Submitted by: MCRD San Diego
Story Identification Number: 2003519182537
Story by Lance Cpl. Edward R. Guevara Jr.

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif.(May 16, 2003) -- Marines just out of recruit training, have 10 days of leave granted to them and it's a long-awaited opportunity to go home.

While the new Marine is home they can already start working toward their next promotion.

One of the options offered to new Marines is recruiter's assistance.

For new Marines that means more time with family before going to the School of Infantry, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

"They go to their RSS (Recruiting Substation) and help the recruiting effort," said Staff Sgt. Jennifer L. Hendrix, operations, Recruiting Station San Diego.

"They go to their school as a finished product who was a senior last year and is now a Marine to show his friends and community," he added.

Getting to go to your old school and to go home is a positive incentive to some Marines.

The first benefit that immediately came to mind was the extended time in his hometown area and seeing his family, according to PFC Oscar E. Gonzalezmillan, recruiter's assistant, RSS Chula Vista, Calif., who is fresh out of recruit training.

Gonzalezmillan is trying to get his friends to join before he has to report to the School of Infantry, Camp Pendleton, Calif., May 20.

After completion of recruit training the new Marine is on his way to developing his skills and leadership.

This option is also available to Marines in the Operating Forces who are trying to add points toward promotion.

"They get to go home and see family when their unit has down time," said Gunnery Sgt. Andre M. Chavez, recruiter, RSS East Salt Lake City, Utah.

Marines such as Lance Cpl. Roberto Ruiz Jr., supply, 3rd Force Service Support Group, 3rd Materiel Readiness Battalion, Materiel Readiness Company, Okinawa, Japan, who is on permissive temporary assigned duty with Permanent Contact Station Lemon Grove, Calif., as a recruiter's assistant. He is trying to earn points toward his promotion to corporal.

"Any Marine in the fleet wanting to come on RA can get bonus points for promotion," said Hendrix. "They get 20 points per person."

With rank comes more responsibility and more money. Private, private first class and lance corporal are earned with time and being a basic Marine.

"A private on boot leave needs one enlistment to get promoted and anyone on PRASP needs two to get promoted," said Hendrix.

Recruiters use their assistants to help with poolees, individuals who have signed their contracts and waiting to go to training, and do other tasks, according to Chavez.

RA's schedule physical training events and help poolees with PT, according to Gonzalezmillan. They are also able to share their experiences in recruit training with poolees and potential Marines.

"He knows first hand what boot camp is like," said Staff Sgt. Adan Marin, recruiter, RSS Chula Vista. It gives them an idea of what challenges they may face.

According to Staff Sgt. Stacey L. Henderson, RSS Chula Vista, Calif., the recruiters try to take RA's to the high school that they graduated from because of its relevance to the students currently getting ready to graduate.

Recruit training concentrates on physical fitness on a different level than that of a high school gym class, which Ruiz uses to help poolees gain better physical fitness.

After PT in the mornings, Ruiz makes telephone calls to poolees and students from his high school and local area.

Some Marines don't have the opportunity to go on RA right out of recruit training.

The Marines allowed to go on the Permissive Recruiter's Assistance Program right out of recruit training before going to SOI is determined by Manpower Management Enlisted Assignments, Headquarters Marine Corps, according to Master Sgt. Napoleon Crawford, chief, quality and control division, Western Recruiting Region.

"It is based on when their school seat is available," said Crawford.

If the Marine is scheduled for a school seat in more than a few weeks then they are allowed to go PRASP, but if it is within a few weeks then they are not allowed, according to Crawford.

As recruits, they are given a brief on PRASP before graduating.

They told are informed how it will work as far as not having free chow and that without a car it might be difficult, according to Gonzalezmillan.

"It doesn't matter to me though, I'm just glad I got to do this," said Gonzalezmillan.

A Marine already out of SOI or in the Operating Forces needs his command's approval to go PTAD as a recruiter's assistant.

Marines trying to PRASP need to contact their recruiter for more information and Marines desiring to go PTAD need to go through their chain-of-command. Reservists need to go through their chain-of-command to submit a package to their desired RSS's chain-of-command.

The Drifter