Thursday, April 17, 2014

Boot camp graduation

Platoon honormen prepare to retire their platoons' guidons, or flags, as part of the graduation ceremony.

The day marked the conclusion of 12 of the toughest weeks of any Marine's life: It was boot camp graduation. For Pfc. Robert Ranzenberger and the other members of the 2nd Marine Recruit Battalion, Hotel Co., Platoon 2173, it was the day to tell their families, friends and the world that they were Marines. They would always be Marines.

Members of Hotel Co. Platoon 2173 stand at attention at the start of the ceremony.
 Pfc. Robert Ranzenberger is at the back of the row on the right.
He was all smiles the day before graduation from boot camp, the toughest 12 weeks of his life.
Members of Marine Corps Band San Diego were a major part of the event. The band is under the leadership of Band Officer Chief Warrant Officer Stephanie Wire and Bandmaster Master Sgt. Raoul Caldera, led on the march by Staff Sgt. Jared Riggs, the drum major, and was under the direction of Gunnery Sgt. Gary Robinson.

Cpl. Bella, the unit mascot, was in attendance, along with her handler, Lance Cpl. Tyler M. Viglione.
Platoon 2173 Honorman Pfc. G.T. Mugica of Anaheim, Calif., carried the guidon.

The Marines pass in review, displaying discipline, self-reliance, military bearing, espirit de corps, devotion, enthusiasm,  pride, initiative, teamwork, aggressiveness, determination, moral courage, integrity, camaraderie, and the burning desire to work with and for others towards excellence in common goals.

The Southern California sun warmed the celebrations at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.

Newly minted Marines stand at parade rest.

Six platoons of Marines - a total of 321 graduates - produced serious pride among the family and friends watching in the bleachers overlooking the parade deck.

The Marines were resplendent in white dress barracks covers with gold Eagle, Globe and Anchor devices affixed.
And as the band played, the celebrations began.

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