Adams’ Jeff Hall gets Whipped into Shape at Parris Island

Noah Stockoski, Writer and Editor

Adams social studies teacher Jeff Hall had the opportunity of a lifetime that he could not pass up. From February 28 to March 3, Hall, along with fellow Adams teacher, Josh Beukema, received an all-access ticket to Parris Island, where they experienced what it is like to be a Marine recruit.

Hall and Beukema, along with dozens of other educators, flew down to Parris Island, South Carolina, where roughly 17,000 Marine recruits are trained each year. While there, they received a full tour of Marine boot camp, while also being treated as recruits for large portions of the trip.

Beukema, an active member of the National Guard, was quite comfortable with his surroundings at Parris Island. The experience was reminiscent of his days of training for the National Guard.

“It was a good opportunity to see the similarities and differences between both of the different types of training,” said Beukema, recalling his session of training for the National Guard. “They were very similar, but the Marines placed a lot more emphasis on drill and ceremony.”

Hall, Beukema, and the other educators in front of the doors to the main building at Parris Island. (Photo Credit: Jeff Hall)

The educators in attendance were expected to act like soldiers, standing in neat, uniform lines, commanding appropriately with phrases such as “aye, sir” and “aye, ma’am,” and making sure their bed was tidy after waking up in the mornings.

While Hall was at Parris Island, he and the other educators would perform a multitude of activities experienced by Marine recruits during basic training. Such activities included obstacle courses, swimming and floating in full gear, walking through a gas chamber, and scaling down the rappel tower.

Gas Chamber at Parris Island. (Photo Credit: Jeff Hall)

“[We] had a great experience getting to walk through the shoes of the recruits, from the famous yellow footsteps to getting screamed at by drill instructors,” said Hall. “The amount of respect and discipline it takes to become a Marine is intense.”

Along with partaking in various activities, Hall was able to experience Marine recruit graduation. The ceremony was conducted with detailed order, however, a touching moment took place when family members in attendance rushed to their Marine to greet them after having no contact with one another for over a dozen weeks.

It was incredible for Hall to experience firsthand the training required to fight for the strongest military in the world. Being at basic training allowed Hall to better understand and respect what it takes to be a Marine.