Marine Recruits Run Altered O-course
(January 14, 2011)
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
According to Sgt. Thomas Ferguson, drill
instructor, Platoon 2134, Co. F, 2nd Recruit Training
Battalion, this is a modified training schedule for the
“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
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
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
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
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