Approximately 200 students graduated from the 2018 Summer Leadership and Character Development Academy offered by the Marine Corps Recruiting Command in Quantico, Virginia.
Students were selected by a board of Marines that looked for attendees with similar character traits as Marines to spend a week on the base. They conducted physical fitness sessions; toured the National Mall in Washington, D.C.; visited museums; and heard from guest speakers.
They learned Marine Corps martial arts techniques, and experienced Marine Barracks Washington’s Sunset Parade featuring the Silent Drill Platoon and “The Commandant’s Own,” the U.S. Marine Drum & Bugle Corps.
Exposed to the culture of the Marine Corps, attendees participated in leadership and character development classes oriented around Marine Corps leadership and ethics, based on knowledge passed down from one generation of military leaders to the next. They visited Officer Candidates School, where attendees maneuvered across an obstacle course and learned what it takes to become a Marine officer.
Inspired by the Marine Corps’ third promise of developing quality citizens, the program was designed to challenge and develop the nation’s top-performing high school students so they could return to their communities more confident, selfless and better equipped to improve the lives of those around them.
“Not everyone who wanted to be here got the chance,” said Maj. Gen. James Bierman, MCRC commanding general, during the graduation ceremony. “We had more than 800 applications, and we would have liked to take all of them. But there wasn’t enough capacity for everybody, so we had to make choices. All of you here today stood out among your peers. The reason why we picked all of you comes from the tangible and intangible; it was your potential that attracted us to you. All of you have the chance to go out and do something great in our society.”