Day in dad’s boots: Children learn reconnaissance at ‘Do What Daddy Does’ event
CAMP SCHWAB - “Swift, silent and deadly” is the motto of 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion and its operators.
However, during the annual “Do What Daddy Does ” day April 11 on Camp Schwab, it was loud and lively as children experienced aspects of their fathers’ reconnaissance duties.
“This event is our form of ‘Take Your Child to Work Day,’” said Lauren D. Bell, the family readiness officer with the battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “For military children, we are able to bring them in and show them what dad does. The event promotes camaraderie in the battalion, which helps us become closer, strengthening the battalion-family bond.”
The turnout was exceptional, with approximately 70 children participating in the day’s activities, according to Bell.
As families arrived and checked in, each child received dog tags and mock orders ready to be executed, according to Bell.
During the event, children rode in a combat rubber raiding craft, participated in a modified combat fitness test, hung from parachute harnesses, and practiced using static diver propulsion devices . They also wore camouflage paint, interacted with static weapons and vehicle displays, and jumped in inflatable bounce houses.
“My favorite part was the boat rides,” said Enrique J. Martinez, a 12-year-old boy. “We kept wanting to go faster.”
It became evident that the children not only learned about reconnaissance, but also admired their parents.
“I want to grow up and be like my dad and become a Marine and do his job,” said Enrique, who also described his father as Superman.
Sweaty and exhausted, the Marines’ children left the event both entertained and motivated from their experience.
“The main thing was for the kids to have a good time with a taste of what it’s like to be a Marine,” said Master Sgt. Efrain Martinez, a reconnaissance man with the battalion and the father of Enrique. “We couldn't be happier when the children’s laughter filled the air.”
Reconnaissance Marines devote their time and effort to perfecting amphibious reconnaissance raid skills that support the Marine Air-Ground Task Force. Events like “Do What Daddy Does” help their loved ones understand not just what they do, but also why they do it.
“As much work that we put in the Corps, the same or more goes into our families,” said Martinez. “They are the reason why we are serving. My family and I look forward to this opportunity every year.”