SAN DIEGO, Calif.-- We've all been pushed to the limit, to the point when all we want to do is quit. But for Marine recruits, that breaking point can happen at any moment during the 13 grueling weeks of recruit training. And it all starts on day one.
It's just after dusk when a voice breaks the silence at Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego. Drill instructors yell at the new recruits as they file off the bus and onto the infamous yellow footprints. It's a tradition that's nearly a century old.
"We yell at them all day we scream at them so they can react better under pressure, and the reason we get them to yell back to us is so they have that voice and that command presence so the rest of the Marines can hear them," said Drill Instructor, Sgt. Leo Andavazo.
Like every Marine west of the Mississippi, Sgt. Leo Andavazo was received here. Now, he's the one doing the yelling.
"As far as being on the other side, when I first went to recruit training, it was a pretty rough experience. I thought it was the hardest thing I've done, as far as my life had gone. And becoming a drill instructor was just as hard, if not a little bit harder."
It's the very first step in becoming a United States Marine.
The recruits won't sleep tonight, they get one phone call and only one-hour in, they already have a new look as barbers cut their hair into a uniform look.
Tuesday, Nebraska educators experienced the yellow footprints.
"It was really incredible how confusing it was and yet really exciting, at the same time, and you didn't want to make a mistake you didn't want to disappoint anybody because you didn't say 'aye aye' say loud enough," said Lori Larson, a teacher from North Platte.
Larson knows how difficult it can be to motivate students. While she won't be yelling at them when she goes back to the classroom, this communications teacher hopes to equip them with tools to succeed.
"Some of the drill instructors have said make leaders of them and get them to do simple activities."
As educators move on, recruits will stay, the intensity won't stop and They will continue to be broken down, so they can be built back up.