By: Tom Duggan – December, 2010
Forty educators from various public schools in Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire departed last month from Logan Airport under U.S. Marine escort and arrived at Beauford, South Carolina to attend Marine boot camp on Parris Island to observe and experience how the U.S. Government makes Marines.
Two of the Valley Patriot editors were invited by Staff Sergeant Natasha Young of the Lawrence Marine Recruiting Station to attend this educational event and chronicle how Massachusetts teachers and public school administrators dealt with the rigors of basic training.
According to 2nd Lieutenant Melanie M. Salinas, Deputy Public Affairs Officer for the United States Marines; “The Marine Corps Enlisted Educators Workshop program started in the late 1970s and, while we have no exact number, a conservative estimate of more than 10,000 educators, counselors, coaches and civic leaders have had the opportunity to see how we make Marines at Parris Island.
The program was originally referred to as the Guidance Counselors trip and included educators, school counselors, civic leaders, and former Marines and retirees. The workshop trips began about the same time as Systematic Recruiting was being introduced within the then Personnel Procurement Division of Manpower Headquarters Marine Corps, the precursor to Marine Corps Recruiting Command. The program takes place at both Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. Participants who attended these original workshops, paid their own way (or were reimbursed by their school districts) and military aircraft was used for travel to and from the Marine Corps Recruit Training Depots. The program was three days long in those early years and concluded with the Recruit Graduation as it still does today.
As a valuable tool within the High School/Community College Program at each Recruiting Station, the workshop was renamed the Educators Workshop and offered teachers, coaches, and school counselors as the main focus of effort as attendees. The workshop program expanded to five days in length and relies on commercial aircraft when it is necessary and pays lodging and meal expenses for attendees. Some Recruiting Stations are located close to the Recruit Training Depots and rely on buses for transportation of the educators.
Each of the 48 Recruiting Stations around the country send approximately 40 educators to their respective Recruit Training Depot each year.
In general, it is the Recruiting Station Marketing and Public Affairs Marine who is in charge of each program until the educators arrive at the Recruit Training Depot, and then the Operations Marines provide the activities and conduct the workshop for the visitors.
Currently, Parris Island hosts 12 Educators Workshops a year, with approximately 960 educators taking part in the program annually.