Local Marine Corps poolees touch tip of spear

10 May 2002 | Sgt. Zachary A. Bathon

Not many people outside the Marine Corps really get a chance to experience what it is like to serve in a Marine Expeditionary Unit.

But a few local teenagers got to feel what it is like on the tip of the spear, when they visited the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit's (MEU) Base Camp Warrior aboard Warner Robbins Air Force Base.

24th MEU is here participating in Training in an Urban Environment Exercise (TRUEX) in preparation for their upcoming six-month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea.

The teenagers, part of the Marine Corps' delayed entry program, spent a few hours touring Base Camp Warrior.

During the tour, the future Marines had the opportunity to listen to and ask questions of Marines from various parts of the MEU. This included Marines from the MEU's reconnaissance platoon, communications section, Aviation Combat Element (ACE), administration section and the MEU Service Support Group.

Along with getting to see the many different jobs in the MEU, the local teenagers also get to look at a few weapons including the M-40 sniper rifle.

"The tour was very informative," said Robert Shuman, 17 and a future ammunition technician from Madison, Ga. "It was good to see what it is going to be like."

"I think the tour gave us something to look forward to," added Michael Story, 17 and future Presidential Support Marine from Thomaston, Ga. "I wasn't sure what it would be like after we graduated basic training."

A few of the MEU's Marines also took the opportunity to offer a few words of encouragement to the poolees.

"It good getting to talk to the Marines, especially the communications guys, said Chris Hand, 18 and future legal administrator from Thomaston, Ga. "They told us how to get prepared for basic training and offered up some good advice."
The future Marines' recruiters thought the trip to Base Camp Warrior was very beneficial for the teenagers.

"It was great for them to get to talk to Marines who do this job on a day to day basis," said Staff Sgt. Thomas Beswetherick, recruiter from Recruiting Sub-Station Macon, Ga. "It gives them a second opinion of what the recruiters tell them and they get to see how the Marine Corps operates."

"Trips like this help reinforce the idea of why these guys want to be Marines," said Staff Sgt. Brent Dorrough, recruiter from Recruiting Sub-Station Macon, Ga. "I only wish we could have brought all of our poolees out to see this."