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December 17, 2010

Criminal Justice, Motivation and Lee Ermey

Lee Ermey with CLS recruiter Kelly Collyar

Lee Ermey with CLS recruiter Kelly Collyar during criminal justice conferenceYou may not recognize his name – Lee Ermey – but who can forget that face. As Sgt. Hartman, the brutal Marine Corps drill sergeant from Full Metal Jackethe terrorized basic training recruits in the classic 1987 Stanley Kubrick film that starred Matthew Modine and Vincent D’Onofrio. Then, he sent them off to the jungle. Mr. Ermey may have depicted the dehumanizing basic training of Marine Corps recruits during the Vietnam War but of course, in real life he is a cool guy.

Why, you ask, am I having my photo taken with Mr. Ermey? I was in Orlando at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference a few weeks ago and he was one of the guest speakers at the president’s reception. Certainly I am not even remotely associated with law enforcement. I was there representing the College of Liberal Studies and our bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

CLS is partnered with the FBI National Academy Associates which is a three-month training program for elite law enforcement officers at the FBI Training Academy in Quantico, Virginia. That speaks volumes to the quality of our degree and the national reputation we have in the higher education and law enforcement worlds Quantico also happens to be a major base for the Corps where officers are trained and it is home to the Combat Development Command. The FBI Training Academy also is there.

Drill sergeants motivate their recruits by many means. Sgt. Hartman, of course, crossed the line into scary territory. But the idea is to force change. Professors motivate their students too. Not in the same way as a yell-in-your-face drill sergeant but sometimes we all need a good push. Hang in there. It’s Thanksgiving. The end of the semester is right around the corner.

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