MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif. (11/30/2011) -
When recruits come to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego,
they don't realize how many challenges they will face.
Recruit training consists of more than just a physical
challenge, it also forces recruits to face personal fears
such as the fear of heights or water. But after a few weeks
of training they have to overcome them.
On Nov. 21, 2011 the recruits of Company D faced some of their fears through multiple obstacles and push their bodies to a new physical limit on the Confidence Course during training week three. Photo by USMC Lance Cpl. Crystal Druery
On Nov. 21 the recruits of Company D faced some of their fears
through multiple obstacles and pushed their bodies to a new physical
limit on the Confidence Course during training week three.
The confidence course is an integrated event designed to help
recruits overcome their fear of heights through high obstacles, said
Sgt. Anthony Butler, Martial Arts Training Instructor, Recruit
By accomplishing the course recruits are
pushed out of their comfort zone they have grown accustom to over
the past 18 to 20 years of their lives, said Butler.
training recruits experience the confidence course twice. During the
first experience they aren't at the confidence level to perform all
of the obstacles, said Butler.
“During the fourth week
recruits get a second go at the confidence course. By this time the
recruits have built up some confidence making it a little easier for
them to take on the bigger obstacles,” said Butler.
The obstacles during training week three aren't as high and
recruits don't have to cross a water obstacle until they
qualify in Marine Combat Water Survival Training.
“This is just a part of the process of building their
confidence for all the challenges that are to come,” said
Gunnery Sgt. Joby Clark, senior drill instructor, Platoon
2067, Company D.
Clark said the recruits will be
faced with similar challenges, not only during recruit
training, but once they become Marines.
Company D faced was the rope swing which consists of
running, grabbing a hanging rope and jumping it across a
small gap. For Recruit Sidney Schroeder, Platoon 1065,
Company D, this particular obstacle was the most challenging
“I had a hard time getting a hold of the
rope and keeping enough momentum to make it across,” said
Schroeder, who completed the obstacle after several
While Schroeder was able to make it over
the obstacle on his own, many recruits require extra
motivation while facing heights.
experience is watching a recruit get over [his fear of]
heights,” said Butler. “On the third or fourth bar on the
Stairway to Heaven, recruits who fear heights will start
crying, wanting to go home, but a drill instructor motivates
them to keep climbing and eventually they finish with a new
sense of confidence.”
The Stairway to Heaven is a
40-foot, 12-rung, ladder that shoots straight up in the air.
This is one challenge recruits have to overcome at the
confidence course. Many of the obstacles require recruits to
think outside of the box to successfully complete them, said
Butler. The obstacles require thinking instead of just
physically making it over a wall. Other than the obstacles,
recruits also have added challenges between obstacles such
as running, carrying fellow recruits, and Marine Corps
Martial Arts Program Training.
course is part of their physical challenges. It allows them
to actually see the obstacles and get over them, building
confidence,” said Clark.
He said that many of the
other obstacles in recruit training are more mental, making
this course a good experience for the recruits to be able to
visualize their challenge at hand.
“The course made
me feel good,” said Schroeder. “I pushed my body to do more
than I thought I could.”
More photos available below
By USMC Lance Cpl. Crystal Druery
Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego
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