Civilian Professionals Get Taste of Marine Corps Life
By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 18, 2005 The Joint Civilian Orientation Conference will eventually expose participants to all branches of the military, but the group's first day was a "Marine day."
Participants in the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference watch as Marines demonstrate the obstacle course at The Basic School, for new Marine officers, at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., Oct. 17. The conference takes civilian business professionals on a tour of military installations worldwide. Photo by Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The civilian business professionals and elected officials, who came from all over the country, spent most of Oct. 17 at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., and they got to take in several aspects of Marine training.
The group started out its visit with old-fashioned Marine Corps chow. Participants ate lunch with students in "The Basic School," the preparatory course for all Marine officers. They then went outside, where they watched a demonstration of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program.
After the demonstration, the group was bused to an obstacle course. They watched two Marines run the course and were given the chance to try it themselves. Despite one injury on the course, those who ran it said they had a good time.
"It was great fun, but it was a challenge," said Joel Cantor, president and chief executive officer of Gulf Atlantic Real Estate, in Tampa, Fla. Cantor, who impressed everyone with his fast time on the course, said he was motivated by the Marine lieutenant who was running alongside him.
The next stop for the group was the weapons range, where everyone was given the chance to fire a 9 mm pistol. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Stan Packard, executive officer of Weapons Training Battalion at Quantico, said he was happy to have the group and that he hopes they learned something from their time with the Marines.
"The Marine Corps is a fine organization," he said. "I think any opportunity we have to get our message out to the rest of the country is good."
After eating dinner with Marine Corps officers, the group boarded a plane for Germany, where participants will visit other military installations.
The Joint Civilian Orientation Conference is a weeklong program designed to familiarize civilian business professionals with the military. Participants tour military installations in several different countries.