Thirteen weeks have passed for the young men of 1st Battalion, Company B first stepped onto the yellow footprints of Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. From day one, these young men have been under the watchful eyes of their drill instructors being challenged physically and mentally every day.
Since first meeting their drill instructors, Company B has trained virtually non-stop. They have learned close-order drill, hand-to-hand combat, rifle marksmanship, and the history of the Corps. However, the drill instructors have also passed on the meaning of the Corps’ values of honor, courage and commitment.
One major test is the Crucible, this 54-hour training evolution where the recruits are put into a combat-simulated environment with rationed food and very little sleep, tests all the physical training the recruits have received and their ability to accomplish tasks in a high stress environment.
After the completion of the Crucible, the young men receive their eagle, globe and anchor and are called Marines for the first time. Though the new Marines have finally earned their emblem they still have to pass the Battalion Commander’s Inspection.
Before inspection by the battalion commander the recruits underwent fine tuning through the Senior Drill Instructor’s Inspection and the Company Commander’s inspection. From the outside being inspected so many times may seem unnecessary however, to produce only the finest Marines these examinations are absolutely necessary.
The Company Commander’s Inspection is done before the crucible to ensure the recruits are thinking on their toes, and sharp both in mind and body for the riggers of the crucible.
“They did well,” said Sgt. James Ramsey, senior drill instructor, platoon 1033, 1st Battalion, Company B. “I’m confident they are good to go for the Battalion Commander’s inspection.”
The Marines are evaluated on their uniform appearance, bearing, weapon cleanliness and Marine Corps knowledge.
During the inspection, the inspecting officer or drill instructor evaluates the Marines’ appearance in uniform while the Marine is asked questions on Marine Corps knowledge, such as the maximum effective range of their rifle and the proper measurements of uniform articles, such as belt and trouser length. But they are also asked personal questions about what has been the toughest event or obstacle during their time on the depot or what leadership trait is most important to them.
The questions are designed to not only test whether the new Marines have retained the basic knowledge they have been taught throughout recruit training, but also to test their military bearing.