At my son's graduation in San Diego, I learned that is the celebratory shout of the Marines. What else I learned--
Recruits never see their drill instructors eat, sleep, sneeze, blow their noses, or go to the bathroom. Yet these men are with them constantly, especially during the first phase. The drill instructors are like semi-gods. They are the most fit human beings on the planet. Many of them are very short. My son at 5' 10" towered over most of them, yet still felt small in comparison.
You send a kind of dorky, geeky, sometimes angry kid lacking in confidence off to MCRD at San Diego, and three months later you pick up a disciplined, well-spoken, confident young man who moves faster, stands taller, is more polite and obedient, and cares about his dress even when on leave. "A Marine doesn't wear pajama pants in public. A Marine only wears work out clothes when doing PT," he says. (PT is physical training) And he won't wear anything wrinkled, raggedy or the least bit dirty.
Three months ago he argued and balked whenever asked to do anything. Now he says, "Let's clean this house, Mom. It's heinous. I'll help." And he does. He used to have all kinds of reasons why he couldn't fulfill a reasonable request. Now he says, "Adapt and overcome," and finds a way.
This is why they say that parents call Marine drill instructors "miracle workers." I thought my kid was pretty great before boot camp. Now he's amazing. And that's why I say "OORAH!" Mothers of America, don't be afraid or upset when your son comes home one day and tells you he wants to be a Marine. Thank God he made that choice and support him all the way.
(By the proud parent of a United States Marine)