View Full Version : BU Marines see futures past school

09-30-05, 06:13 AM
BU Marines see futures past school
Sept. 30, 2005
by TIFFANIE BLACKMON,staff writer

The few, the proud, the Marines know the journey to becoming part of this elite military corps far exceeds the advertising hype of most of the commercials they advertise.

Trevor McReynolds is much like any other Baylor student, aside from being a Marine.

Originally from Port Neches, 20-year-old McReynolds came to Baylor to study real estate and entrepreneurship.

"When I was a kid, I'd watch Marine TV shows with my dad, and I just said 'I want to do that,'" McReynolds said. "I always knew I wanted to be a part of the military."

He described the process of becoming a Marine as an opportunity to reciprocate life privileges that one so often takes for granted.

"I look at all the wars that have happened -- World War I, World War II and the others -- and I see how much everyone's given for you to be able to go to Baylor, to have free speech and I just feel a need to want to give that back."

Travis Gryde, a 23-year-old from Castle Rock, Colo., will graduate from Baylor in December. Gryde, a chemistry major, wasn't ready to go to graduate school or work in a lab.

After meeting Capt. Justin Noble, Gryde knew what his life after December would be.

Gryde, too, would become a Marine.

When Noble talks about being a Marine, his voice as prideful as his presence, he emphasizes the ideal of "selfless service" and the bond between the people with which you serve.

"Being part of something bigger than yourself is what stands out in my mind about what I do," said Noble, a 29-year-old Dallas native who has been a Marine for six years.

Both McReynolds and Gryde completed the first phase of training as Marines at Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Va.

OCS is a two-part process, which begins with Platoon Leaders Class and concludes with the Basic School.

OCS training is a paid opportunity held between school sessions, in the summer. Training does not affect college life because Marines won't be called to active duty during the course of the school year.

For college underclassmen, PLC is a two-time six-week training session, and for upperclassmen and graduates, it a ten-week program.

According to McReynolds, the first six weeks are designed to educate and motivate trainees. It is also where they are most physically tested throughout both phases of training.

Despite the regimented schedule and the rigorous activity, Gryde and McReynolds agreed, neither was the hardest part of their time during PLC.

"It was the sleep deprivation," said McReynolds. "Technically, you had eight hours of your day allotted for sleep, but during that time you have to do laundry, you have to load your pack, study."

"The first couple of weeks, four hours is a good amount of sleep a night," Gryde said. "But you get used to it and, by the end, it doesn't bother you anymore."

Getting used to the routine was key for both Baylor students in getting through their time at OCS, but both acknowledged the camaraderie amid the platoon as their saving grace.

"Its just a matter of going day to day," Gryde said.

"About 40 percent don't make it," Noble said. "Daily, people get hurt, they quit, they want to go home."

McReynolds and Noble compared the feeling of being part of a team and existing inside a system to a brotherhood.

"When you come to OCS, you are put into a platoon of about 60 guys and you go through it together," McReynolds said. "One guy gets down and everyone picks him up."

Notwithstanding that brotherhood, OCS training is not just for the boys.

"There were quite a few girls (at OCS)," McReynolds said. "They did everything the guys were doing."

Laura Crowe, a female trainee from Texas Christian University, graduated second nationally of all female participants who completed the OCS.

Noble explained women do everything men are required to do as Marines and are held to the same standards as their male counterparts.

After completing OCS, which focuses on leadership and discipline, each person moves on to the Basic School which further reinforces learned experiences of OCS and implements those ideals into practical application.

A ranking as a second lieutenant rewards completion of the Basic School, TBS, which is the lowest officer rank in the corps. However, this appointment ranks the Marine above 60,000 others.

"Becoming a marine is the hardest thing you've ever done," Gryde said. "But, in the end, you've learned a lot about yourself and what you're made of."