U.S. Marines – United States Marine Corps

Pugil Bout before Crucible

pugilMarines are trained to be ready for any situation. Part of being ready is having a back-up plan, as a bayonet attached to a rifle in case of weapons malfunctions or no ammunition.Recruits of Kilo Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion learned confidence and combat readiness during Pugil Sticks III at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Aug. 26.

Prior to the Pugil Sticks event, recruits were briefed about and then ran through the Bayonet Assault Couse. The course was comprised of different obstacles ranging from shallow trenches to crawling under barbed wire.

“The recruits run through the Bayonet Assault Course because it gives them that combat mindset, and it makes them apply everything that they have learned under a more stressful situation,” said Sgt. Christopher S. Merrill, drill instructor, Platoon 3223.
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Pugil sticks teach close quarters combat

Recruit Michael J. LaCount, Platoon 2103, Company E., 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, uses the wall as leverage to get the upper hand on recruit Gregory Sargent, Platoon 2103, Co. E, 2nd Recruit Training Bn., during their pugil sticks match here

The sound of a whistle blow brings two Marine recruits charging into the middle of a dirt ring in one of the training areas of Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. Other than the grunts and groans from the fighters, drill instructors can be heard yelling at the recruits to hit here, or slash there. The two men continue raining blows on each other waiting to hear the merciful whistle blow once again. The signal that their match is over.
The recruits of Company E performed their final pugil sticks training, Sept. 25, to hone their skills with bayonets before leaving the depot to conduct the crucible.

“Pugil sticks are a part of bayonet training,” said Sgt. Rudy Moctezuma, Marine Corps Martial Arts Instructor Trainer, Instructional Training Company, Recruit Training Regiment. “The sticks are marked to tell the difference between where the bayonet of the rifle would be, which is the red end. The butt of the rifle is the black end.”

The pugil sticks are padded on both ends, and have hockey gloves attached to the stick to protect the recruits’ hands, said Moctezuma. (continue reading…)

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Assault Course

Recruit Scott Herma, Platoon 3247, trudges through one of the tunnels of Janson’s Thrust, a bayonet assault course where recruits don real bayonets and use teamwork as they seek and destroy simulated tire-enemies

From learning discipline through practicing drill to learning to focus in chaos at the rifle range, Marine recruits are constantly saturated with information and skills to help them become well-rounded warriors who can maintain the standards set by Marines from the past and present.
As training progresses, recruits are required to learn and exhibit more lessons and skills they acquired through 12 weeks of training and apply them to their final test, the Crucible.

The Marines of Company L, who have overcome every challenge Marine Corps recruit training has presented thus far, can attest to the Corps’ progressive nature of training.

The Crucible is a 54-hour training event held at Edson Range, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., which requires Marine recruits to overcome mentally and physically-demanding obstacles as a team. They undergo a simulated combat stress which consists of food and sleep deprivation before, claiming the title, Marine.

“From time to time, infantry will advance farther than the supply lines have,” said Sgt. Trent R. Topolski, drill instructor, Platoon 3248. “Marines won’t always have everything they might expect and need to be able to ration their gear and adapt to overcome those kinds of situations.” (continue reading…)

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Recruits Learn Hand to Hand Combat with Pugil Sticks

Pvt. Joshua Dover, Platoon 1099, Company B, prepares for an  upcoming bout, in which recruits wear football helmets and other  protection.

Pvt. Joshua Dover, Platoon 1099, Company B, prepares for an upcoming bout, in which recruits wear football helmets and other protection.

With a helmet, some pads and a cushioned stick, recruits from B Company battled one another as they honed their skills to be named the victors of pugil sticks.

Every Marine in boot camp undergoes this exercise. During this event, which simulates fighting with an M-16A2 service rifle with fixed bayonets, recruits were shown proper techniques and execution with the weapon.

Though this combat simulation is a part of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, it serves a different purpose.

?It is a designed inoculation of violence,? said Sgt. Sergio Esquivel, martial arts instructor. ?A lot of recruits have never been put in a situation where people try to attack them. This introduces them to a different spectrum of violence.?

Two  Company B recruits stare each other down before a pugil stick bout

Two Company B recruits stare each other down before a pugil stick bout

Before the fight began, recruits were given safety gear to avoid injury. Their safety gear included a helmet with full face mask, groin protection and flak jacket with a neck roll. The stick they used was also padded around their hands to circumvent broken phalanges.

To ensure the recruits executed moves properly, a Martial Arts Instructor was present.

For the recruits to pass this intense training, they must demonstrate proficient skill in three stages, which takes place over the last three weeks of first phase.

During the first stage, B Company, drill instructors and Instructional Training Company instructors demonstrated fighting techniques and then had recruits practice it on a flat dirt surface near the depot?s war-fighting infiltration course, which is included in bayonet training. In the course, recruits low-crawl under barbed wire and through tunnels, jump walls and cross ropes in firing teams of four.

A  Company B recruit scores a finishing blow during a Thunder Dome pugil  stick match.

A Company B recruit scores a finishing blow during a Thunder Dome pugil stick match.

Once recruits showed instructors they knew what they were doing, they were given their first opportunity to fight.

?I liked it,? said Recruit Jeremy Jones, E Company. ?The feel of fighting and having the other recruits screaming for you. Even if you are scared, the recruits around you make you want to win.?

The thought of defeating another recruit from a different platoon in a pugil stick bout intensified the combat, especially when the drill instructors watched and encouraged the fierce battles, according to Jones.

After the first fight, a third man was thrown into the mix. Between the three recruits, each took a turn defending against two recruits and then teaming up to attack one recruit.

Staff Sgt. Michael Bass, drill instructor, Company B, encourages  his recruits to give full effort in the Thunder Dome.

Staff Sgt. Michael Bass, drill instructor, Company B, encourages his recruits to give full effort in the Thunder Dome.

The final stage of combat is fought in the Thunder Dome. Already fatigued from completing an infiltration course, recruits geared up and screamed down a path leading into a padded room. In this dome, recruits fought the final bout with drill instructors and company staff motivating them.

The purpose of this training went beyond bragging rights and platoon rivalry.

?It trains Marines to function when faced with stress and violence,? according to pugil Sticks training guide, MA?1.05. ?It prepares Marines to deliver a blow and take a blow.?

Loud cheers and hard blows kept recruits fighting in the ring. Now experienced with their simulated rifle and bayonet, recruits are able to fight their enemies at a close range.

Drill instructor Staff Sgt. Elijah Buchanan lends some pre-bout  motivation to Pvt. Tamir Zera, Platoon 1095, Company B, before his pugil  stick match.

Drill instructor Staff Sgt. Elijah Buchanan lends some pre-bout motivation to Pvt. Tamir Zera, Platoon 1095, Company B, before his pugil stick match.

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Company B recruits viciously tussle in the Thunder Dome, an  enclosed area in which recruits practice close bayonet techniques.

Company B recruits viciously tussle in the Thunder Dome, an enclosed area in which recruits practice close bayonet techniques.
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Marine Corp Martial Arts Program

Staff Sgt. Benjamin Hester supervises Pfc. Doug R. McLarty (left)  and Pvt. Matthew T. Owen, Platoon 3117, Company K, while they perform  wrist-locks to counter choke holds. Photo by: Lance Cpl. Dorian Gardner	 Staff Sgt. Benjamin Hester supervises Pfc. Doug R. McLarty (left) and  Pvt. Matthew T. Owen, Platoon 3117, Company K, while they perform  wrist-locks to counter choke holds.

Staff Sgt. Benjamin Hester supervises Pfc. Doug R. McLarty (left) and Pvt. Matthew T. Owen, Platoon 3117, Company K, while they perform wrist-locks to counter choke holds. Photo by: Lance Cpl. Dorian Gardner Staff Sgt. Benjamin Hester supervises Pfc. Doug R. McLarty (left) and Pvt. Matthew T. Owen, Platoon 3117, Company K, while they perform wrist-locks to counter choke holds.

Before combat comes combat training. Aboard the depot, drill instructors give recruits a course integrated with the rest of recruit training that teaches recruits about close-hand combat.

The Marine Corps Martial Arts Program is exactly that – a program that compiles different techniques with different weapons, including the M-16 A2 service rifle with a bayonet. There is also a weapons of opportunity class.

The program was introduced into the Marine Corps and became a part of recruit training in early 2000. According to Sgt. Sergio Esquivel, Instructional Training Company close combat drill instructor, the program is proficient.

“Because it is basic motor skills, it is something the Marines can remember,” said Esquivel. “The program also takes into consideration the gear we will be wearing in combat. Even under the physical and mental stress of combat, Marines can remember the moves.”

From the basic warrior stance to the angles of movement to leg sweeps and chokes, safety is always taken into consideration. ITC instructors observe training to make sure recruits execute the moves using the proper techniques and safety precautions.

Sgt.  Oliver Schiess, close combat instructor, goes over proper martial arts  techniques with Company K recruits before final testing.

Sgt. Oliver Schiess, close combat instructor, goes over proper martial arts techniques with Company K recruits before final testing.

“Safety always depends on what the event is,” said Staff Sgt. John Johnson, ITC drill instructor. “We take into consideration the type of ground if we are doing break-falls, to mouth pieces, helmets and flak vests. There is always a corpsman and a safety vehicle standing by.”

In order to receive a tan belt, recruits must meet the minimum requirements of 27.5 hours in MCMAP training. To facilitate the process of obtaining their belts, the hours are augmented into other parts of recruit training.

On the obstacle course, recruits run a number of different low and high obstacles. While waiting to move onto the next obstacle, recruits practice pad drills to help retain moves.

During the third phase of boot camp, recruits are tested on their knowledge of the program. For three hours, a series of recruits will go through different stations to demonstrate the proper techniques. Passing the MCMAP test is a graduation requirement.
“(Its purpose is) to sustain recruit training,” according to Esquivel. “MCMAP does not only teach close combat, but develops mental character and physical discipline.”

Once recruits graduate with their tan belts, they will be able to train for higher-level belts. The gray belt follows the tan belt, but Marines will not be able to proceed higher than a gray belt until they become noncommissioned officers.

Privates First Class Daniel Divas and Esteban Ramirez, Platoon  3117, Company K, execute leg sweep take-downs.

Privates First Class Daniel Divas and Esteban Ramirez, Platoon 3117, Company K, execute leg sweep take-downs.
Pvt. Daniel W. Russell, Platoon 3117, Company K, performs an  arm-bar on Pfc. Justin Hayes, Platoon 3119, during testing for their tan  belts.

Pvt. Daniel W. Russell, Platoon 3117, Company K, performs an arm-bar on Pfc. Justin Hayes, Platoon 3119, during testing for their tan belts.
Pvt. Daniel J. Carrillo, Platoon 3118, Company K, withstands a  figure-four blood choke during Marine Corps Martial Arts Program  testing. All recruits must pass a MCMAP test to earn their tan belts and  graduate from recruit training.

Pvt. Daniel J. Carrillo, Platoon 3118, Company K, withstands a figure-four blood choke during Marine Corps Martial Arts Program testing. All recruits must pass a MCMAP test to earn their tan belts and graduate from recruit training.
Pvt. Christopher D. Rainey, Platoon 3117, Company K, demonstrates a  slash techniques with the M-16 A2 service rifle. Recruits learn several  smashes, slashes and defensive motions with the rifle.

Pvt. Christopher D. Rainey, Platoon 3117, Company K, demonstrates a slash techniques with the M-16 A2 service rifle. Recruits learn several smashes, slashes and defensive motions with the rifle.
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Importance of Close Combat Taught during Recruit Training

Pvt. Michael Gross, Platoon 1023, Co. B, executes a smash during  bayonet training.

Pvt. Michael Gross, Platoon 1023, Co. B, executes a smash during bayonet training.

During boot camp recruits are taught the importance of close combat and its role in a combat situation.

Close combat skills are reiterated throughout the training cycle by implementing the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program and bayonet training.

The bayonet � a knife that can be affixed to a rifle � is introduced to recruits during the first phase of boot camp, where they receive and are tested on their knowledge of the bayonet by completing the bayonet assault course.

“Bayonets have been around as long as rifles have been around,” said Staff Sgt. Mario A. Castaneda, senior drill instructor, Platoon 1021, Company B. He said it is important to teach recruits how to use them because bayonets can be used as effective tools in close combats situations.

Castaneda, a Chicago native, said that though the rifle is a long-range weapon, on the modern battlefield of Iraq, Marines sometimes find themselves in close combat situations as they clear houses. Having the knowledge of how to defend themselves is imperative, said Castaneda.

“I feel with the training I received here, I will be able to better to defend myself in combat,” said Pfc. Joshua Q. Evans, Platoon 1021, Company B.

Evans, a Galveston, Texas native, enlisted in the Marine Corps to serve as an infantryman. He feels that having an instructor who was knowledgeable about the material he taught made Evans confident in knowing he could manipulate the bayonet in his favor.

As long as Marines have been Marines they have used bayonets. From the revolutionary war to the current conflict in Iraq, close combat has proved inevitable.

Although bayonet training is only one aspect of close combat, it is a very important one. Marines must learn to use what is available to them, and in the end it all comes down to “one mind, any weapon.”

Marines take many learned tools with them when they graduate from recruit training. The more proficient they are with the weapons they have, the easier it will be to accomplish the missions they are tasked with.

With motivation and intensity, Sgt. Marvin Walker, drill  instructor, Platoon 1022, Company B, ensures Pvt. Sean Tvedt understands  the correct techniques.

With motivation and intensity, Sgt. Marvin Walker, drill instructor, Platoon 1022, Company B, ensures Pvt. Sean Tvedt understands the correct techniques.
Company B recruits quickly lunge forward while executing thrust  moves with their bayonets during the first phase of recruit training.

Company B recruits quickly lunge forward while executing thrust moves with their bayonets during the first phase of recruit training.
On the commands of the close combat drill instructor, recruits from  Platoon 1023, Company B, practice bayonet drills.

On the commands of the close combat drill instructor, recruits from Platoon 1023, Company B, practice bayonet drills.
Close combat drill instructor Staff Sgt. Edgar Garcia demonstrates  proper bayonet techniques to Company B recruits.

Close combat drill instructor Staff Sgt. Edgar Garcia demonstrates proper bayonet techniques to Company B recruits.
Since safety is a priority during training, rubber, blue-bladed  bayonets are used for training exercises.

Since safety is a priority during training, rubber, blue-bladed bayonets are used for training exercises.
Pvt. Jason Murrieta, Platoon 1023, Company B, gives a motivated war  cry while conducting body-hardening exercises � warm-ups meant to  condition nerves for constant strikes.

Pvt. Jason Murrieta, Platoon 1023, Company B, gives a motivated war cry while conducting body-hardening exercises � warm-ups meant to condition nerves for constant strikes.
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Earning a Green Belt

Cpl. Ryan J. Giberson, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12  aviation supply clerk and Decatur, Ill., native and Sgts. Christopher L.  Myers, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron aviation operations  specialist and native of Galveston, Texas, and Godfrey C. Guevarra,  Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron personnel clerk and Vallejo,  Calif., native, struggle in a three-man ground match during the Marine  Corps Martial Arts Program green belt instructor course at the North  Side obstacle course

Cpl. Ryan J. Giberson, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12 aviation supply clerk and Decatur, Ill., native and Sgts. Christopher L. Myers, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron aviation operations specialist and native of Galveston, Texas, and Godfrey C. Guevarra, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron personnel clerk and Vallejo, Calif., native, struggle in a three-man ground match during the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program green belt instructor course at the North Side obstacle course

Testing the limits of their physical and mental stamina, 13 Marines here are nearing completion of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program green belt instructor course.

For nearly three weeks, Sgt. Reynaldo A. Deleon, MCMAP instructor trainer and Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12 aviation supply specialist, has led the dedicated group through a rigorous series of combat conditioning drills, martial arts sustainment and classroom sessions.

Although injury and fatigue commonly account for a large number of drops during the training, Deleon is impressed that 13 of the original 14 students have remained strong.

�Usually the attrition rate is very high in this course,� said Deleon, a Defiance, Ohio, native. �It�s very physically demanding training, which makes it hard to keep their bodies healthy.

�This course we have a tough group of Marines,� he added. �They�re just not going to quit.�

A typical day begins at 6 a.m. when the class warms up and heads out for its first physical training session. Repeated runs through the obstacle course, forced marches with weighted packs and long periods of sparring or grappling are normal fare for morning PT.

�The physical part has been the most difficult for everyone,� said Sgt. Kyle R. Vangorder, Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 data network specialist and native of Phoenix. �You just have to keep moving, get in there and get it done, and get to that next break.�

Cpls. Ryan J. Giberson (top), Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12  aviation supply clerk and Decatur, Ill., native, and Harold S. Brice,  Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron correctional specialist and  native of Preston, Md., struggle for a plastic bayonet during the Marine  Corps Martial Arts Program green belt instructor course at the North  Side obstacle course

Cpls. Ryan J. Giberson (top), Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12 aviation supply clerk and Decatur, Ill., native, and Harold S. Brice, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron correctional specialist and native of Preston, Md., struggle for a plastic bayonet during the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program green belt instructor course at the North Side obstacle course

Before going to lunch, students spend several hours sharpening their teaching skills by reviewing tan through green belt moves and applying the Explain, Demonstrate, Imitate, Practice (EDIP) process. EDIP is a fundamental element of MCMAP instruction used to train all Marines � from recruits to officers � the proper implementation and execution of techniques.

�What we focus on in training is more than the physical aspect,� said Deleon. �We need mental and professional discipline. In this class, the Marines have been extremely good at their EDIP techniques. They�ve done a great job as teachers.�

Not only does Vangorder feel the past three weeks have built up his body, his mind has grown equally strong.

�A lot of what we learned has been how to conduct a period of instruction and (how to) conduct yourself professionally, stuff like that,� Vangorder said. �The information applies to all-around military life as far as leading Marines and taking charge. It helps to hone those skills of leadership you already have and add a couple other tools in your toolbox.�

For the rest of the afternoon, the students receive evaluations on their martial arts or instruction skills while they continue grappling or sparring. With sweat-drenched cammies and aching muscles, these Marines finish the day as hard as they began – happy to soon be able to call themselves green belt instructor titles.

�It�s tough, but it�s worth it,� said Cpl. Harold S. Brice, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron correctional specialist and native of Preston, Md. �Personally, it�s always been important for me to challenge myself, and this has been a great way to do it.�

Deleon feels by becoming a MCMAP instructor Marines will reap a host of benefits far exceeding a strenuous workout or another page in their Service Record Books.

�It�s giving back to the Marine Corps,� he said. �This is small unit leadership at its best when you have corporals and sergeants teaching everyone from a (private first class) to an officer.�

�Going through all this training with the students � you see them grow physically and mentally,� Deleon added. �It�s rewarding when you see their character grow as well.�

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Weekly Training Schedule

Week 1

Intro to Physical Training
Intro to Core Values
Intro to the M-16A2 Service Rifle
Intro to Circuit Course
Obstacle Course I
Marine Corps Martial Arts Program

Week 2

Strength & Endurance Course
Pugil Sticks I
Bayonet Training
First Aid classes
Marine Corps Martial Arts Program
Core Values classes
Academic classes
Physical Training
Obstacle Course II

Week 3

Log Drills
First Aid classes
Senior Drill Instructor Inspection Confidence Course I
Pugil Sticks II
Academic classes
Physical Training
Initial Drill Evaluation
Marine Corps Martial Arts Program

Week 4

Initial Physical Fitness Test
Core Values Classes
Marine Corps Martial Arts Program
Pugil Sticks III
Museum Tour
Academic classes
Movement to WFTBN
Confidence Course II
Series Officer Inspection

Week 5

3 Mile Hike
Marksmanship Training
5 Mile Hike
Core Values classes
Physical Training

Week 6

Marksmanship Qualification
Physical Training

Week 7

Marine Corps Martial Arts Program
8-Mile Hike
Field Training
Confidence (Gas) Chamber
Field Firing

Week 8

The Crucible
Core Values classes
Warrior’s Breakfast
Equipment Inspection
Movement back to MCRD

Week 9

1st Uniform Issue & Fit
Swim qualification
Marine Corps Martial Arts Program- Testing
Core Values classes
Defensive Driving Course
Intermediate Physical Fitness Test

Week 10

Small Unit Leadership
Final Uniform Issue & Fit
Interior Guard
Physical Training
Blood Drive
Obstacle Course III

Week 11

Family of the Corps Presentation
Practical Examination
Final Physical Fitness Test
Rappelling
Company Commander’s Inspection

Week 12

Final Drill Evaluation
Battalion Commander?s Inspection
Motivation Run
Emblem Ceremony
Family Day and Base Liberty
Graduation

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Learning the Tools to become a Warrior

Gunnery Sgt. Alex L. Vallete inspects Pfc. A. Montes' rappel seat, ensuring it is tight with proper knots and a properly placed carabiner.

Gunnery Sgt. Alex L. Vallete inspects Pfc. A. Montes’ rappel seat, ensuring it is tight with proper knots and a properly placed carabiner.

While preparing for the Corps, recruits learn the ways of the institution from their drill instructors, with whom they spend the majority of their time. What they don’t learn from their drill instructors, recruits learn from Instructional Training Company. The ITC instructors are responsible for the recruits’ education in several subjects.

In the classroom, ITC’s Academic Instruction Platoon instructors teach the recruits Marine Corps history, general military subjects and first aid. In the three months of boot camp, recruits sit through 19 classes, according to Gunnery Sgt. Jose Cariman, AIP staff noncommissioned officer in charge. At the end of the training cycle, AIP administers a practical application test, which recruits pass 98 percent of the time.

Outside from classrooms, recruits strap on for the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, taught by the Close Combat Section. All recruits leave training with a tan belt, which means they are certified in the first level of MCMAP. Forty-seven techniques are taught by ITC.

The ITC instructors are thoroughly trained in life-saving techniques including CPR. Also, when the recruits are out there knocking each other around, the training company’s drill instructors patrol the ranks to guarantee safety measures are followed. Before each training exercise, ITC instructors meet with the drill instructors to make sure everyone is up to speed.

“The drill instructors all know these techniques already,” said Staff Sgt. Roger A. Taylor, close-combat instructor. “So they are constantly fault-checking the recruits.”

ITC instructors also incorporate other fighting into the training: the bayonet assault course and pugil sticks. On the bayonet course, recruits wear gloves, Kevlar helmets and carry training rifles through barbed wire and ditches, a over a wall and rope bridge, striking dummies along the way with learned bayonet techniques. To make the training more lifelike, ITC loops a soundtrack of combat noise over the loudspeakers.

Pugil sticks, which are training weapons with padded ends, are incorporated in a competitive event that pits recruits one on one in a ring. This is where the recruits practice bayonet techniques on each other, rather than on dummies. Recruits wear football helmets, flak jackets, mouthpieces and codpieces to reduce injuries. ITC oversees this event.

“This training is to make sure Marines know what to do in case the worst happens,” said Gunnery Sgt. Alex L. Vallete, ITC’s close-combat staff noncommissioned officer in charge. “Now, war is usually just pushing buttons and long-range fighting. But if a Marine is in a close-combat situation, and he’s out of rounds, we make sure they know what to do.”

Once the recruits know how to fight, they need to know how to maneuver across a battlefield. This is where the confidence course comes into play. This course is made up of 15 obstacles that make recruits climb to new heights of more than 35 feet.

“Some recruits are terrified of heights,” said Taylor. “And sometimes, recruits don’t know they are scared of heights until they get up. But we encourage and motivate them to complete the obstacles, and once they do, it’s a great sense of accomplishment and they leave for Camp Pendleton ready to take on any challenge.”

The course ends with the Slide for Life – where recruits shimmy down suspended cables over a swimming pool.

But the Slide for Life’s pool is dwarfed compared to the swim tank at Parke Hall, where recruits learn water survival. In this muggy indoor pool, ITC’s Water Survival Section teaches recruits different swimming techniques and how to function in the water while wearing combat utilities and carrying a rifle. This training is to make sure if in combat, the Marine can cross water or abandon ship, according to Staff Sgt. Edwin Ligorria, water survival staff noncommissioned officer in charge.

“Basically, we make sure every recruit leaves here with the knowledge to survive a water combat situation,” said Ligorria. “It’s a graduation requirement.”

Water survival instructors are constantly on alert to assist and teach recruits. For many recruits, this is their first time swimming, and some recruits are scared. The instructors are ready to act fast in case of emergency.

In addition to marksmanship training and the drill instructors’ tutelage, ITC Marines are responsible for preparing recruits to dominate the battlefield and respond to adverse situations.

Sgt. Oliver Schiess shows recruits a proper arm-bar take-down during martial arts testing.

Sgt. Oliver Schiess shows recruits a proper arm-bar take-down during martial arts testing.

Close-combat instructor Sgt. Steven Washechek, Instructional Training Company, demonstrates to Company M men what not to do when rappeling. ITC is responsible for recruits' classroom education, martial arts training and water survival.

Close-combat instructor Sgt. Steven Washechek, Instructional Training Company, demonstrates to Company M men what not to do when rappeling. ITC is responsible for recruits’ classroom education, martial arts training and water survival.
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