Recruits of India Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, displayed their bearing during their senior drill instructor’s inspection. Only 16 days into training, the recruits were also tested on Marine Corps knowledge, uniforms and rifle manual at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Sept. 5.
The purpose of the SDI inspection was to test the recruits, while under the pressure of drill instructors, on what they’ve learned in recruit training.
“The senior drill instructor inspection shows us where the baseline is for the recruits’ confidence and bearing,” said Gunnery Sgt. Cornell S. Cornish, drill instructor, Platoon 3209. “It shows the drill instructors what they’ve instilled in their recruits and what they need to work on.”
The inspecting drill instructor faced each recruit and snapped his heels together coming to the position of attention, which signaled the recruit to report to the drill instructor by sounding off with his name, hometown and military occupation specialty. After reporting, the inspector began drilling the recruit with Marine Corps knowledge questions and then inspected his uniform.
At the same time, other drill instructors swarmed the platoon creating chaos, which tested the recruits bearing, one of the Marine Corps leadership traits.
“It’s challenging to hold your bearing while a drill instructor is screaming in your face and asking you several questions while you’re performing different movements with the rifle,” said Recruit Dustin A. Rits, Platoon 3209. “Marines must be able to react under pressure or in the middle of chaos in a combat environment. Your actions of what you do or don’t do could risk the life of a fellow Marine.”
It was crucial for the recruits to remain calm, keep their eyes forward while at the position of attention and answer the questions they were asked. It is a sign of confidence – another trait drill instructors were looking for.
“The biggest challenge the recruits will face is getting over the stress factor,” said Cornish, a 30-year-old Bronx, N.Y., native. “When you have a bunch of drill instructors swarm the platoon and create chaos, it makes it uncomfortable for the recruits and makes it hard for them to keep their composure.”
Rits, a 17-year-old, Denver, Colo., native explained Marines find themselves in stressful environments, especially on deployments. When things go wrong in combat, Marines must be able to stay calm and react to the situation without freezing up or second guessing their decisions. Thus, upcoming Marines must be trained to adapt, whether it’s drill instructors yelling or in a combat situation while being fired upon.