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Junior Recruit Day Shapes Children Of Marines
by U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Antonio Rubio - April 30, 2016

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Military families and children encompass an integral support system for Marines and sailors. Children of service member's assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 12 participated in Junior Recruit Day at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, April 8, 2016.

Junior Recruit Day allowed the children to get a first-hand look at what their military parents' experience on a daily basis.

Marine Corps Cpl. Miguel Rivera, communication navigation technician with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12, instructs children of service member’s assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 12 to do push-ups during Junior Recruit Day at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, April 8, 2016. Junior Recruit Day allowed the children to get a first-hand look at what their military parent’s experiences on a daily basis. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Antonio J. Rubio)
Marine Corps Cpl. Miguel Rivera, communication navigation technician with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12, instructs children of service member's assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 12 to do push-ups during Junior Recruit Day at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, April 8, 2016. Junior Recruit Day allowed the children to get a first-hand look at what their military parent's experiences on a daily basis. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Antonio J. Rubio)

“It allows the children an opportunity to see what their parents went through and be a part of it,” said Col. Daniel L.Shipley, MAG-12 commanding officer. “It makes them proud of the Marine Corps. What you see here is a chance for them to bond with their friends and do something fun and exciting that they'll be proud of for the rest of their lives.”
The children began the day at the squad bay inside Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 where they were greeted by former drill instructors. The drill instructors ordered participants to create a formation symbolizing the first day at recruit training. For one Marine, this was an opportunity to help enlighten the children about some their parents' hardships.

“The reason why I volunteered as a drill instructor is because I think it's important for the children to understand the scarifies their parents had to make to be where they are today,” said Cpl. Miguel Rivera, communication navigation technician with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12. “This gives them that exposure to help appreciate what their parents do every day.”

Marine Corps Sgt. Isaac Ross, aircraft rescue firefighter with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, helps a child with the fire hose during Junior Recruit Day at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, April 8, 2016. Junior Recruit Day allowed the children of service member’s assigned Marine Aircraft Group 12 to get a first-hand look at what their military parent’s experiences on a daily basis. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Antonio J. Rubio)
Marine Corps Sgt. Isaac Ross, aircraft rescue firefighter with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, helps a child with the fire hose during Junior Recruit Day at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, April 8, 2016. Junior Recruit Day allowed the children of service member's assigned Marine Aircraft Group 12 to get a first-hand look at what their military parent's experiences on a daily basis. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Antonio J. Rubio)

To help enhance their experience, children witnessed a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program demonstration, ran through an inflatable obstacle course, saw a Provost Marshal's Office K-9 demonstration, witnessed Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Aircraft Rescue Firefighting capabilities, fired simulated weapons inside the Indoor Small-Arms Range, and flew in a flight simulator.

Although the children went through one day of recruit training, Rivera said he saw a change in the children.  “There was a small transformation from when they got here to when they left,” said Rivera. “When the kids got here, they didn't know what it was like to get in a formation. When you put in the work for someone, whether it's a recruit, a Marine or a child, and give them that mentorship that they need to progress, they will progress.”

After their first-hand look into the military lifestyle, children received graduation certificates from their drill instructors. Without the support from the various units and Marines, the children could have not had such a rich experience, according to Shipley.

Marine Corps Cpl. Miguel Rivera, communication navigation technician with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12, poses with Hayden Carr and Andrew Carr during their graduation of Junior Recruit Day at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, April 8, 2016. Junior Recruit Day allowed children of service member’s assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 12 to get a first-hand look at what their military parents’ experiences on a daily basis. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Antonio J. Rubio)
Marine Corps Cpl. Miguel Rivera, communication navigation technician with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12, poses with Hayden Carr and Andrew Carr during their graduation of Junior Recruit Day at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, April 8, 2016. Junior Recruit Day allowed children of service member's assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 12 to get a first-hand look at what their military parents' experiences on a daily basis. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Antonio J. Rubio)

“I'm impressed with how much the Marines are involved, from the drill instructors to the martial arts instructors, it makes me very proud that they're taking this seriously and taking time to be with these kids and teach them. It just says a lot about the Marines and the spirit we have here,” said Shipley.

By U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Antonio Rubio
Provided through DVIDS
Copyright 2016

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