Eagle, Globe, and Anchor



Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant Maria

Last updated April 1, 2006




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After my enlistment, I spent some time with my half brother's son, Jeremy. Partly due to influences by his friends and possibly even me, he ended up enlisting in the Marines while I was in college. A few years later, he met a Marine by the name of Maria that he eventually married. They had a son by the name of Tyler. Jeremy left the Marines while Maria decided it make it a career. They later divorced.

Maria wrote letters to my parents and me, always keeping in touch. She served as a recruiter, and then later was accepted for Drill Instructor School. She said it was tough but she enjoyed it. Maria is a Marine through and through. A few months ago, she was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant. Still, I never met her.

In early March 2006, I received a Parris Island post card from her mentioning that she would be coming to Baltimore soon. On March 29, I received an e-mail from my parents informing me that she was in Elkridge, my town. I called her and we made plans to finally meet the next day. It was obvious she had been working hard with her platoon since her voice was hoarse.

On March 20, I picked her up and took her to the Inner Harbor for dinner. It was obvious her whole life revolved around the Marines. Her parents in California and her ex-husband cared for her son who she only saw a few times each year.

With each platoon, she worked ridiculously long hours, typically over 100 hours each week. It sounded like the hardest parts of the job were going without sleep and food. When it was a duty night, she would get very little sleep herself since she had only the time that the recruits were asleep to get squared away. When it came time for the recruits to eat, the drill instructors had to keep watch over the flock and hence, had little time to eat themselves.

Maria loved yelling at recruits, teaching them, and seeing the change in them that took place over the 13 weeks of boot camp. She had completed training three platoons and it sounded like she was about halfway through her tour as a drill instructor. She enjoyed playing the part of the "heavy," the one who acts the role of the toughest disciplinarian. She said how she loved being the tough one who later, during the Crucible, would soften up a bit and talk to the recruits more like Marines. She had one of the toughest jobs imaginable, but she loved it.

After I dropped her off at her hotel, I left feeling a certain amount of pride in the fact that a relative was helping shape the future of the Corps.