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Springfields Goldwire dons the DI hat
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A new recruit endures some structured chaos on the first night of his Marine Corps training. Drill instructors are held to a high standard because of their direct interaction with new recruits. - photo by Photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Christopher Griffin

PARRIS ISLAND, S.C.—The first five minutes of a recruit’s training in the U.S. Marine Corps can be described in three simple words: intense, rushed, and extreme. For recruits who struggle through 13 weeks of physical, mental and emotional chaos and turmoil, it’s the larger than life drill instructor who can take most of the credit. And for the son of a Springfield woman, it will soon become his daily responsibility.

Sgt. Ryan O. Goldwire, son of Janice Brown of Springfield, recently graduated from the 11 week Drill Instructor School here and earned the right to wear the drill instructor’s campaign cover. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, one of three male recruit training battalions at Parris Island.

The school, one of only two in the Marine Corps, provides elite, non commissioned officers with the skills required to produce trained Marines at the end of the 13-week basic training. The school involves more than 500 hours of academic studies and more than 300 hours of physical training and drill.

For students, like Goldwire, drill instructor school was no walk in the park. It required an 80 percent average to pass, had a high attrition rate, and required many off-duty hours to ensure retention of the subjects covered.

“The training was nothing like I’ve ever experienced,” said Goldwire, whose original job in the Marines was as a field wireman. “I must say it was the most trying time I’ve been through in my career and life. I had to give more of myself than I ever had before.”

Being a drill instructor is not all about intense motivation and extreme teaching methods. For drill instructors like Goldwire, it is about the future of the Marine Corps.

“I am here because I wanted to be an effective figure in some young man’s life,” said Goldwire, a 2006 Effingham County High School graduate. “I always remember my drill instructors because of the positive figure they served in my life and career, so I want to do that and be that for a recruit.”

Drill instructors are held to a higher standard than most Marines because of their direct involvement in training recruits. That is all just part of the job.

“I will be putting all of my energy into molding them the Marine Corps way,” said Goldwire, who has been a Marine for four years. “You have to pay attention to details because it’s the little things that get overlooked that could one day cost somebody their life.”

Following their graduation, the new drill instructors earn a little down time before they pick up their first platoon. It just might be the longest break between training cycles they get for the next few years.