by SSgt Jodi Martinez

A Marine recruit winces in pain as a fellow recruit stands on her shoulders during the Crucible, Sept. 12, 2014, Parris Island, S.C. In the Crucible, the recruits face a 54-hour training exercise that validates the physical, mental, and moral training they have endured throughout recruit training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jodi Martinez/Released)

Photographer's Narrative


These female Marine recruits were on their second day of the Crucible, a multiple day event that is the last phase of their basic training. Once they complete it they earn the Marine Corps Eagle, Globe, and Anchor and the honor of being called Marines. In this particular moment, I noticed a recruit falling asleep while other recruits stepped on her shoulders to get to the top of an obstacle.  Excellence is always achieved when out of one's comfort zone, and these Marine recruits were proof of just that.