Push-ups, pull-ups, the bear crawl, and a heart-to-heart talk about leadership gave three Bryan students a taste of officer candidate school and what life in the Marine Corps is all about Wednesday, September 19.
From left, Staff Sgt. Dinkins and students Robert Rains and Jacob Hawkins do push-ups during the Warrior Challenge. Captain Burkett and Staff Sgt. Dinkins, Marine Corps recruiters, were at the college to introduce students to the Corps and evaluate their interest in military service. After meeting students in the dining hall, the Marines moved to the practice fields where they put three students through a brief but intense physical workout.
“We are looking to find, screen, and direct students and graduates toward serving as Marine Corps officers,” Capt. Burkett said. “We want to let them know that there are other paths to becoming an officer besides ROTC.” The process includes an interview and review by a highly selective screening board before a candidate is accepted into officer candidate school.
Wednesday’s visit included taking the students through a timed fitness exercise that culminated with Staff Sgt. Dinkins reviewing the Marines’ 11 leadership principles and 14 leadership traits with the students.
Jacob Hawkins, a sophomore history and politics and government major who already has signed up for the commissioning program, was one of the students who participated in the physical challenge. “I want to be a Marine,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to be in some branch of the military. I heard about the Marine Corps, and like their emphasis on leadership. What they teach is good for the Marine Corps and for everyday life.”
Staff Sgt. Dinkins said he enjoys the job. “I’m looking for highly qualified individuals who will be the next generation to lead me. Marines help where they are called, whether to combat terrorism or to render humanitarian aid. We’re just doing our job.”