Marine Corps Pfc. Robert W. Gillespie, son of Donna and William Gillespie of Townsend, earned the title of United States Marine after graduating from recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C.

For 13 weeks, Gillespie stayed committed during some of the world's most demanding entry-level military training in order to be transformed from civilian to Marine instilled with pride, discipline and the core values of honor, courage and commitment. Training subjects included close-order drill, marksmanship with an M-16A4 rifle, physical fitness, martial arts, swimming, military history, customs and courtesies.

One week prior to graduation, Gillespie endured the Crucible, a 54-hour final test of recruits' minds and bodies. Upon completion, recruits are presented the Marine Corps emblem and called Marines for the first time.

Gillespie is a 2011 graduate of Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School of Haverhill.


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