Thus ends my 10 days of being treated like a human being.
RS Frederick Applicant takes Honor Graduate
Story by Sgt. Amber Williams
Parris Island, S.C.— There are quite a few things that go into becoming an honor graduate, from exemplifying the core values; honor, courage and commitment, to exceeding the normal physical standards of the Marine Corps.
There is only one honor graduate per company during a Marine Corps recruit graduation ceremony and Pfc. Callahan Brown, from Recruiting Station Frederick, was the Company Honor Graduate from platoon 4007, Papa Co., 4th Recruit Training Battalion, during the Feb. 28 graduation ceremony.
“It was my goal, so I am glad I got to accomplish my goal,” said Brown with a big smile.
Picking an honor grad is not any easier than becoming one. Especially when over 20 thousand recruits go through Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C. a year but Staff Sgt. Craig Taylor saw something in Brown.
“She was intelligent, an individual and athletic,” said Taylor, who was Brown’s recruiter, out of Recruiting Substation Alexandria, Va., Recruiting Station Frederick, Md. “She was on the student government council, she ran cross-country and she is fluent in German. She just had a lot of positive attributes to offer the Marine Corps.”
Brown is 18-year-old native of Springfield, Va. She was meritoriously promoted to private first class before graduation for her achievement of honor graduate.
"I am thrilled that she accomplished such a feat," said Taylor. "She is living up to the expectations to which she holds herself to."
Brown said she believes her active past and upbringing contributed to her success as she spent most of her free time working out before she joined the Corps.
"My Dad is a retired Air Force Colonel and my mom is a nutritionist," said Brown "You can see where I got it."
Brown earned a 300 on her physical fitness test and combat fitness test. Both of which are a large part of the scoring process when picking the honor graduate out of over 200 Marines.
“That is what helped me stand out, my physical ability,” she said.
“I was only in the delayed entry program for 12 days,” she said.
Her involvement with her recruiter and with the Corps had been about 6 months total, beginning with a call she received from Taylor July 3, 2013.
"I remember it because it was the day before Independence Day,” she said. “I liked what he had to say and he kept in touch."
Taylor did not give up, in September Brown finally agreed to join one of RSS Alexandria’s pool physical training sessions.
"It just showed that the Marines cared, he heard something in my voice, it gave me hope that I could become a Marine,” she said.
“There was a lot of heart and dedication,” said Taylor. “She was whole heartedly interested. Not to be corny but you could hear it in her voice; I just had that gut feeling.”
From that moment it was all a matter of paper work for Taylor and Brown. Taylor was a motivator for Brown’s success in becoming a company honor graduate.
"Staff Sgt. Taylor challenged me to become a sergeant in 3 years,” said Brown. “He sees a lot of potential in me. It gives me motivation and confidence."
Taylor said he knew before he sent her down that she would be a competitive recruit.
“She has the heart, drive and passion to preserver through any challenge or adversity and excel.”
She excelled to the highest honor coming out of recruit training and will have many more opportunities in the United States Marine Corps.
I know her-weird. She’s pretty cool though-
She was in our sister platoon but I was on the same crucible team as her. She was tall so we used her as a human step ladder- felt terrible about that D:
You’re an 19 year old kid. You’re critically wounded , and dying in the jungle in the Ia Drang Valley , 11-14-1965, LZ X-ray, Vietnam . Your infantry unit is outnumbered 8 - 1, and the enemy fire is so intense, from 100 or 200 yards away, that your own Infantry Commander has ordered the MediVac helicopters to stop coming in.
You’re lying there, listening to the enemy machine guns, and you know you’re not getting out. Your family is 1/2 way around the world, 12,000 miles away, and you’ll never see them again. As the world starts to fade in and out , you know this is the day.
Then, over the machine gun noise, you faintly hear that sound of a helicopter, and you look up to see an un-armed Huey, but it doesn’t seem real, because no Medi-Vac markings are on it.
Ed Freeman is coming for you. He’s not Medi-Vac, so it’s not his job, but he’s flying his Huey down into the machine gun fire, after the Medi-Vacs were ordered not to come.
He’s coming anyway.
And he drops it in, and sits there in the machine gun fire, as they load 2 or 3 of you on board.
Then he flies you up and out through the gunfire, to the Doctors and Nurses.
And, he kept coming back…. 13 more times…..
And took about 30 of you and your buddies out, who would never have gotten out.
Medal of Honor Recipient , Ed Freeman , died at the age of 80, in Boise , ID ……May God rest his soul….. I bet you didn’t hear about this hero’s passing.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate the fact that I reblogged at least 6 pictures of my senior drill instructor prior to going to Parris Island….
So there I was in my LSAT prep course and the discussion of wrestling came up. One of the guys in my class, we’ll call him Mike, is a wrestler. This other guy, let’s go with Anthony, starts asking him questions.
Anthony: “Have you ever gotten into a position where you’re like, oh this is so…
I was one of two females on the wrestling team my senior year of high school- and no guy is questioning the sexuality of the situation when you’re kicking their ass. (Though I really suck at wrestling and was doing more of modified jiu jitsu… but eh, close enough)
You get a lot of people like this in jiu jitsu though- the new guys are regularly afraid or awkward about rolling with a female because it is so set in their minds that close contact=sexual. From awkward reluctance to be in your guard- or the panic attacks of apology when they grab your chest or butt.
But once they start to get into the sport and see technique over gender they quickly forget those ideas of sexuality and awkwardness. It’s not longer “I’m between a girls legs” it’s “Oh god this chick is choking the life out of me with her legs- what the hell was that escape move from last week!?”.
Aaaannd I’m getting out of control with the reblog and I apologize, just made me think of stuff that I’ve said a million times before.
Welp- tonight was my last night training jiu jitsu before I leave.
And I kinda feel like some deep and essential part of me just died…
I mean, I’ll be training where ever I go in life- I’ll even see my team again whenever I come home. But it won’t be the same. Never going to be the same family that I spent every day of summers training with. I know it’s seems like something simple, and I know I’ll be able to move on with life and training beyond these people- but I’m grossly sentimental, so hush.
The training and teaching of the people I’ve met have been the foundation for my confidence over the past few years. They were the first ones to tell me that they thought I could succeed, that I could fight, that I could reach my goals. And I owe them everything for that.
Don’t you judge me…
Day movement course at Parris Island