From One Coast to Another

8 Mar 2022 | Lance Cpl. Dakota Dodd Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island

U.S. Marine Corps Pvt. Rosie Gutierrez stepped onto the iconic yellow footprints of Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California in the early morning of February 11, 2021. What would ensue from this point forward would be the most strenuous and demanding journey of her life, the 13 week long journey to earning the title of United States Marine.

As the morning progressed, Gutierrez would conquer initial administrative processing, initial gear issue and platoon assignments. For many this process was completely normal, however for Gutierrez and the fellow recruits she stood with on the yellow footprints, this process represented history in the making. Gutierrez and her peers, assigned to Lima Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion were the first female recruits to ever face recruit training aboard MCRD San Diego.

As the journey of recruit training began, Guitierez hit the ground running, pushing herself harder and further than she ever had before. Over the course of 13 training days, Guitierrez completed MCMAP courses, physical training events, the Confidence Course and many other events of the recruit training spectrum.

As Training Day 14 began, Guitierrez left her squad bay early that morning to set out with her platoon for combat conditioning. As the day went on, Guitierrez received a life changing injury.

“I remember hearing a loud pop,” said Guitierrrez. “ I fell to the ground and just felt a sharp pain in my leg.”
Guitierrez had torn her ACL.

“I was scared,” said Guitierrez. “I had no clue what was going on, I just remember losing all hope thinking I may never earn the title [United States Marine].”

As the next few weeks crawled by, Guitierrez was removed from her platoon and was placed in holding while depot personnel developed a course of action.

“The three weeks I spent in the hotel on MCRD San Diego felt like an eternity,” said Guitierrez.

Eventually the order came down, Guitierrez was to be transferred to MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina, where she would be placed in a recovery platoon before ultimately returning to recruit training.

“I was thankful that I was given another opportunity,” said Gutierrez. “My hope had been restored and that I might finally be able to earn the title.”

Guitierrez spent the next 10 months in a recovery platoon aboard MCRD Parris Island. She was closely monitored by her doctor and would spend most of her time in rehabilitation classes.

“Constantly seeing other recruits get picked up into their training platoons motivated me,” said Guitierrez. “I knew that I could recover from this and still earn my title.”

After her time in the recovery platoon, Guitierrez was picked up into Platoon 4009, Papa Company, 4th Recruit Training Battalion, where she continued her recruit training journey.

As the training days went by, Guitierrez completed many more aspects of recruit training, including body sparring and pugil sticks, hikes,, and even the combat fitness test (earning a score of 292 out of 300 possible points).

“In total I’ve spent about 13 months in the recruit training process,” said Guitierrez. “But I feel that I’m more than ready to finish this journey and serve as a United States Marine.”

From one coast to another, Guitierrez earned her title February 12, 2022. Gutierrez graduated from MCRD Parris Island on February 25, 2022 and is continuing her Marine Corps journey.

Now Guitierrez represents what all recruits hear when they first meet their drill instructors on Forming Day 1: “A Marine never quits or gives up.”

Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island