines, Iowa, March 23, 2018. Marine Corps Recruiting Command hosts the family nights to better prepare both parent and enlistee prior to attending Marine Corps Recruit Training. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Levi Schultz)

Photo by Sgt. Levi Schultz

Iowans prepare to earn title; Marine

26 Mar 2018 | Sgt. Levi Schultz Marine Corps Recruiting Command

“Sit up straight, get your eyes on me.”
The drill instructor’s voice echoed throughout the hall as he introduced himself. The now attentive young men and women, who recently enlisted in the Marine Corps, snapped to attention.
The setting was an informal “meet and greet” with a drill instructor during Recruiting Substation Des Moines’s Drill Instructor Family Night in West Des Moines, March 23, 2018.
Drill Instructor Family Nights like these are held annually at each RSS to provide families and poolees, young men and women waiting to attend Recruit Training, insight into what they can expect when they undergo boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., or MCRD San Diego, Calif.
“The objective is not only to give the poolees a taste of what a drill instructor is, but to really be able to take some time to answer the families’ questions on boot camp and life in the Marine Corps,” said Staff Sgt. Shawn Dundee, staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge, RSS Des Moines, RS Des Moines. “It really gives them a look into what the training is going to be like and that the drill instructors are human too.”
Once they arrive at either of the recruit depots, recruits are expected to pass an initial strength test, consisting of a max set of pull-ups, max set of crunches in two minutes, and a mile-and-a-half run, before they can begin training with their drill instructors. Over the 13 weeks they will spend on the depot, they will continue to be tested on physical fitness, drill, first-aid techniques, knowledge tests, among other types of training. The better prepared a recruit arrives, the higher the chance of graduation, Dundee explained.
“[Parents,] ensure they are studying the knowledge book at home and get them in the recruiting station for all meetings,” Dundee said. “We use a crawl-walk-run approach starting here at home with the end goal of earning the title, Marine. Get your poolee in front of their recruiter now, so we can do our part to help ensure they are mentally and physically prepared for the rigors of recruit training.”
Learn more about the requirements for recruit training, or to begin your own journey to earn the title, Marine, go to

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Midwest Marines are responsible for U.S. Marine Corps recruiting efforts in the upper Midwest, including the states of Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Oklahoma. Midwest Marines are headquartered aboard Naval Station Great Lakes, IL. We are formally known as the 9th Marine Corps District.

The mission of Marine Corps Recruiting Station Des Moines is to supervise and administer the enlisted and officer procurement programs of the Regular and Reserve establishment and to perform such other tasks as may be directed by the Commandant of the Marine Corps.  

9th Marine Corps District