On Tuesday, 20 September 2022, 15 Piedmont and Porter Ridge AFJROTC cadets, along with cadets from Forest Hills High School, stepped off a bus into the sweltering heat and humidity of Parris Island, SC. They had arrived at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot for a three day field trip they won't soon forget.
It started with an 0430 wakeup and in-bay physical training session led by a screaming Drill Instructor (DI) that left several cadets wondering what they had gotten themselves into. Over the course of three long days, the cadets were introduced to in-processing where they, like thousands of recruits before them, got to make a call home and read a posted script while their DI "encouraged" them to make it quick. It was quite a blur after that, as the cadets got to visit Marine memorials, an introduction to Marine Corps drill, weapons training, water survival, gas chamber and got to attempt portions of the Obstacle Course.
The Obstacle Course was for many the best part, as they got to challenge themselves and push past their own mental limits. At conclusion, it was perhaps the most grueling, challenging, yet fun trip any of the cadets had previously been on. With the constant yelling and forced physical training, one would think they might never want to return, yet upon arrival back to Piedmont High School several students voiced their desire to enlist in the Marines after graduation.
One cadet, Gabriel Curd said, "I want something that will challenge me so I might as well take on the biggest challenge, to be a United States Marine." The AFJROTC program at Piedmont (which includes PRHS students) goes on many unique field trips like this every semester. Interested students should contact Guidance about joining the program!
Written by Major Chadrick Richardson, AFJROTC Instructor