Marine recruits getting into shape
Staff Sgt. puts poolees through their paces in preparation for military careers
By JOHN RECH
The few, the proud … the preparing.
One dozen future U.S Marines worked out together Saturday morning in Marion under the eagle eye of Staff Sergeant Marquis Jones. Each of the aspiring Marines took a different heading to start their military careers but each had the monocular focus on Saturday to get into shape now for boot camp later.
The recruits worked an hour-long non-stop circuit that included sprints, squats, dead lifts, pull-ups and bur-pees along with warmups aimed at getting limber.
The future Marines traveled from as far away as West Helena, Blytheville, and Wynne for the physical training session. The weekly calisthenics served to build esprit de corps. In talking to a couple of hopefuls each wanted to be a Marine for the same reasons that echo throughout Marine Corps. history. Young men and women replied with duty, service, patriotism, and camaraderie in their answers.
One poolee interviewed Saturday headed to boot camp the next day.Another future Marine, a West Helena tight end dieted and exercised over four months to shedding 40 pounds of football weight to meet Marine Corps. standards.
Poolee Jackson has driven 90 minutes each way every week to work out with his recruiter.
“I had to push myself to lose weight,” said Jackson.
See MARINES, page A3
One dozen future Marines assembled for physical training on Bancario Road. The group came together from as far away as West Helena, Wynne and Blytheville for the workout.
Photos by John Rech MARINES
From page A1
“I had to push myself. It was a lot of running. “
Jackson volunteered as an infantryman.
Ladarius White headed for boot camp the next day. The 2016 Marion High school graduate had worked in retail and distribution since he earned his diploma. White signed with the Marines in January and his wait for boot camp was short-lived.
“I’ve worked warehousing and done mostly retail,” said White, The last company he worked for folded and the poolee searched for a new future to unfold. White looked to the Marines for work, but also to continue the family legacy of military service.
“My step dad was a Marine too,” said White. “My uncle was in the Army.”
Staff Sergeant Marquis Jones worked the recruiting center in Marion for nine months. His area encompasses east Arkansas from West Helena north to Blytheville. What does he see in future Marines?
“Most are looking for a challenge,” said Jones, “and to be part of something bigger than themselves.”
Jones believed mental preparation for boot camp is a key to overcoming the physical challenges. He aimed the weekly workouts prepare the future marines with both aspects.
“Your body does what your mind tells it,” said Jones.
March will deliver a new challenge for the future Marines. A west coast based drill sergeant will put the group through his paces at the elite training ground at Tier One Group near Crawfordsville.
Marine Corps. recruiter Staff Sergeant Marquis Jones told his future Marines your body does what your mind tells it in preparation for physical training Saturday morning. Jones has worked out of the Marion recruitment office for nine months.