MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
With feet and backs aching, Field Medical Training Battalion sailors hiked through rain, cold wind and mud to finish a culminating event, Oct. 8.
Corpsmen and religious program specialists hiked eight miles through inclement weather to accomplish their last requirement to graduate the Field Medical Service Technician course.
When they started, they were argumentative with each other because of the weather, said Petty Officer 3rd Class Paul Johnson, a student with the FMTB, but as they came to the end of the hike, they pulled together and helped motivate each other.
“It was not fun because of the rain, cold and mud,” said Johnson. “I just kept, going, kept walking, kept moving and pushed myself and my classmates to the end.”
After the hike, the sailors moved into formation and prepared for their shielding ceremony.
The shield they receive is worn on their left collar and symbolizes the individual wearing the shield has passed the course and is certified to serve with a Marine unit.
The ceremony is similar to when Marines receive their Eagle, Globe and Anchor while in boot camp.
“Today is a very proud day for the sailors,” Senior Chief Petty Officer Kinkela Kuedituka, the command senior chief petty officer for the FTMB. “Not only did they complete the eight-mile hike, but they also received their shield, which tells them they can now operate with any Marine Corps unit as far as being a corpsmen or religious program specialist.”
The students worked long and hard for the moment they received their shields.
“It’s a big accomplishment for me, because I didn’t start out in this job field, so to be accepted and then make it through the school just shows me I’m taking steps in the right direction,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class James Iverson, a student with the FMTB.
The students who finished the hike graduated Oct. 11.
After graduation the students will be assigned to various Marine Corps units.
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