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Our country's newest Marines: South Texas graduate is on top with honors

Marine Corps Educators' Workshop ends with graduation ceremony
educators' workshop
Posted at 9:12 AM, Aug 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-08 10:39:29-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The music and colors representing a long-standing tradition, once again, showcased our country's newest Marines.

Graduation ceremonies concluded a five-day educational meeting, Friday, at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.

Twenty-eight teachers from Texas and Arkansas, including two members of KRIS 6 News, were invited by Marines to attend the second-to-last '22 Educators' Workshop. This program is run by the Marine Corps Recruiting Command multiple times every year to showcase how Marine officers are recruited and trained.

KRIS 6 News travels to California to see how U.S. Marines are made

The group of educators landed in California on Aug. 1, and started the week with a dinner joined by the Marines who would lead them through boot camp over the next four days.

On Tuesday, educators were bussed to take part in the yellow footprints tradition — where every Marine recruit's journey starts. Later, the group got a taste of the Marines' combat fitness test

Rifle training was scheduled for the next day. Educators took aim at simulated and paper targets, while guided by a Marine. After that came the stall exercise. This is one of 30 exercises recruits must complete during the Crucible — a 54-hour endurance test that includes little sleep and eating.

'The Crucible' tests prospective Marines before graduation

A last look at Marine boot camp was on Thursday. Participants rappelled down a 100-ft. tower. The descent is meant to condition recruits to overcome fear and build confidence.

The United States Marine Corps Color Guard Platoon opened the Morning Colors Ceremony, Friday, ahead of the graduation of new Marines. One of them, from Mercedes came out on top with honors.

"It's kind of like stepping out into the world again from high school, but now, into the military world where it's just a whole new experience," said Pfc. Matthew J. Gracia. "I'm just excited to see what's next, you know? So, I found out who I was as a leader. Before, I didn't know who I was."

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