“Improvise, Adapt, Overcome,” United States Marine Corps.
Local USMC recruiter SSgt. Nathaniel Daniel, a nine-year veteran in the corps, knows all too well the journey it takes to become a Marine. Although he is upfront about the journey to local prospects, he also boasts encouragement throughout the process.
Once a recruit steps onto the bus, leaving their family, friends, and civilian life behind ahead of a grueling 13-week boot camp, it can be a flood of emotions as they have to learn to lean on strangers who, in turn, quickly become family.
“The support doesn’t stop when they leave,” said SSgt. Daniel. “Marine Corps recruit training has the added challenge of having limited communications, so each recruit needs to have a tangible support system from the people who matter most to them.”
This is where SSgt. Daniel goes that extra mile. In the last two years of being stationed as the local USMC recruiter, he has made an effort to not only involve the family of future Marines, but the community as well to show those young men and women that support is only a mere letter away.
“I encourage current and retired Marines to send positive letters to recruits during their time at Marine Corps Recruit Depot(MCRD) to motivate them (recruits) throughout their training cycle,” he said.
Further adding that the support of family and friends is also vitally important, “In many cases, they are the ones who helped get them to this point in their lives, and that same support should not stop once they send them off to recruit training.”
“Speaking for myself, I’ve been reaching out to each recruit’s family and friends since I became the Marine recruiter for the Paris office. Marines always look out for one another, and this is an example of our brotherhood- when a Marine takes care of his own,” SSgt. Daniel said.
Why is it so important that he continues supporting his once Poolees when they step up to be recruit status? It’s simple; Marine Corps recruit training is more than just grueling. Recruits are shaped and trained to be the best of the best, mentally and physically. A letter a day can boost a soon to be Marine’s confidence in themselves, thus allowing them to be the best for their family, friends, and country.
“Mail can serve as motivation for the recruit to get through each day. It’s vital for them as it’s one way to keep in touch with their friends and family. That letter can provide the extra push they need to keep moving forward,” he said.
Not many can become Marines, and the few who make it through the enlisting process need all the love and support they can get to finish what they started when they get to MCRD.
“Being their recruiter is one part of the support system, but when loved ones are fully supportive of their decision, their time here in the Delayed Entry Program and at MCRD is smoother because they only have to worry about being the best recruit they can be,” he added.
The sheer privilege of calling yourself a Marine is one that only a small percentage of the Defence Force can do, and the training of a Marine doesn’t start at their 13-week boot camp; it begins with the first conversation with their local recruiter.
If you want to know how to send a letter to support your local poolee, you can contact the local USMC Office at 3225 Suite 105 NE Loop 286, Paris or by calling 903-245-3411.