The Marine Corps’ purpose as stated on its webpage is to, “Defend the people of the United States at home and abroad. To do that, we make Marines who win our Nation’s battles and return as quality citizens.” To the casual reader, the first half of the purpose, which is to defend the United States, is stated in simple terms and easily understood. However, it is the latter half of the purpose that bears some investigating and begs the question, “What does make a better citizen mean?” To answer this question, I want to take you on a journey through the process of becoming a Marine, the transformation that occurs and the life-changing impact of being immersed into a sea of diversity creates.
Citizens from every walk of life you can imagine arrive by bus to one of three locations. Young men and women who have signed an enlistment contract arrive at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina or Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. Officer candidates receive their initial training at the Officer Candidate School located in Quantico, Virginia. For the purposes of this journey, we will focus on the experience of the recruits who matriculate through one of the training Depots.