As the Marines of Company L walk across the Shepherd Memorial Drill Field today, one individual will leave having broken the depot�s crunch record by two repetitions.
During his company�s final physical training test, Pvt. Jason T. Pacheco, Platoon 3032, executed 260 crunches in two minutes.
�It�s amazing that he broke the record,� said Sgt. Rahine Smith, drill instructor, and a Columbus, Ohio native. �Not many people can do more than 200 crunches in two minutes.�
Pacheco, a Las Vegas, N.M., native, came to boot camp able to do 150 crunches in two minutes. He was active in high school sports and played just about everything that was offered, according to Pacheco.
�The sports I played in high school helped me out a lot,� said Pacheco. �But my drill instructors were the ones who really pushed me to succeed. Without their motivation, this may not have happened.�
Something happened to Pacheco during boot camp where he had to look to his drill instructors for their support.
During field week at Edson Range, his company was conducting a night hike when he twisted his ankle, causing a stress fracture in his right leg.
He didn�t want to be dropped from training, so he attempted to hide his injury from his drill instructors, until it got worse.
He was recommended by medical personnel to be dropped from training due to his injury.
�When he was recommended to be dropped to the (Medical Rehabilitation Platoon), he came to me and said he wanted to try and stick it out,� said Staff Sgt. S. G. Moyer, senior drill instructor. �He was a �more than an average recruit� throughout boot camp, so I made the decision to let him stay.�
His senior drill instructor kept his faith in Pacheco and let him stay in training, despite the injury to his leg. While he was on limited duty, as a result from his injury, he was unable to participate in some training events that involved the use of his legs.
However, before his injury, Pacheco had a high PFT score, including a run time of 19:30, which also convinced his senior drill instructor to let him stay.
After his injury healed, he came back, broke the crunches record and learned something about himself in the process.
�I joined the Marine Corps because I wanted to become a better person,� said Pacheco. �After I recovered from my injury and broke the crunches record, I felt more confident in myself and now I feel like I can do anything.�
Pacheco had always wanted to join the Marine Corps since he was young. He had family members in the Marine Corps and he wanted the self-improvement that he saw in them.
His grandfather, Orlando Gonzales, was a Marine during the late 1950s, and he inspired Pacheco to make the decision to join the Marine Corps.
�My grandfather used to tell me stories about the Marine Corps,� said Pacheco. �He always conducted himself in a professional manner, and I have always wanted to be like that.�
Those stories motivated him to make his grandfather�s experiences his own. Pacheco said he wanted to become a Marine to gain more confidence in himself, to stay out of trouble, to gain more respect and responsibility in life and to become a better person overall.
�Jason always had a lot of heart when he was growing up,� said Gonzales, a Las Vegas, N.M., native. �Nothing makes me more proud than to see my grandson do what he�s doing. I think all young men should join the military service, because it makes them better people.�