The recruits spent a significant amount of time at the circle this week. The circles, which aren’t much of a circle, are more like a semi-circle or half circle around an old rusty oilcan painted with mini targets.
Spending their time wisely, “snapping in” most of the week helped prepare them for the obstacles they are to face during firing week. Snapping in means to correctly achieve sight alignment through the front sight post (make sure everything is centered through their sights) and practice the other basic fundamentals such as breath control and dry fire (pretending like you are shooting). Basically, shooting a weapon accurately isn’t as easy as ready, aim, fire.
Snapping in wasn’t the only thing they accomplished this week. They also completed a 5k hike that was in preparation for a 5-mile hike. Those were completed fairly smoothly. Some of the recruits had trouble in the final stretch, but they motivated each other to keep moving. And yes, the DIs ran around like crazy, yelling. That’s what they are good for, among other things.
The scoop on Phase 2
So Phase 2 can be thought of as basic warriors training. They learn a lot of things that pertain to deployments and field operations. The first week being grass week, which was explained above, is probably the easiest of them all.
Firing week is probably the most stressful, with the least amount of intentional stress produced by the DIs. Many recruits psych themselves out because they are so worried about failing this portion of bootcamp. Valid reason in my book, I wouldn’t have wanted to fail at this point either because they know their DIs and they are comfortable (to a certain degree anyway).
Field week in my opinion is probably the hardest, but most exciting. It has an intense physical demand. They get to do day and night navigation and other obstacle courses that will aid them in combat scenarios when needed.
Sometime in between these days the attempt of a Combat Fitness Test takes place, but not for score. I like to think of this test as the brother to the Physical Fitness Test. They will have to pass both every year. The CFT consists of ammunition can lifts, a half mile run in their utility uniform (cammies for short) and the maneuver under fire course. The maneuver under fire course is somewhat of a complex task, combining high crawls, buddy drags, fire man carries and grenade throws.
Some jargon you may have heard from your recruits lately has kept you scratching your head. Well here is a list of things you may be wondering about.
Whisky pig – basically a gear locker recruit. They manage all the gear that is stored in a closet.
House Mouse – cleans the duty hut and ensures the DIs are taken care of.
Scribe – Writes down things and prepares the duty roster for the recruits.
Platoon – has four squads, each squad has a leader (called the squad leader, imagine that.) and a guide. Golf Company is made up of seven platoons. Golf Company is one company of four that make up Second Battalion (just to confuse you a little more).
Golden Platoon – I don’t know where this crap came from, but you can keep believing it if it makes you sleep better at night. The honor platoon is still up for grabs. (Sorry to burst your bubble 2156, but hang in there, it could still be you! P.S. – I love your competitiveness and enthusiasm)
The M16 is only one of many weapons your recruits will familiarize themselves with. After graduating, they will attend Marine Combat Training. During their time at MCT they will be tested and given the opportunity for practical application on several other systems.
A 13k hike awaits your recruits on Saturday, but I may visit them again before that!
[Editors Note: Opinions expressed are not to be considered an official expression of the DoD, DoN, or the USMC.]