Photo Information

U.S. Marines and poolees with Recruiting Station Houston, conduct an annual pool function at Legacy Stadium, Katy, Texas on Saturday 24, 2018. Pool functions are held to prepare individuals for the physical and mental stress of Marine Corps recruit training. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Clarence A. Leake)

Photo by Sgt. Clarence Leake

Preparing for Greatness

5 Apr 2018 | Sgt. Clarence Leake 8th Marine Corps District

More than 700 poolees gathered to conduct an annual pool function hosted by Marine Corps Recruiting Station Houston at Legacy Stadium in Katy, Texas, on Saturday, March 24, 2018. The pool function is designed to prepare the poolees for the upcoming trial they will experience at Marine Corps Recruit Training.

On average, Recruiting Station Houston ships approximately 80 poolees a month to attend recruit training on the path to earn the title of United States Marine. Pool functions are performed by every recruiting station across the United States.

Houston used this pool function to hone their poolee’s minds and bodies for the challenges they will face in the future.

Drill instructors, who came from Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, provided more of the mental challenge for these events. The pool function included multiple events to tested the individuals strength, speed and stamina.

The function was a competition where the recruiting substations competed against each other to earn the title of Houston’s top station.

“It was a really great experience,” said Ana Navrijo, a poolee from Recruiting Substation Deer Park, Texas. “We even had drill instructors here, which gave us a little taste of what boot camp is going to be like.”

The Marine Corps and camaraderie go hand-in-hand. For some of these poolees, the function served as a place where a lifetime of brotherhood and sisterhood starts.

“This gave us the opportunity to build camaraderie and show the public, parents and friends why we are so proud to do what we have chosen to do,” said Ricardo Rivera, a poolee from Recruiting Substation Spring, Texas.

Each individual comes to these pool functions with different areas they seek to improve. For some, it was a time to hone their physical fitness and for others it might be a time to reflect on their mental stamina.

“For me, this event just reinforced having their families involved in their life and serves as a kind of a mental preparation for everything,” said Maj. Jacob Gray, the Commanding Officer of RS Houston.

At the end of the day, there can only be one winner. The winner of this year’s annual pool function was Recruiting Substation College Station.

The first, second and third place individuals from each event received an award for their outstanding performance. This event is one of the first steps into introducing the poolees to the camaraderie, esprit de corps and determination required of a United States Marine.