In just a few short months, most graduating high school students will be heading off to college and some will be joining our nation's armed forces as new recruits.
Last week, educator's from Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska got an up close look at Marine boot camp. NewsChannel 5 was also there in San Diego last week with the teachers, Marines and new recruits.
After a week getting to see what goes on first hand, these teachers can now give their students first hand knowledge when they ask them about joining the Marines.
Right from their first steps off the bus at the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot in San Diego, this group of educator's got to see what it's like to be a new recruit in the Marines.
"All's I could do is try to relate that to those kids getting off that bus and over the years, I've sent a lot of kids to the military," said Jeff Rieckman, Principal from Moorcroft High School.
As recruits step off the bus and onto one of the hundreds of yellow footprints, they begin a three month journey where they'll be transformed into a Marine.
"You're walking in their footsteps now and seeing what they had to go through and we were in a controlled environment and they're not," Rieckman said.
For any teachers that were expecting a campus tour and a nice week off from work, they got more than they expected.
"It's more in-depth. I think I have a greater understanding of the start from the recruiting aspect all the way to the first phase and the second phase, third phase," said Dusty Petz, Counselor at Moorcroft High School.
The week was filled with demonstrations and briefings, but educator's were also able to put on the uniform and get into the trenches themselves.
"We were all treated like the first day recruits and then what we had to go through being yelled at and things like that," Petz said.
These educator's all know kids that they've sent off to the military. They got to see the transformation come full-circle during a "Warrior's Breakfast" with recruits that had just earned the title of "Marine" a few hours earlier.
"The raw emotions that some of those kids displayed. Just the hard work that they've put into this daunting task," Petz said.
Now when these teachers return to their classrooms and offices they know what the Marines are looking for to be the next generation of leaders for this country.
"You can go back and tell them a little bit more about what they're going to go through and what they're going to see and in the end it's all going to be okay," Rieckman said.
The rest of the week we'll be featuring new stories each night of our behind the scenes experience with the Marines in southern California.