< | > Drill Instructor Spotlight < | >Only about 600 Marine Corps drill instructors shape the approximately 20,000 recruits who come to Parris Island annually into basic United States Marines. This handful of dedicated DIs is entrusted with sustaining a more than 238-year legacy by transforming men and women into the next generation of Marines. This is one of those drill instructors. Name: Sgt. Lakisha HarrisNovember Company, 4th Recruit Training BattalionJoined Marine Corps in June 2003Became a DI in July 2013Military Occupational Specialty: Motorized transport specialist Hometown: Alliance, Ohio“I became a drill instructor because, for female Marines, the training has changed for the positive. The Marine Corps is transitioning to allowing females into more ground combat [military occupational specialties], and the training is more physical than when I went through. This is rewarding for me because I’m able to help condition the recruits mentally and physically for what they will face later in their careers.”(Photo by Cpl. Octavia Davis)

< | > Drill Instructor Spotlight < | >

Only about 600 Marine Corps drill instructors shape the approximately 20,000 recruits who come to Parris Island annually into basic United States Marines. This handful of dedicated DIs is entrusted with sustaining a more than 238-year legacy by transforming men and women into the next generation of Marines. This is one of those drill instructors. 

Name: Sgt. Lakisha Harris
November Company, 4th Recruit Training Battalion
Joined Marine Corps in June 2003
Became a DI in July 2013
Military Occupational Specialty: Motorized transport specialist 
Hometown: Alliance, Ohio

“I became a drill instructor because, for female Marines, the training has changed for the positive. The Marine Corps is transitioning to allowing females into more ground combat [military occupational specialties], and the training is more physical than when I went through. This is rewarding for me because I’m able to help condition the recruits mentally and physically for what they will face later in their careers.”

(Photo by Cpl. Octavia Davis)

Sgt. Donald White Jr., a drill instructor for Platoon 1033, Alpha Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, sings cadence as his recruits march during their introduction to close-order drill March 11, 2014, on Parris Island, S.C. White, a 26-year-old from El Cajon, Calif., and his fellow drill instructors will spend nearly three months teaching their recruits drill movements and how to move and work as a team. With time and practice, the recruits will transform from clusters of clumsy individuals to confident, harmonious platoons. Alpha Company is scheduled to graduate May 30, 2014. (Photo by Cpl. Octavia Davis)

Sgt. Donald White Jr., a drill instructor for Platoon 1033, Alpha Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, sings cadence as his recruits march during their introduction to close-order drill March 11, 2014, on Parris Island, S.C. White, a 26-year-old from El Cajon, Calif., and his fellow drill instructors will spend nearly three months teaching their recruits drill movements and how to move and work as a team. With time and practice, the recruits will transform from clusters of clumsy individuals to confident, harmonious platoons. Alpha Company is scheduled to graduate May 30, 2014. (Photo by Cpl. Octavia Davis)

Sgt. Francesco Franzese Jr., a drill instructor for Platoon 3037, Mike Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, encourages Rct. Charles Coffran, Platoon 3034, to overcome his physical exhaustion March 11, 2014, during a physical fitness session on Parris Island, S.C. Recruits performed various exercises meant to strengthen each of the main muscle groups. Beginning their second week on the island, recruits participate in more than 30 physical fitness sessions meant to help them meet the Marine Corps’ high fitness standards. Franzese, 24, is from Brodheadsville, Pa. Coffran, 20, from Raynham, Mass., is scheduled to graduate May 23, 2014. (photo by Cpl. Caitlin Brink)

Sgt. Francesco Franzese Jr., a drill instructor for Platoon 3037, Mike Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, encourages Rct. Charles Coffran, Platoon 3034, to overcome his physical exhaustion March 11, 2014, during a physical fitness session on Parris Island, S.C. Recruits performed various exercises meant to strengthen each of the main muscle groups. Beginning their second week on the island, recruits participate in more than 30 physical fitness sessions meant to help them meet the Marine Corps’ high fitness standards. Franzese, 24, is from Brodheadsville, Pa. Coffran, 20, from Raynham, Mass., is scheduled to graduate May 23, 2014. (photo by Cpl. Caitlin Brink)

Hallie Hilliard hugs her twin brother, Pfc. Joshua Hilliard, 21, after the conclusion of Golf Company’s graduation ceremony April 11, 2014, on Parris Island, S.C. Hilliard trained with Platoon 2028 and the siblings are from Lenoir, N.C. (Photo by Cpl. David Bessey)

Hallie Hilliard hugs her twin brother, Pfc. Joshua Hilliard, 21, after the conclusion of Golf Company’s graduation ceremony April 11, 2014, on Parris Island, S.C. Hilliard trained with Platoon 2028 and the siblings are from Lenoir, N.C. (Photo by Cpl. David Bessey)

Recruits of Golf Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, climb a rope March 8, 2014, after completing a conditioning march on Parris Island, S.C. Recruits marched approximately eight miles with 60-pound packs to condition their bodies and prepare not only for future deployments but also their last test before graduating – the Crucible. Golf Company is scheduled to graduate April 11, 2014. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Vaniah Temple.)

Recruits of Golf Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, climb a rope March 8, 2014, after completing a conditioning march on Parris Island, S.C. Recruits marched approximately eight miles with 60-pound packs to condition their bodies and prepare not only for future deployments but also their last test before graduating – the Crucible. Golf Company is scheduled to graduate April 11, 2014. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Vaniah Temple.)

New Marines of Platoon 1021, Charlie Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, embrace after their graduation ceremony April 4, 2014, on Parris Island, S.C. The new Marines trained at each other’s sides for three months to earn their places in the Corps. (Photo by Cpl. Octavia Davis)

New Marines of Platoon 1021, Charlie Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, embrace after their graduation ceremony April 4, 2014, on Parris Island, S.C. The new Marines trained at each other’s sides for three months to earn their places in the Corps. (Photo by Cpl. Octavia Davis)

Sgt. Michael Nygaard, a drill instructor for Platoon 3044, India Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, roams the barracks moments before waking his recruits for their first official training day March 25, 2014, at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C. Recruits spent the morning getting dressed, experiencing their first incentive training session,cleaning their barracks, and, finally, eating a nutritious breakfast. The formal 70-day training schedule begins about one week after recruits arrive. Nygaard, 29, is from Cape Coral, Fla. India Company is scheduled to graduate June 13, 2014. (Photo by Cpl. Caitlin Brink.)

Sgt. Michael Nygaard, a drill instructor for Platoon 3044, India Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, roams the barracks moments before waking his recruits for their first official training day March 25, 2014, at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C. Recruits spent the morning getting dressed, experiencing their first incentive training session,cleaning their barracks, and, finally, eating a nutritious breakfast. The formal 70-day training schedule begins about one week after recruits arrive. Nygaard, 29, is from Cape Coral, Fla. India Company is scheduled to graduate June 13, 2014. (Photo by Cpl. Caitlin Brink.)

Family members embrace their new Marine of Charlie Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, following the Family Day ceremony April 3, 2014, on Parris Island, S.C. The Marines spent nearly three months training to earn their places in the Corps. Charlie Company graduated April 4, 2014. (Photo by Cpl. Octavia Davis)

Family members embrace their new Marine of Charlie Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, following the Family Day ceremony April 3, 2014, on Parris Island, S.C. The Marines spent nearly three months training to earn their places in the Corps. Charlie Company graduated April 4, 2014. (Photo by Cpl. Octavia Davis)

Young men and women from across the country step through the doors of the receiving building Feb. 24, 2014, on Parris Island, S.C. For these young men and women, stepping through the building’s silver doors symbolizes the transition from civilians to Marine recruits and the beginning of their transformation into United States Marines. Both companies are scheduled to graduate May 23, 2014. (Photo by Cpl. Caitlin Brink)

Young men and women from across the country step through the doors of the receiving building Feb. 24, 2014, on Parris Island, S.C. For these young men and women, stepping through the building’s silver doors symbolizes the transition from civilians to Marine recruits and the beginning of their transformation into United States Marines. Both companies are scheduled to graduate May 23, 2014. (Photo by Cpl. Caitlin Brink)

Drill instructor Sgt. Mallory Ortiz reminds a new recruit of Mike Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, to respond when spoken to Feb. 24, 2014, on Parris Island, S.C. Recruits learn from the moment they step on the yellow footprints that they are expected to move with speed and intensity and to respond to all commands loudly and confidently. Ortiz, 24, is from Medford, Mass. Mike Company is scheduled to graduate May 23, 2014. (Photo by Cpl. Caitlin Brink)

Drill instructor Sgt. Mallory Ortiz reminds a new recruit of Mike Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, to respond when spoken to Feb. 24, 2014, on Parris Island, S.C. Recruits learn from the moment they step on the yellow footprints that they are expected to move with speed and intensity and to respond to all commands loudly and confidently. Ortiz, 24, is from Medford, Mass. Mike Company is scheduled to graduate May 23, 2014. (Photo by Cpl. Caitlin Brink)