SAN DIEGO - About 21,000 men pass through the gates of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot next to Lindbergh Field each year. If they make it to the 56th day of training, they will have the opportunity to meet those who have lived the history of the Marine Corps.
"Born in battle… that's us, right?" former 1st Sgt. Bill Westmoreland asked a group of Marine recruits.
"Yes sir," was the loud response.
Marine recruits tour the command museum on the base led by docents like Westmoreland.
"I went in the Marines in 1953 and left 20 years later," he said.
From a statue of the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima to pictures of Chesty Puller, the most-decorated Marine in history, recruits hear firsthand what being a Marine is all about.
"I was like, 'Wow, this motivates me. There's so much that the Marine Corps has done,'" said Edward McPhearson, who is one of the recruits going through training.
The tour serves as part history lesson and part motivation to hopefully get the recruits through the rest of basic training.
"If they can get through recruit training, then they will have earned entry into the brotherhood they are hearing about," said Staff Sgt. Andrew Curtis, a senior drill instructor.
The museum is not just for recruits. Families of graduates usually tour the facility, but it is also open to the public. Admission is free.
Learn more about the museum by clicking here.