ABERDEEN, MD -- Recruiting Station Baltimore held a statewide pool function to educate poolees at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Aberdeen, Md., April 26.
A pool function is designed to familiarize future Marine Corps recruits with the stresses of recruit training in a controlled environment.
“We came out to assist the local RS in mentally and physically preparing the poolees,” said Staff Sgt. Dale Barbitta, a drill instructor at the United States Naval Academy.
The function kicked off with two drill instructors with the United States Naval Academy jumping on the buses and giving poolees a speech similar to the one they will receive upon arrival at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C.
After that, the poolees were escorted off the bus to get into a formation for a question and answer session where the poolees could ask the Marines questions about the Marine Corps, recruit training and drill instructors.
“We gave them a little bit of chaos and introduced them to how drill instructors will act and talk while on the Recruit Depot,” said Barbitta. “We also show them the human side of the drill instructors.”
The first time coming into contact with a drill instructor is always a surprise for poolees and recruits arriving at MCRD Parris Island.
“This showed me how the drill instructors will act as soon as you get off the bus,” said Brett Strader, a U.S. Marine Corps poolee from Recruiting Sub-Station Glen Burnie and native of Annapolis, Md. “It also showed me that Marines are always competitive; they want to be the best .”
RS Baltimore’s 10 different recruiting sub-stations had their own team of poolees competing in the competitions.
The competitions included a mile and a half run, ammo can lift, buddy drag race and many other Marine Corps related events.
With a close race between the RSSs, it all came down to the final competition; tug-of-war.
The tug-of-war was dominated by RSS Glen Burnie, which won all five of its matches.
“My favorite competition was the tug-of-war, just because we won every match we had,” said Strader.
After the tug-of-war the poolees, recruiters and family gathered for the awards presentation.
“The winner of the commander’s cup is none other than, the defending champions of RSS Glen Burnie,” said Major Christopher Conner, the commanding officer of RS Baltimore.
To win the commander’s cup two years in a row, RSS Glen Burnie’s recruiters took it upon themselves to motivate their pool to work just a little harder than the previous year.
“They did exactly how I thought they would,” said Staff Sgt. Joshua Gardner the staff non-commissioned officer in charge of RSS Glen Burnie. “We have trained all year for this, all of the poolees came out and gave it their all.”