TROY, Mich. - Twenty female Marine poolees and their guests
tasted the Marine Corps' lifestyle after going through a gauntlet of
events during Marine Corps Recruiting Station Detroit's bi-annual
female pool function at the Boys and Girls Club of Troy, Michigan,
June 20, 2015.
Throughout the day, the poolees participated in the
Marines Corps' Initial Strength Test and Combat Fitness Test. They
were also introduced to a Marine Corps drill instructor to help them
prepare for the transition from civilian to United States Marine.
The day started off with a question and answer period between
the poolees and Sgt. Emily R. Welch, the operations clerk for RS
U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Jason Varnadoe, a native of Lubricity, Ga., and drill instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C., instructs the female poolees of Recruiting Station Detroit during the bi-annual female pool function at the Boys and Girls Club of Troy, Mich., June 20, 2015. Varnadoe taught the ladies basic drill movements to help prepare them for the standards of recruit training. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. J.R. Heins)
“I like to make it as comfortable as possible for the
girls,” said Welch, a native of St. Clair, Michigan.
According to Welch, she offers mentorship to the girls and
answers any questions that they may have while in the Marine
Corps delayed entry program.
“Remembering back to when I
was in their shoes, I knew I had questions that male
recruiters couldn't confidently answer, like ‘should I bring
my hair gel to Parris Island' or ‘what family day is like?'
This is a chance for me to give them something I wish I
would have had prior to shipping to Parris Island,” said
Welch, who is now approaching her sixth year as a Marine.
After the poolees finished asking their questions, the
The physical portion of the day
started with the Initial Strength Test, which includes three
events: pull-ups or a flexed-arm hang, crunches, and a 1.5
mile run for time.
According to Jena Smith, a poolee from
Recruiting Sub-Station Livonia, this was the second time she
has run the IST.
“I improved a lot,” said Smith. “I
just didn't give up and kept pushing myself the entire
The entire day was a great learning
experience, she said.
For many of the ladies, the culture
shock of the Marine Corps' hit them after being introduced
to drill instructor Staff Sgt. Jason Varnadoe.
looking for three things: speed, volume and intensity,” said
Varnadoe, a native of Lubricity, Georgia. “These are the
same three traits your drill instructor will demand from you
if you make it down to Parris Island.”
the pool some basic Marine Corps drill movements.
didn't know what to expect,” said Ziporah Krolikowski, a
guest from Recruiting Sub�-Station Madison Heights. “That
was the first time I had seen a drill instructor, and I was
trying to take in everything he said.”
Krolikowski, the entire day was a challenge.
finished the day with a modified Combat Fitness Test, where
they heaved 30-pound ammunition cans up and down for two
minutes and navigated the maneuver under fire obstacle
course. The course itself included various crawls, buddy
drags and carries, and sprints with ammo cans.
favorite event was the CFT,” said Bryce Knisley, a poolee
out of Recruiting Sub-Station Bowling Green. “It felt like
something I might have to do in a real life situation.”
“I'm glad we have days like this,” said Knisley, a native of
Leibsie, Ohio. “You can learn a lot.”
By U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. J.R. Heins
The U.S. Marines
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