Wisconsin educators experience a week in the Marine Corps

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. (WSAW) -- Life as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps is exactly what educators from across Wisconsin got to experience when they came to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. That is the place where new recruits are molded into Marines after a grueling 12-week boot camp.

The U.S. Marines Educators' Workshop takes teachers, coaches, guidance counselors and school leaders through an all encompassing look at Marine Corps boot camp to active duty and to retirement.

"This program has been happening in some form for the last at least 30 years. We do 12 workshops each year both on the west coast and east coast," explained Captain Nicholas Dominguez, Assistant Enlisted Operations Officer for the Western Recruiting Region for the U.S. Marines Corps.

Educators were assigned to a drill instructor for the week who leads them through some of the same training recruits have to go through. They learn about what the military has to offer a student and meet Marines in all stages of their career from a recruit to a 25-year veteran. They also witnessed graduation, met pilots and even got to shoot the same weapons used on the battlefield.

"We want to dispel any myths or rumors out there and primary educate the educators so that they can go back to their schools and give well informed guidance to their students who may be thinking about the Marine Corps," said Dominguez.

It's an experience that gives educators right here in Wausau perspective when talking to students about joining the military. "So when we are working with students we can guide them into a branch of service that they would be successful in," said Andy Grimm, Coordinator of Counseling Services for the Wausau School District.

For the Marines it's a chance to show educators what they really do. "Whether it be Hollywood or movies or the news there could be different perceptions out there about who we are and what we do and so we want to give the ground truth and transparent view and make sure we are understand," said Dominguez.

It's a week these educators will never forget.