Off to Parris Island

DROP and give me twenty!!!!

Well that’s what I thought was how this was going to go down.. But I was graciously re-assured to know that the pressure is on the recruits. Or as they called them, Poolees?

It was an early morning, navigating to the Watervliet Arsenal (only seen this from 787 so that was interesting) on Saturday Jan. 18th, 2014. Dr. Jonathan Gerber and I were getter our first chance on learning about the recruitment process before Parris Island, the Physical. It consisted of, well yelling of course, at least 4 pull ups, at least 45 crunches in two minutes and lets just throw in 13 laps at the RPI gym. Some struggled, some breezed through. Honestly, I don’t think I could even get through one pull up, but then again I’m not in training for the Marines. There was also some quick interviews that we couldn’t witness, about do you drink and do a bunch of drugs, etc.

While watching some of these guys, I thought that some will probably not last. But then again if they saw me doing it, I wouldn’t last…

Listening to Sgt.Maj. Gerald Saunders Jr, RS Albany, was a bit humorious. Actually very funny. It was like a skit, he knew what to say to each person. I was worried the recruits wouldn’t start laughing at some of  his jokes, need to keep stern face! He was very motivational though. Pushing all the recruits to do their best, pushing themselves harder. The rest of the gunnies, recruiters, helped push. Some ran the mile and a half with them, literally pushing them to the finish line.

This journey isn’t about me. It’s all about Chris Ruckert, the amazing young man that pushed himself through the help of Dr. Jonathan Gerber to loss 200 lbs to join the Marines. His journey is what we will be following. His determination, his drive and his success. Yes we have been told that we will be experiencing first hand what recruits are, but more “kindly.” We can partake in all activities they do, eat in the same mess hall and such (or as it seems, the moment to shove food down your throat for like 2 minutes). One explained the arrival, you get to the site on a bus, one officer gets on the bus scaring all the new recruits while the rest circle the bus as if they were eagles waiting for a meal. Some explained that I will be ON the bus while this happens, as others explain they let me “off” to photograph it. So, it’s all up in the air at this point.

I will take you through the journey following Chris and his many other recruits at Parris Island with many photos to come.