As the band plays, they walk in perfect rhythm. With their heads held high, these young men and women can finally say they are United States Marines.
As their family and friends sit in the stands, they stare straight ahead. Their fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, boyfriends and girlfriends having been waiting for this day.
These young men and women look completely different from when they left their homes to train at Parris Island, South Carolina.
"As you can see, he looks better now than he probably ever has," said the father of a recent Marine graduate Logan Quaranto. "Afraid to mess with him now."
He said that's because a transformation took place and not just a physical one.
"There is no better feeling, " said Logan Quaranto, the recent Marine graduate.
In one year, there are approximately 40 graduations on Parris Island. About a total of 19,000 recruits are trained.
"A lot of hard training, a lot of good people around me," Quaranto said.
In order to graduate, Marines must past the crucible, a test that takes place over 54 hours with little sleep and food, and challenges them mentally and physically.
If you ask these new marines about it, they will tell you it was all worth it to stand here today.
"Oh, it takes your breath away," Quaranto added.
They have earned the title and I would say they've earned the respect and admiration as they prepare to serve our country.
READ MORE: The making of a Marine
READ MORE: The history of women in the Marines
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