Company K crawls through CCX

Company K crawls through CCX

Company K recruits execute modified body builders at one of the stations of the Combat Conditioning Exercise aboard the depot, March 29. Recruits were expected to perform as many repetitions as they could in 90 seconds. Photo by LCpl Tyler Viglione.

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO (April 14, 2014) - To enter recruit training and leave as a United States Marine takes determination and strength. This involves finding the strength one doesn't know that he has.

Recruits of Company K, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, conquered the Combat Conditioning Exercise aboard the depot, March 29.

According to Sgt Gustavo I. Brown, drill instructor, Instructional Training Company, the purpose of the CCX was to teach the recruits how to continue pushing themselves even when their bodies were past the point of exhaustion.

"The course is designed to put them in a scenario to make them exhausted then them keep fighting," said Brown, a native of San Diego. "It is also to enforce what a combat mindset is."         

Before the course, drill instructors demonstrated each of the 20 stations to the recruits; they learned that the sound of the whistle meant commencing the next exercise or transition.

Platoons were divided in groups of 20 to 25 and were given 90-second rotations to transition between each station and execute each technique at the station.

Stations consisted of Marine Corps Martial Arts Program remediation, physical exercises, fireman carries and low and high crawling.

"We know how tough the exercise is on the recruits, we just want to see how far they can push themselves," said SSgt John P. Leiva, senior drill instructor, Platoon 3234. "During the course the problems I see most recruits have is having the strength to keep going. Mental strain makes them want to quit, but we don't let them."

Each of the stations required repetitions of each exercise or technique.  According to Recruit Cody A. Stout, Platoon 3235, that was what made the course even harder.

"The constant kneeing, punching and kicking during some of the stations made me exhausted quickly," said Stout, a native of Kokomo, Ind. "It was hard to keep pushing because 90-seconds felt like forever."

Drill instructors did not let the recruits quit, but rather motivated them and gave them the strength they needed to complete the exercise.

"The drill instructors yelling at me actually helped me," said 18-year-old Stout. "It made me want to prove them wrong and gave me the energy I didn't think that I had."

Ultimately, recruits got a taste of combat stress during the CCX, whether it was how tired, thirsty or hungry they were or how much they wanted to quit. The exercise resembled the kind of fatigue Marines that are forward deployed in combat deal with every day.

"Recruit training is the best place to start training these recruits, who will eventually be Marines, on how it feels to be tired and wanting to quit but knowing that you can't," said Leiva. "Once we get it through their heads that they can still function accurately when they are fatigued they will be able to perform in combat."

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