March 19, 2014, Greenville, N.C. – Marine Corps Recruiting Sub-Station Greenville hosted a family night at the East Carolina University Willis Buildings in Greenville, N.C., March 8.
Family nights are a time for the families of the applicants to come together, meet the Marines of the Sub-Station, and learn about the Marine Corps and the process of boot camp.
“Family day is important because a lot of people who are apprehensive come,” said Staff Sgt. Dustin Hubert, a recruiter with RSS Greenville. “They get to interact and speak with other parents, and because we have such good contact and rapport, we are able to overcome the skeptical parents who only hear horror stories.”
Enlisting into the Marine Corps is a decision that affects more than just the applicant, it affects their entire family. Parents, siblings and distant relatives can be a big part of a young person’s decision to join, and their support can mean the difference between success and failure.
“If a recruit does not have that support network of people back home writing them letters and giving them words of encouragement parents can definitely affect their child’s future inadvertently,” said Hubert.
The families asked questions, heard from Marine Corps Recruiting Station Raleigh command members and got to see their applicant experience a little taste of boot camp thanks to Staff Sgt. Timothy M. Kingsley, a heavy equipment mechanic with 2nd Marine Logistics Group, who is a former drill instructor from Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C. Kingsley demonstrated the famous ferocity of Marine Corps drill instructors by demanding discipline through intensity, speed and volume.
Kinglsey said that the support of a recruit’s family is important and is another resource for drill instructors who are trying to help struggling recruits through difficult times.
The relationship between the families and the Marine Corps does not just start at family nights. Recruiters are actively engaging applicant’s family members throughout the enlistment process.
“Interacting with the parents is very important,” said Hubert. “All of the parents have my cell phone number. If something comes up that involves their son or daughter they can call me.”
A Marine recruiter’s responsibility to the parents goes beyond just answering their questions about boot camp.
“Instead of leaving it all on the parents, we are here as Marines to mentor the applicants and ensure their success when they graduate school and while they are waiting to go to boot camp,” said Hubert.
One of Hubert’s poolee’s, Brad Bailey, and his parents, Rachel and James Hill, attended the family night. They said that his choice to join made them nervous at first but they choose to support him.
“He really acted like this is what he wants to do,” said James. “He felt like he was ready, so we have to stand behind him.”
They also added that Hubert’s continued interaction has helped ease their minds and has already influenced the attitude of Bailey.
“I think today went really well,” said Hubert. “There were a lot of good questions and the drill instructor served as a wake up call for some of the poolees.”