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Patriotic Article
Military
By USMC Pfc. Katalynn M. Thomas

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Marine Recruits Run Altered O-course
(January 14, 2011)

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Recruit Cotey Swanson, Platoon 2133, Company F, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, balances himself as he rushes down two beams during the obstacle course on Dec. 11, 2010. The beams come right after the recruits swing to the top of two bars and shimmy their way down.
Recruit Cotey Swanson, Platoon 2133, Company F, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, balances himself as he rushes down two beams during the obstacle course on Dec. 11, 2010. The beams come right after the recruits swing to the top of two bars and shimmy their way down.
SAN DIEGO, CA (1/6/2011) -- Recruits from Company F took on the obstacle course at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego as part of their third phase training, Dec. 11.

Normally, recruits run the obstacle course equipped with flak jackets, helmets and rifles. This time around, they ran through the entire course twice, and as fast as they could in boots and utility uniforms.

According to Sgt. Thomas Ferguson, drill instructor, Platoon 2134, Co. F, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, this is a modified training schedule for the obstacle course.

“The recruits' training schedule varies depending on what time of the year it is, if it's the holiday season and how many platoons are already on deck,” said Gunnery Sgt. Amos Livingston, chief drill instructor, lead series, Co. F, 2nd Recruit Training Bn. “We have to change the program of instruction according to the factors at hand.”

This is done as a test of their strength and endurance, said Sgt. Nick Robinson, senior drill instructor, Platoon 2133, Co. F, 2nd Recruit Training Bn. It's a way to show the recruits that they can overcome unknown obstacles and prepare for a combat environment.

Each relay of recruits took off in a flurry of dust and tire chips, navigating each obstacle they came upon.
After reaching the end of the course for the second time, the recruits found their senior drill instructor at the last obstacle –
the rope climb.
Once they reached the top of the rope, they yelled their name, platoon number, and senior drill instructor's name. The senior drill instructor responded to the recruits only after all the information was given.

When the recruit heard his senior drill instructor, only then did he proceed to climb down the rope.

“Once the recruits are off the rope they are to buddy up with the next person they can,” said Ferguson. “Then they alternate carrying each other via the fireman's carry, then buddy drag each other back to their respective platoons.”

The fireman's carry is a rescue carry that recruits are taught when they are in boot camp. The simulated victim is carried over the shoulders of the recruit, with one hand holding the wrist of the victim to steady him while they run.

During the buddy drag, one recruit sits on the ground with his arms crossed out in front of him, leaving a space. The other recruit then reaches under the victim's arms and grabs his wrists. He proceeds to lift the simulated victim up and drag him backwards to the end of the line.

Both of these tactics are used in the combat fitness test, which Co. F will take later on.

While the way the obstacle course is run may change, the course's setup hasn't changed, and more than likely never will, said Ferguson. It still stands as a way to help recruits overcome the challenges they may encounter in the future as Marines.
Article and photo by USMC Pfc. Katalynn M. Thomas
Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego
Copyright 2011

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