First Step

Taking the First Step

Phase one begins in the small, dark hours of the morning. The former happy civilian steps off the bus into a world of disorientation. His mind is snapped into abject shock. Cardiac arrest is a distinct possibility. The drill instructor is absolutely the most sadistic, maniacal tyrant he has ever encountered. It is beyond comprehension that one human being could treat another in such fashion. In his daily struggle to survive, the recruit becomes psychoneurotic wondering if the psychopath in charge will allow him to live another day. The days pass. The crying in the sack at night subsides as the mind becomes numb and the spent, weary body literally dies. Forgotten are the lofty principles and goals that fired enlistment. Graduation is not a word in the vocabulary. The recruit lives in limbo, a lethean existence. One night after lights out, the recruit lies on his rack contemplating "the worst mistake I ever made in my life." The body and the mind have reached the limits of endurance. Slowly, he begins to make a decision. Initially, his thoughts are that he cannot continue another day. If that is the end of the thinking process, he sinks into despair will soon be released to return home. Continued thinking, however, brings the drill instructor into focus. Anger begins to rage within the recruit. Further thought heightens the wrath within to a frenzy. The irrevocable decision is made, "I will not let that son-of-a bitch defeat me."

Courage of General


As you can see the Marine Corps is no joke. Only the best can get through and earn the title "MARINE".The next phase of the change begins the next day.The recruit responds in a voice that is sharp and quick, loud and distinct, and permeated with a tone of defiance. On the parade deck his movements suddenly become snappy, displaying a newly found arrogance. Despite the aching body, his physical training scores shoot upwardly. The recruit has engaged the drill instructor in a mental duel. He is determined that he will excel and that the drill instructor will never again single him out. Yet, as he struggles it seems that the drill instructor is answering the challenge and singles him out with continuously accelerating the demands ever increasing expectations. With grim determination, the recruit rises to the challenge.


The Final Phase

Finally one day the recruit is astonished with the sudden realization that he has executed a command, perfectly and with relative ease. His mind engages in further introspection. He notices the transformation of mind and body. Gone is the deep-seated defiance, replaced with absolute confidence. He has achieved the "can do!" attitude, which he will have for the rest of his life. Third Phase has begun. The recruit now struts, proud and tall. Graduation, wearing the Eagle, Globe and Anchor, and being awarded the title "Marine" are realities. He minimizes his own participation. All credit is given to the drill instructor. All earlier attitudes give way to one of genuine deep respect and hero worship. "If I ever go into combat, I want him as the leader." The former civilian will be forever a Marine and the drill instructor will live within his mind.