First Full day at Parris Island, weird temperatures

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(Gallery at: http://media.saratogian.com/2014/02/12/photos-of-training-at-parris-island/#1 )

Okay, I left Saratoga right? Or at least NY?? No… we didn’t. Yes, it felt warmer for us, but that didn’t mean much to people in South Carolina. As on drill instructor said “I’m going to make them freeze,” (to the educators). My response, ma’am we are from NY we are used to this stuff.

But apparently a small coating of rain and ice makes South and North Carolina shut down. A lot of our cool assignments were shut down today. Such as the shooting outside (they were scared we’d complain about getting dirty and cold…), the Static Display at the Marine Airport (they shut down completely tonight), and other things. We made it work though. Still got to see things, and certainly heard the recruits yelling in the background. All I could think was, can I just leave this lecture and follow those kids? C’mon I wanna see some piss-scared kids kicking some ass! Sounds mean and cruel, but it’s the Marines, don’t we all want to see that?

I pulled my recruiter buddy aside and asked, politely, can I just get a photo of a drill instructor screaming at someone, like spit flying out of their mouth?? Is that really too much to ask for? I didn’t think so, cos well.. I have goals for this trip. And some small promises I’ve made for a couple of editors.

I promised Paul Tackett I would get that token photo of the recruits on the yellow footprints, or at least get our educators on those two footprints scared for their lives.. Well I’m sorry Paul, but since it was raining (I guess they haven’t experienced a track season in Saratoga on Travers rainy day) they moved them under a cover so they would “stay dry.” I mean, I thought Marines were bad asses (ok yes I still think they are), but I wanted to see some struggling people! haha, the teachers are truly great people. I was chatting with one lady who said she was about to be in tears when one lady drill instructor was screaming in her face. I mean, those ladies are scary. I’d be terrified also!

Anyways, we learned about their first week as they arrived to the camp. I learned that all officers (minus the drill instructors) have to remove their covers when coming inside, I call them hats.. don’t say that to them though.

There are levels for different recruits once the phases go on. The Guide On, one that is doing well I’ve been told, is the one to hold the stick with a flag describing their platoon. Also are squad leaders, 4 squads. The house mouse is allowed to clean the senior drill illustrator space (my thought first was, really I get a privilege to clean your space? but it’s all about ranking well while recruiting which I get).

We met with the Platoon 3 with Staff Sgt. Thomas Mattingly, a senior drill instructor, who.. well… screamed the crap out of the “recruits” (educators) as they sat on the floor with four drill instructors towering over them. I believe at one point Dr. Jonathan Gerber said.. he spit on my face while he was yelling. Good for me I was walking around being media lady!

We walked over to the Combat Markmanship Training Unit. Now of course, we are still separated with Albany crew (with Staff Sgt. Cheryle Milton) and Pittsburg. Our Albany team was in top shape, making sure they were in rows of four walking together screaming I ma’am! Yeah, they were awesome.

Capt. Chris Davis and gunner Carl Chambers explained their jobs and roles in the Combat Unit. After being trained by Sgt. Anthony Williams on the M4 Stimulator the educators had a chance to use the mechanical guns (I explain it more as like those indoor golf ranges). We had to take a break in between to enjoy a boxed chow with some of the local (our local) recruits at the camp.

It was interesting to hear about their experiences so far at Parris Island. I asked a couple of questions to come of their favorite and worst experiences. One gentleman said he loved going to the shooting range, but the weirdest part was then the shooter “wet himself.” Apparently if you ask to use the “Water Hole” you get yelled at, but hell I’d rather get yelled at then experience that!

Another said he likes going to the Chapel because he can ask other recruits who are further along about what he is going to experience. It was interesting to learn that the female and males are not allowed to communicate, let alone look at each other. This chow was both female and male, so was nice to see them chat about their experiences together.

When we went back to the Combat room, I had a chance to shoot some of the Marines practicing in the rooms next to use. Using the Beretta 92 9mm for the CPP (Combat Pistol Program) course, all in different years and also co-ed.

Our trip to the Marine Airbase was canceled due to the “ice storm” or lack there of to use NY’ers.

We are also starting a little later tomorrow morning, which we aren’t complaining of course. Tomorrow will be filled with a lot of exciting things. Especially seeing our local recruit kicking some butt (okay it’s only his second day but I’m excited).

The swim tank will hopefully become very interesting to shoot a long with a race (I think) course.

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