Lt. Col. Louis M. “Dutch” Schotemeyer – 5/12/15
This morning Lt.Col. Louis M. “Dutch” Schotemeyer, USMC, Commanding Officer of 1st Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, provided an overview of the training offered to new recruits and new Drill Sergeants here at MCRD and Camp Pendleton.
The Corps focuses on their recruiting efforts on high school juniors as potential recruits through a delayed entry program. This focus enhances a young man or woman’s chances of becoming a successful recruit through preparation during their high school senior year. Less than 5% of the new recruits entering basic training wash out of the school, usually for an unforeseen reason.
Basic training is a 63 day experience, detailed in its application and practices. Physical, mental and psychological training is interwoven through a series of programs designed to build the confidence, teamwork and knowledge of the new recruit. From the basic physical training programs, through
classroom and field training exercises, to close order drills and platoon activities, every Marine Recruit is trained first and foremost, to be an infantryman.
Training is split between MCRD and Camp Pendleton. Recruits are trained in self-defense, firearm usage and maintenance, field survival skills, physical conditioning, mental conditioning, first aid, teamwork and Marine Corps history and traditions. The training concludes with the Crucible Challenge. This is a 54 hour strength, conditioning, teamwork and knowledge based exercise. Recruits are allowed 3 meals and 4 hours of sleep while they complete 32 different events, during which they will cover 40 miles over the ground. The culmination event is a 3 mile hike, uphill, to the Emblem Ceremony, where they will be officially called “a Marine”. Then they get to hike 3 miles back to base.
Graduation follows for those successful recruits and their career in the US Marines begins.