Marine Corps Pfc. Joshua S. Durnell, son of Gail and Steven Durnell Marine Corps Pfc. Ashley J. Becerra, son of Ellen K. and Jose A. Becerra of Mariners Ridge Drive, recently completed basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego.
Durnell and Becerra successfully completed 12 weeks of training designed to challenge new Marine recruits both physically and mentally. Durnell, Becerra and fellow recruits began their training at 5am by running three miles and performing calisthenics. In addition to the physical conditioning program, Durnell and Becerra spent numerous hours in classroom and field assignments which included learning first aid, uniform regulations, combat water survival, marksmanship, hand-to-hand combat and assorted weapons training. They performed close order drill and operated as a small infantry unit during field training.
Durnell, Becerra and other recruits also received instruction on the Marine Corps' core values – honor, courage, and commitment, and what the words mean in guiding personal and professional conduct. Durnell, Becerra and fellow recruits ended the training phase with The Crucible, a 54-hour team effort, problem solving evolution which culminated with an emotional ceremony in which the recruits were presented the Marine Corps Emblem, and were addressed as "Marines" for the first time since boot camp began. Durnell is a 2000 graduate of Wayne High School and Becerra is a 99 graduate of Wayne High School.