CLEVELAND -- Nearly 50 poolees from the greater Cleveland area took the oath of enlistment at Marine Night before the Cleveland Indians took on the Pittsburgh Pirates at Progressive Field June 15, during Marine Week Cleveland, which ends June 17.
The first event of the night was Brig. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, Marine Corps Recruiting Command commanding general, swearing in the soon-to-be Marine recruits. Then the Marine Corps Base Quantico Band performed, the Holy Angels Church Choir sang the National Anthem and Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Micheal P. Barrett threw the first pitch of the game.
Though the poolees were excited to swear their oath on Progressive Field, many said they were more excited to see Barrett, Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen, James F. Amos and the rest of the Marines who invaded Cleveland for Marine Week.
Meeting the commandant was inspiring, said Kevin D. Love, a poolee out of Recruiting Sub-Station Maple Heights.
“When I shook his hand, it was such an honor to keep doing what I am doing and push myself to be the best,” said Love who is slated to leave for recruit training in December.
Love has big plans for his Marine Corps career.
“I’ve been interested since I was a freshman,” said Love. “I want to serve the best I can and possibly become an officer someday. The leadership and brotherhood is something strong in the Marine Corps. I have a passion for what the Marine Corps does.”
Love said he has high hopes for recruit training. He is working towards enhancing his leadership skills to stand out and be recognized.
Throughout Marine Week, Love showed that willingness to stand out from his peers and lead the way by volunteering at the pull up bar challenge in Public Square for far longer than others. He was at the square from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
“I’ve known Love a long time,” said Sgt. Calvin Hudson, a Maple Heights recruiter, originally from Birmingham, Ala. “He’s really family-oriented and dedicated to his Marine Corps training. He works hard to be a good leader.”
Jonathan D. M. Robinson, also a poolee out of RSS Maple Heights, joined the poolee program for the pride of being “once a Marine, always a Marine.”
“I want to gain insight to know who I am and who I want to be,” said Robinson, who is slated to leave for recruit training in November. “Marines are the first in and the last out. I want to better myself and do things to help others.”
“Robinson is dedicated to the Marine Corps,” said Hudson, his recruiter. “He does what he is asked and works out a lot to stay in shape. He’s a good kid. He’s very responsible.”
Swearing in on the field was a motivating experience for both poolees.
“I’m pretty excited,” said Robinson, grinning ear-to-ear.
Robinson described the ceremony as an opportunity to inspire others to do something good, and a chance to show their pride.
“Knowing you’re doing such a great thing to represent and protect is amazing,” said Love.
Swearing in at their hometown major league baseball stadium is a great occasion not just for these poolees but also their community, said Osterman.
“It’s a great opportunity to let people see some of the best young men and women in a big, public forum,” said Osterman. “It sets the standard and shows Cleveland what a great quality of Marines we have.”
“Marine Week has been fantastic,” said Osterman. “The city has opened with welcome arms. Cleveland continues to show patriotism and love for Marines.”