basic training

 Basic Training



earn title (2) welfare (2)
depot recruit boot camp
boot find out find/found
drill first hand responsible
exact manner has to do
allow scream contraband
crazy scream rude awakening
rude cut off set the tone
tone mentor transform
crap push (2) accountability
scared challenge role model
phase spoil (2) top-notch
plus grow up dedication
proud obviously motivation
reward courtesy graduation





Every year, thousands of young men and women will be pushed physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s all to earn the title as a United States Marine.

A cameraman and myself traveled to Marine Corps Recruiting Depot, San Diego for a taste of marine boot camp.

In the five days we were there, we found out first hand why few can say they are US Marines.

Tonight we introduce you to the man responsible for shaping young recruits into a marine.

Sgt. Jason Fair, Chief Drill Instructor Receiving Company: “And everybody’s thinking the same thing which is: ‘This is a huge mistake. I know it was a huge mistake’.”

“Obviously we greet them in the nicest manner possible. Let them know exactly where they are; you are not at home anymore: this is the Marine Corps. You are going to do what we say, when we say and how we say to do it.”

“We’ll take them in the contraband room, where we’ll go over what they are allowed to and not have.

It’s new. Everything’s crazy. And they’re screaming everywhere.”

Call it a rude awakening.

The first ten minutes of boot camp sets the tone for the next three months.

Sgt. Jason Fair: “You will do what we say, the way we say to do it. And if not, you get back and do it again and again and again—until you do it the right way.”

One final call home and life as they know it, is cut off.

Sgt. Cardona, Chief Drill Instructor: “My role is to change them from a civilian to a recruit, teach them basic military courtesies.”

The long week of processing ends in another awakening: meeting their company drill instructors.

Sgt. Cardona: “The first time they meet us, they’re very scared.”

The men they’ll spend the next 12 weeks with.

Sgt. Tyler Tellez, Senior Drill Instructor, Delta Company: “When they first meet us, they probably thinking ‘Oh crap! What am I doing?”

For the next three months, drill instructors are tasked to teaching each of these recruits what it takes to become a marine.

“Sgt. Cardona: “It is also our responsibility to have full accountability of all recruits as well as maintaining their welfare.”

Sgt Tellez: “I’m that big role model, that big brother. I’m there to mentor them, get them through any challenges.

Jason Salcido,Odessa Recruit: “As a recruit, you strive to be just like them. The way they walk, they way they talk. That’s what you want to be. They’re the Marine Corps’ top-notch marines.”

Odessa Recruit, Jason Salcido was in the last phase of recruit training. He says the person he is today is different from the person he was just ten weeks ago.

Jason Salcido, Odessa Recruit: “I came here as a 20-year old kid. A college student, not responsible really. My parents paid for me. I was spoiled. And I realized one day that I needed to grow up. And I feel I need to grow up to be a man.

And my drill instructor has so much to do with that.”

He says as much dedication to be a recruit, it takes that plus more to be a drill instructor.

Jason Salcido: “You look at them, and you will not quit. They’re not going to let you quit. They give you so much motivation.”

Twelves weeks of hard work leads up to this: graduation.

Sgt. Cardona: “It’s rewarding. Seeing young men I got twelve weeks ago, the transformation from a young boy to an actual man now.

It’ll bring some tears to some drill sergeants’ eyes.”

Recruits say boot camp is the hardest thing they’ve ever done.

But it’s that way for a reason: it’s so that they can be the few, the proud, the Marines.


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1. What is the first impression of the recruits? What do the recruits think on the first day? How did they feel?

2. The drill sergeant told the journalist: “Obviously we greet them in the nicest manner possible.” Was he joking or being serious?

3. What happens in the contraband room?

4. The recruits were totally cut off from the outside world. True or false?

5. What is the role of the drill instructor? What is the drill instructor supposed to do?

6. How long is the marine basic training? The recruits are completely different when they graduate. Is this correct or wrong?

7. Do the drill instructors allow the recruits to quit?

8. What do the recruits say about basic training? How do they describe basic training?
A. I have been in the military. Is this true or false? Do you know anyone who was in the military? What was it like?

B. I would like to join the Marines. Yes or no? Do your classmates or friends want to join the military? Is the military a popular career choice?

C. I would like to see my friends, classmates, coworkers and enemies go through boot camp. Yes or no?

D. All young people should undergo basic training for eight weeks, then go to university or work. What do you think?

E. Are there military-style holiday or summer camps for tourists? Would you like to attend one?

F. Serving in the military makes a person a better student, worker or business person. Being in the army or marines turns boys into men. Do you agree?

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