Smith among elite group of Marines

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File photo of Will Smith (Quick News)

New Haven, Mo – New Haven Graduate William Smith was among 600 poolees (new recruites) who attended the Marine “Mini Boot Camp” at Jefferson Barracks last week.  Smith said, “The four day camp was essentially a mock boot camp to prepare the poolees mentally for actual boot camp.”

Smith’s goal when entering the Marines was to be a Force Reconnaissance Marine.  Smith said, “ I was told Force Recon was extremely hard to come by and if there was going to be one in this region of the country, there would only be one.”

Smith said, “After the first 48 hours we were told there was one $4,000 Force Recon Contract for the poolee who scored a perfect IST score.” (Physical fitness test.)

On the last day of camp, all that stood in Smith’s way from earning a Force Recon position were 600 other poolees and a 1.5-mile run.  Everything Smith had worked for paid off, proving anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

Smith’s accomplishment is comparable to winning a gold medal in the Olympics.  There were only 600 Marines out of the entire Corps, including those who have served for years, were selected to attend Force Reconnaissance Training.

During our conversation with Smith we asked him the following questions:

Q. What made you want to aspire to be in the Marine Force Recon?

Smith:  “I aspire to be a part of the most elite community of individuals that I can possibly be apart of.”

Q.  Is there anyone you can contribute to your achievement other than your own desire?

Smith:  “I would have never been able to reach the level of excellence I have attained if it weren’t for various teachers at New Haven High School. (NHHS) During my time at NHHS is when my interest of joining the Corps came about in my life.  A few of the teachers and high school administrators did far more for me than I could have ever hoped to do for myself alone.  I have them to thank for the education they provided me…without that I would not be where I am at today.”

Smith said, “ There are two individuals, Tim Strobel and John Tucker, who I can never thank enough for giving their own time and guidance needed to be who I am today.  If not for them, I may not have had the opportunity to accomplish what I did at Mini Boot Camp.”

Smith ran nine miles from his house to school the following Monday.

The video below was taken during the Mini Boot Camp at Jefferson Barracks.