Marines show civilians side of Corps during educators workshop

12 Mar 2010 | Lance Cpl. Kel Clark

Civilians from the various recruiting district areas throughout the U.S. have the opportunity to witness a brief first-hand view of how civilians are made into Marines through boot camp.

They also visit the Air Station to see the finished product of boot camp: fleet Marines.

“The educators’ workshop was established to enable selected workers to see the Marine Corps and recruit training from a more direct approach,” said Maj. James Jarvis, the visits coordinator for Parris Island.

According to Jarvis, there are usually 12 workshops a year from all over the country. The workshops are made up of teachers, guidance counselors, firefighters and others who have little or no military background.

During a visit to Parris Island, the workshop civilians observe how drill instructors trained recruits and prepare for the road ahead after their training.

“(The educators’ workshop civilians) spend time on Parris Island and are able to do a lot of activities that recruits go through,” Jarvis said. “They can fire M16A2 (service rifles), experience the confidence course and even go through some Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training. They also can spend lunch with recruits and are escorted from place to place by drill instructors.”

After leaving Parris Island, the civilians then go the Air Station to get another perspective of the Corps from fleet Marines.

The Fightertown trip begins at the Lassetter Theatre with a brief about the Air Station. After the brief, a selected panel of Marines on the Air Station speak to the workshop about their respective occupations and experiences in the Corps.

“The Marines who are chosen to speak must be well-spoken, confident and must know their job in order to be a good role model for the (educators workshop),” Jarvis said. “We try to have Marines who are from the similar areas of the civilians who come aboard the Air Station. This is an attempt to have the civilians be able to better relate to the Marines.”

After the Marines are finished speaking to the civilians, the civilians visit different squadrons to see the jobs done by the Marines.

“My primary purpose for speaking to (the civilians) was to inform them about my job,” said Sgt. Michael Kinsel, an explosive ordnance disposal technician with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron. “Hopefully, they were able to get a firsthand knowledge of EOD. As opposed to what Hollywood portrays to them.”

Kinsel was among one of the Marines on the “panel of Marines” who spoke to the civilians, March 3.

After leaving Fightertown, the civilians returned to Parris Island for one more day with the recruits before going home.

“(The Marine Corps) is not looking to make (the workshop civilians) into recruiters because the Corps already has good recruiters,” Jarvis said. “The teachers and other civilians now know how difficult the process is to make Marines, and they can let their students and others know there are other options out there after high school other than going right into college.”