Monday, June 13, 2011

Week 11: The Crucible

 The Crucible is designed to break, torture, try and teach.  -- Kevin Webb

We hear so much about this adventure, this challenge of all challenges, that as parents, family members, friends and lovers of these recruits, we dread it for them. But, in reading multiple blogs and letters and looking into what is happening to our children, I don't see so many who say this is the worst part of that boot camp adventure. In watching this video, I realize this is where Recruit will shine. He has been designing and navigating obstacle courses all his life. The yelling backs off and the puzzle solving begins. This is the ultimate in Recruit fun.

The final test:
For 54 straight hours, recruits’ endurance, teamwork and skills will be pushed to the limit. Through perseverance and courage, they will finish as platoons and earn the title Marine.
 During The Crucible, recruits face: Obstacles that must be negotiated as a team; Day and nighttime marches;  Night infiltration movement; Combat resupply and casualty evacuation scenarios; Combat field firing as a team; Minimal food and sleep, simulating combat; Leadership tests; and Core values training. The recruit's final test

"If a recruit steps in a red zone or falls off of an obstacle, he must drag “Fred,” a life-size dummy, to simulate emergency casualty evacuation from a combat zone.During the Crucible, recruits are only required to get four hours of sleep per night and have to stretch three proportioned meals to last three days. Sleep and food deprivation are a crucial aspect of the Crucible because it helps the recruits experience a combat situation, said Staff Sgt. Chad R. Kiehl, drill instructor, Platoon 2037, Company H.
Although tired, hungry, and mentally and physically exhausted, the recruits still have to come together and accomplish the assignment set before them, said Kiehl, a native of Richfield, Minn." leatherneck

Many of the exercises are created from famous battles:

Day 1
Reveille (2 am)
Night movement (3 am)
Recruits conduct a 6-mile hike to the Crucible site.
Events 1-3 (5: 30 am - 6:30 pm)
Event 1 – Battle of Hue City
A one-hour event in which the teams resupply water, ammunition and MREs through a course which consists of trenches, wire fences and walls.
After the resupply course, teams negotiate the warrior stations below:
Pfc Jenkins Pinnacle
Teams cross two horizontal cable-supported logs.
Pfc Garcia's Engagement
Individuals demonstrate their knowledge of hand-to-hand combat skills, and then participate in a warrior case study of Pfc. Garcia.
Lehew's Challenge
Teams of two climb over an eight-foot high horizontal log.
Corbin's Convoy
Teams react to a simulated IED while on patrol.
Event 2 – Battle of Belleau Wood: Pugil Sticks/Body Sparring
Leadership Reaction Course
A three-hour event in which the teams perform six reaction course problems which test their ability to work as a team to solve problems.
Some of the problems include:
Using three wooden boards to cross a number of stumps without touching the ground.
Negotiating a water hole using the same wooden board concept to get from point A to point B.
Transporting a large container over a wall using the limited resources available.
Once completing the events, the teams of two face off in a pugil stick bout.
Event 3 – Core Event and Warrior Stations
A one-hour event which can hold a maximum of six teams working concurrently.
Noonan's Casualty Evacuation
The team will recover a downed pilot and another recruit “shot” by a sniper and transport them over a mile of wooded terrain.
Enhanced Obstacle Course
the recruits carry a dummy casualty on a stretcher and ammunition cans from one end of a standard Marine Corps obstacle course to the other, going over all obstacles.
Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) Strikes Station -
Recruits are required to demonstrate and conduct five-minute MCMAP strikes.
Core Values Station
Recruits sit inside a hut and receive information on a particular core value from their drill instructor.
Night Event (8 pm - 11 pm) - Five-mile night hike with a time limit of three hours.
Sleep (midnight - 4 am)
Day 2
Reveille (4 am)
Events 4-6 (5:30 am - 6:30 pm)
Event 4 – Battle of Fallujah
A one-hour event in which teams resupply water, ammunition and MREs through the Combat Assault Course.
Following the completion of the Battle of Fallujah, recruits negotiate a bayonet assault course and the warrior stations below:
Perez's Passage
Teams cross a “contaminated area” by swinging on ropes from “safe spot” to “safe spot.”
Kraft's Struggle
Teams climb a 10-foot wall and climb down the opposite side by a knotted rope.
John Quick Trail (Navigation Station)
Basic map reading and grid coordinate plotting will be reviewed and evaluated.
Core Values Station
Recruits sit inside a hut and receive information on a particular core value from their drill instructor
Event 5 – Battle of Mariana Islands
Combat Endurance Course
Teams have two hours to complete five events of a modified Confidence Course.
The Sky Scraper
The team retrieves a “wounded” dummy from the top of an 18-foot tower.
Stairway to Heaven
Team members move two ammunition cans over the top of a 36-foot ladder obstacle.
Two-Line Bridge
Team members cross two 52-foot long ropes with their hands and feet suspended two feet and 10 feet off the ground as they carry ammunition cans and water re-supply cans.
The Weaver
Team members climb over and under 24 logs, 42 feet in length ascending to 14 feet as they carry ammunition and water re-supply cans.
In addition to the Enhanced Confidence Course, teams go through a Combat Endurance Course.
Combat Endurance Course- Teams conduct a simulated patrol, negotiate the obstacles and report the number and types of obstacles to intelligence sources.
Event 6 – Battle of Khe Sanh (Unknown Distance Firing)
Teams of four fire two magazines of five rounds each from simulated building structures at unknown distance targets in a time limit of 70 seconds. The number of targets hit and number of unused ammunition is then recorded.
Following Day's Defense, team members participate in a 250-meter casualty evacuation where members remove simulated casualties from a simulated danger area consisting of artillery simulators.
Night Event (8 pm - 11 pm)- Night Infiltration Course
Teams re-supply water, ammunition and MREs at night in a simulated combat environment. The teams take their ammunition cans, water cans and simulated MREs through the Combat Assault Course with the added obstacle of darkness.
Sleep (midnight - 4 am)
Day 3
Reveille (3 am)
Nine-mile hike (4 am - 7 am)
Recruits conduct a nine-mile hike from the Crucible site back to the battalion.
Eagle Globe and Anchor Ceremony (7:30-8:00)
New Marines will receive an Eagle Globe and Anchor from their Drill Instructor marking their transition from a recruit to a Marine.
Warrior's Breakfast
The new Marines are treated to a breakfast fit for only true warriors. It consists of all-you-can-eat steak, eggs and potatoes.

Pvt. Terry Ranker, Platoon 2039, Company H, enjoys a Meal, Ready to Eat during a short break in training. During the Crucible, recruits must make three MREs last three days while hiking and negotiating obstacles.During the Crucible, a 54-hour event that tests everything recruits have learned throughout training, recruits are evaluated on their skills and knowledge by completing numerous team-building obstacles at Edson Range, Camp Pendleton, Calif. leatherneck

No comments:

Post a Comment