CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Marines with 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, demonstrated their small boat amphibious capabilities to the Devil Pups aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, July 12, 2015.
The demonstration was held at the Del Mar boat basin along with a question and answer session to give the Devil Pups an in-depth look at the recon community.
The Devil Pups are high school students who range from 14 to 17 years of age from states around the West coast who are eager for a challenge and inspiration.
“Primarily what’s going on today is [the Devil Pups] are doing a physical training event and Marines from the 1st Recon. Bn. are showing them our amphibious capabilities and answering questions,” said Captain Steven Uziel, the assistant operations officer assigned to 1st Recon. Bn.
Having the ability to speak with the recon Marines gave the Devil Pups a chance to see a unique side of the Marine Corps.
“The Marines from 1st Recon did a great job with showing the Devil Pups the standard nomenclature of the rubber boats with a spirited demonstration, and the kids got the chance to ask all sorts of questions,” said Col. Trace Deneke, the Devil Pups commanding officer.
The Devil Pups used this opportunity to learn as much as they could from the Marines.
“Obviously they’re highly interested with recon as most young people are,” added Deneke.
When the Devil Pups weren’t asking questions, they endured a demanding physical training session. After running, bear crawling and low crawling, the participants pulled their fellow Devil Pups through water while being sprayed with a hose.
“They went through what we call a mud run,” Deneke said. “It’s broke up into components that promotes [high-intensity] training.”
The Devil Pups are put through a rigorous PT regiment from day one to the end of the cycle.
Deneke added, “It’s a lot of fun and competitive in the platoons itself, but it’s even more competitive for the individual to finish, which they all did. They do a really good job with PT.”
“They have so much self-confidence,” Deneke said. “No matter how well they performed academically or in sports, this is unknown to them.”
The Devil Pups are led by Marine Corps non-commissioned officers.
“The NCOs are, for the lack of a better term, ‘god-like’ to these kids,” Deneke explained. “They want to be what those people are now. They just see this amazing strength; they understand what it means to be a NCO from a civilian perspective, that getting a ‘blood stripe’ is a big deal.”