USMC Educators Workshop

Carl | February 7, 2013 

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – High school can be the starting point in any person’s career, and many look to teachers and counselors for help in choosing the fate of their futures.

As a commandant of the Marine Corps directive, the Educators Workshop Program brings educators from around the country together to experience different aspects of the Marine Corps, so they can share their knowledge with students considering the military as a career.

“By giving the educators a chance to experience a little bit of the life of a Marine, we are able to present the Corps as a viable option after high school,” said Lance Cpl. Michelle Piehl, a community relations specialist with MCAS Miramar and a Toledo, Ohio, native.

Teachers, counselors and principals from Recruiting Station Kansas City, Mo., district and Recruiting Station Twin Cities, Minn., district ventured to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., to see life after recruit training, Jan. 30.

“(I think) the main goal for this is to learn more about what it is to be a Marine,” said Devin Johnson, a math teacher with Hallsville High School and a Lincoln, Mo., native.

As an educator, Johnson knows that educators should be as knowledgeable as possible if a student wants to know more about the military.

“Students ask us all the time about the different branches of the military and ask us about career choices,” said Johnson.

While on Miramar, the educators received a taste of the benefits offered to Marines.

“It was an eye opener,” said Johnson. “There are many benefits for careers and education.”

Educators saw how the Corps molds its service members into both combat-ready and morally-sound Marines.

“The overall goal in developing character and good members of society is a unique quality about (the Marines) because it’s been emphasized throughout the three days,” said Johnson. “We want to create young men and young women that are ready to benefit society, and that’s what the Marine’s goal is too.”

During the week-long event educators learn various aspects of the Marine Corps entry process including Recruit Training, firing on a rifle range and even witness a Marine Recruit Training graduation.

“(Educators) go through recruit (physical training) sessions, a tour of the depot and a mock pick up to see what the recruits see the first time they meet their drill instructors,” said Staff Sgt. Steven Gentry, a chief drill instructor with Kilo Company, 3rd Marine Recruit Training Battalion aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, Calif., and a Seattle native.

Marines like Gentry see this as a good opportunity for teachers and counselors to get a personal experience of the Marine Corps lifestyle.

“I think it gives good insight to (people) who don’t know very much about the Marine Corps and helps (their students) make the best decision possible to decide if the Marine Corps is right for them,” said Gentry.

Overall, most educators walked away grateful for the experience.

“I appreciate the Marine Corps for this opportunity and suggest it to any educator that wants to know more information,” said Johnson.

The Educators Workshop Program runs from January through August and educators will visit MCAS Miramar throughout that time.

Lance Cpl. Raquel Barraza

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