Company D hurdles over obstacles

Company D hurdles over obstacles

Recruit Minki Lee, Platoon 1069, works to pull himself over another of the logs making up one of the obstacles he and the other Company D recruits must conquer during their first encounter with the depot's obstacle course, Jan. 17. They will run the course three more times during their three-month training cycle. Photo by LCpl Tyler Viglione.

Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego (Jan. 31, 2014) - Many times throughout recruit training, recruits are put through events that require them to push themselves past the point of exhaustion to complete it.
            
Recruits of Company D, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, were introduced to the Obstacle Course, or "O-Course," during training day nine aboard the depot, Jan. 17

During recruit training, each recruit must complete the O-Course, which was a series of obstacles including hurdling over logs, climbing over bars and walls, and using the last bit of energy they had to climb a 20-foot rope at the end.
            
The O-Course was designed to mentally and physically challenge recruits, explained Sgt Michael Pelaez, drill instructor, Platoon 1074.
            
"It looks a lot easier than it is," said Pelaez, a native of New York. "The point of this course is for them to be tired and to build confidence in knowing that they can push through the pain and complete the course."
            
Before recruits ran through the course they were given a demonstration by their drill instructors on the certain techniques they should use while conquering each obstacle. The drill instructors explained to the recruits that these were some of the obstacles a Marine might face in a combat situation.
            
After the drill instructors finished the course, they moved on to perform a fireman carry and buddy drag demonstration, which simulated evacuating a casualty from a danger area.
            
When the event began, those who waited in line for their turn to go ran in place, yelled cadence and clapped their hands to keep themselves warmed up for the course.
            
"One of the hardest parts of the course for me was the rope climb at the end," said Recruit Minki Lee, Plt. 1069. "I was so tired and couldn't feel my arms so I had to push myself and push aside the pain to get up the rope."
            
Because this was the first time recruits executed the course, they were only expected to climb half way up the rope but then had to immediately sprint to perform the fireman carries and buddy drags.
            
"By far the hardest thing to do was the fireman carries and buddy drags at the end," said Lee, a native of Los Angeles. "I was so burned out after the course that it seemed almost impossible to carry another recruit."
            
At the end of the course, recruits had fatigued themselves and, at the same time, learned to push pass their limits.
            
"Recruits learn where they're at when it comes to their physical abilities during this course," said 33 -year-old Pelaez. "They realize what they need to work on to be able to execute this course more efficiently."
            
This will not be the last time recruits must endure the O-Course. They will execute the course two more times during the training cycle and one more time during the Crucible where they will have extra gear and rifles on while conquering each obstacle.
            
"We learn that you never know what you are going to expect in a combat situation," said 20 year-old Lee. "Courses like this prepare us for almost anything."

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