Recruits of Platoon 2077 (including my son) complete the 10 mile hike on their way to earn the coveted Eagle, Globe and Anchor.

It all started in July 2017 when the recruits Platoon 2077, Company G, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, arrived on the legendary yellow footprints at Marine Corps Recruit Parris Island, South Carolina. That Monday was the start of the recruits’ 12 weeks of rigorous Marine Corps training.

While aboard the depot, the recruits were taught various things including Marine Corps history, customs and courtesies, basic first aid, and war-fighting tactics. As the 12 weeks dwindled to an end, they were sent to conquer the Crucible.

The Crucible is a 54-hour culminating event of recruit training, where recruits use the knowledge they learned during recruit training to overcome different obstacles and combat-like scenarios. Upon completion, recruits march alongside their drill instructors to Peatross Parade Deck and the Emblem Ceremony begins.

This is the time where recruits have finally earned the title of United States Marine. Their drill instructors award them with what recruits come to recruit training for – the coveted eagle, globe and anchor emblem – which is the renowned symbol of the Marine Corps. The eagle, globe and anchor illustrates the Marines’ ability to fight in the air, on land, and in the sea.

This emblem was adopted by the Marine Corps in 1868 under the hand of the Marine Corps’ 7th Commandant, Brig. Gen. Jacob Zeilin. It is said to have been inspired by the Royal Marines’ emblem. On the emblem itself the eagle secures a banner in its beak that reads “Semper Fidelis,” the Latin phrase meaning “Always Faithful.”

Following the Emblem Ceremony, the new Marines are rewarded with a warm shower, which they haven’t had since the start of the Crucible, and a “Warrior’s Breakfast,” of steak, eggs, omelets, French toast and a variety of other breakfast foods. From here, the new Marines are bused back to the depot, where they will prepare for their graduation.