Meet 18-year-old Maria Daume, Platoon 4001, Papa Company, 4th Recruit Training Battalion. Maria was born with her twin brother Nikolai in Russia in 1999, one of the longest lasting U.S. enemies. When Maria was born, her mother was in a Siberian prison. After two years, Maria’s mother died, and she was sent to an orphanage where she remained for two years. An American family decided to adopt Maria and brought her to their home in Long Island, New York at the age of four and she became a U.S. citizen.
That was just the beginning of her new life that led her to the U.S. Marine Corps.
At 12, she met a Marine recruiter at an event and became interested in the U.S. Marine Corps. Daume went on to become an infantry Marine herself, and graduated from recruit training on Jan. 13, 2016.
This is her experience at the Crucible during U.S. Marine Corps recruit training at Recruit Depot Parris Island. Daume was tried and tested during the three-month challenge, but she persevered.
The Crucible takes place in week 11 of training and tests the recruits on their physical, mental, and moral strength. Only those who pass the 54-hour intense training course will become Marines, according to Task & Purpose.
Check out the video below:
Like other recruits in the Crucible, Daume endured a 40-mile march and night infiltration courses on two rationed meals and about three hours of sleep each night. The purpose is to teach the recruits how to function with little sleep or food, a highly likely circumstance in combat.
Watch Daume as she made her way through the incredible training journey. The exhaustion was visible in her eyes, but so too was her perseverance. She slid through the wet mud on her stomach, scaled walls, carried her peers, but she never faltered.
She completed the body sparring event equipped with head guards, mouth guards, boxing gloves, and chest protectors where she faced off with her teammates in a boxing match. Every recruit at Parris Island who has earned a place in the Marine Corps has had to complete the Crucible, a practice since 1996.
Follow Maria to the end when she was sworn in as a U.S. Marine in a private sunrise ceremony with fellow platoon members, drill instructors and company leaders by their sides.
The journey ends at the Iwo Jima flag-raising statue at Peatross Parade Deck, where recruits are handed their Eagle, Globe, and Anchors for their accomplishment.