You’re probably at that point now when the anticipation is too much to bear. The recruits have made it so close; their biggest fear is getting dropped. Travel arrangements are being made and your bags are already packed. Stop looking at the calendar already… watching a pot of water doesn’t make it boil any faster.
The recruits probably have lost track of training days by now because they realized to just fight until the fighting is done and only then will the madness come to an end. The DIs don’t even know what day of the week it is, hell, I don’t even know what day of the week it is. The only thing that’s on their minds is the finals coming up in Week 10.
A time consuming event has finally come to a close, at least for now. The recruits were tested on their skills they were required to master to receive and wear the first of five belts. This means they no longer have to wear the skinny web belt that is made for other uniforms.
Some people may never touch MCMAP again. Others will take the training and run with it until they are an instructor trainer or even higher.
During the testing, the recruits went from station to station and executed a series of movements. They then received a pass or fail grade based on accuracy of their performance. At the end of the day, everyone passed and they are now authorized to wear a tan belt.
The one thing that I could never understand is the way testing takes place. As long as the first recruit knows the movement, everyone will pass it. Granted it’s not that hard, but still. Perhaps that is why they divide the recruits in 9-man sticks (when I say sticks, I mean groups).
Bayonet Assault Course
The recruits aren’t strangers to this course as they have visited it once before.
I must say they moved through it a bit more smoothly than the first time they assaulted hanging dummies dressed as terrorist, especially their movement under barbwire (thanks Field Week!).
So what makes this time around different than the other? They used real bayonets. Now, I don’t know about you, but if I was a DI I would not want to get as close to some of the recruits as they normally do knowing they are all running around with knives… but that didn’t stop them from getting in the recruits faces when all else failed.
Pugil Sticks III
Another battle of the sticks came and went with a jab to the face. This pugil sticks event is by far the best of them all. The combination of mud, sticks and pissed off recruits make for a great time, at least or whoever is winning.
After they are suited up, they stood by the thunder dome in preparation to defeat the next recruit in line from opposite platoons. Hearing the company staff stand by shouting at them to hit harder or wince when someone got smoked was pretty entertaining, but getting that perfect photo took a lot more than I expected it too. The staff would hype the recruits up, promising them phone calls and even food for winning. It was interesting to see the intensity someone can show just for a meal.
They slammed each other against the walls and pushed each other down into the mud. I’m pretty sure these recruits were picturing DIs in their head when they charged at one another at full speed.
No Marine Left Behind
A few weeks ago my shop went out for our daily afternoon PT. It was family day. I remember seeing this recruit walking alone. I pointed him out to my SNCO and said “That makes me sad. Why is he by himself?” It appeared that he was with the family ahead of them, but it was just an illusion. He was alone. So after PT I went out to look for him, I couldn’t find him anywhere. Then I realized, he was probably on the parade deck because by that time family day was coming to an end. To this very day (it’s only been a few weeks) I feel like I let him down. I could have at least invited him to run with us. I regret not approaching him.
That time is coming up again and I noticed you guys are recognizing the importance of family, friends and a solid support group. In the Marine Corps, we NEVER EVER leave a man behind. No matter if they are breathing, dying or already deceased they come home to their family.
The parents of Golf Company have created a family of their own. Each recruit has 500 moms, 500 dads and a whole lot of siblings. Please continue to express that importance to the recruits by taking them under your wing when they are alone. I know you guys won’t let me down.
What is the significance of the Eagle, Globe and Anchor and how did is derive? Did you know that the EGA for enlisted and officers for the uniform are different? Explore this on your own time and familiarize yourself with the single item that will distinguish your recruit from any other branch.
The finals are near and the DIs and recruits are working hard to achieve the best scores possible. Visit back to see the final results in the Week 10 post!