Local Marine Corps recruits prepare for boot camp at Westover Air Reserve Base

Hampden County

CHICOPEE, Mass (WWLP) – More than 400 high school graduates from across New England are training at Westover Air Reserve Base this weekend, in the hopes they’ll one day join the marines.

Drill instructors commanded them to get off the bus as fast as possible and run to the Base’s Hangar.

“It’s definitely a shock if you are not used to being screamed at by anybody, said Dylan Paddleford of Webste, MA. “But during our PT’s we do together in Sturbrige, the sergeants and marines who help out, they do a great job at working with us and getting us motivated. If we aren’t loud enough, they’ll let us know.”

This two day event at Westover is designed to help better prepare recruits for bootcamp. It also simulates what life would like in the U.S. military.
Recruits have to sleep on cots here at the Hangar and eat these “ready to eat meals”.

“The object here is to expose them to what they are going to face at boot camp,” said Joel Callaway, Marine Corps Recruiter for Franklin and Hampshire Counties. “We are always trying to instill those marines corps values of honor, courage, and commitment and these workouts will really help them be mentally and physically prepared.

Those workouts include running, push ups, and pull ups. Marine recruits will also participate in team-building events like a relay race and tug of war.
Recruits we spoke with are confident they’ll be ready to move on to bootcamp by end of this weekend.

“I actually leave to boot camp in 17 days with a friend I met here so i’m excited, said Britany Larson of Charlon, Mass.

The training event will conclude Sunday afternoon.

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