Making Marines: Bucket Issue
Carl | February 13, 2013
During the second day of recruit training, after a long night of crude introductions to the boot-camp lifestyle, brand new recruits make a trip to bucket issue where they are issued the gear essentials they will use for the entirety of training.
The 22 items they receive quickly become essential to their new lifestyle as events like field training, marksmanship training and even drinking water are reliant on their equipment.
“We show each item to the group of recruits, explain what it is and have them repeat it back to us,” said Cpl. Yolanda Torres, a warehouse non-commissioned officer. “A lot of recruits are clueless as to what we’re explaining because they haven’t slept yet and they’re intimidated by everything that’s been going on.
“I try to relay to them that without this gear, a lot of training wouldn’t be able to be done.”
Some of the issued equipment includes canteens, assault packs, sleeping systems, cartridge belts, and their Improved Load Bearing Equipment packs.
In the past, each recruit was handed a bucket with essential items for training. Even though the issue point owes its name to this tradition, they no longer supply buckets to recruits.
“Back then, the buckets were also used for all sorts of things,” said Stephen Wise, curator for the Parris Island Museum. Recruits might use them for cleaning, storing items or they might have to fill them with sand and exercise with the buckets as a punishment, he said.
Today, the warehouse personnel issue various pieces of equipment to recruits, depot Marines, and Drill Instructor School students almost on a daily basis.
During times of little patronage, the warehouse staff often takes account of all the items in the warehouse and inventories the gear.
“A lot of Marines don’t realize how much work really goes into this job because all they see is the recruit-issue aspect,” explained the 21 year old Marine from Chicago. “We also have to process gear for graduating Marines, DI School students, inventory, and we do daily gear exchanges.”
The bucket issue staff also has to perform a wall-to-wall inventory of the warehouse every three months.
Bucket issue, made up of two adjacent warehouses, harbors all the equipment to meet the depot’s needs.
“It makes me proud and it motivates me every day to come to work knowing that I play a part in recruit training,” she added. “Not only do you get to see them when they first get here, we see them as Marines returning their gear.
“The most rewarding part of our job is being able to see the growth they’ve made.”
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