Monday, October 13, 2008

Zach's Next 4 Training Weeks (phase 2)

Week 4

T18,19 and 20
This is swim week, at the end of this week they will be classified by how strong of a swimmer they are. If they are looking to be and AAV crewmen they must qualify at least a 2, if they are going to Recon they must qualify as a 1. Don’t worry about them they will learn how to swim, and they will be able to do it with their weapon and in their Utes and boots. By Wednesday afternoon they will all be at least a 4 which is what they have to be to graduate.

(Each level must be accomplished before moving up to the next level.)

CWS4 - 4th Class: Minimum qualification for enlisted Marines; Re-qualify every year. Qualify in utilities uniform only (no boots).

CWS3 - 3rd Class: Re-qualify every two years.Display personal survival under combat situations and while on maneuvers in full combat gear.

CWS2 - 2nd Class: Re-qualify every three years.Display the ability to assist an exhausted/wounded Marine to safety wearing full combat gear.

CWS1 - 1st Class: Re-qualify every four years.Not accomplished in Boot Camp.Check out this link for more info:

Pugil sticks again some more fun and they will run the bayonet assault course(BAC). The assault course is kind of fun also they run from station to station and take on rubber dummies’ with their weapon and bayonet. Using the training they have learned. How to parry (push away another weapon pointed at them) and thrust; the horizontal but stroke, vertical but stroke and the thrust.

More Marine Corps history, this is an item that will be tested on the practical knowledge test. Now they will also be getting ready for their free bus ride up north. Getting their gear all packed and stacked.

They move north, into phase 2. This is the bus ride up to Edson range. The first time they have been off the depot since they have arrived. They will ride about 40 miles to Camp Pendleton, during this ride the DI tell them to sleep, another first for them is sleeping during the day, which would normally be training time. Once the arrive at the WFTBN( Weapons and Field Training Battalion) they will move into a new house and spend the weekend setting up, getting their gear squared away for the training to come. For most of them this is the most fun they will have in boot camp.

Week 5, 6, 7 (Phase 2)

Well they have made the move north, they spent the weekend setting up the house and getting any other equipment that they will need for this phase of training over the weekend.Their basic daily activities are about the same as they were at the depot, wake up hygiene and get ready for training. They have a chow hall but now they will get to eat some MRE's Meal Ready To Eat is the right name for them but knowing marines they have a whole bunch of other names for them also (Meals Rejected By everybody, or Meals Refusing to Exit!!!! :)

this week is Marksmanship I they are going to spend a lot time on this. Every Marine is a rifleman, and this is where they teach them to be the best in the world. They are going to learn the firing positions, the correct way to align the sites, how to breathe, and how to adjust the sites for their rifle. A lot of this will be done before they ever step foot on a live fire range. Then they will zero their rifle it is a long process for some of them and for others it will be easy, but they will have a coach and the DI's to help them do it.

Week 1 - Grass Week
the recruits will spend all day at the circles 'snapping in' with their PMI (Primary Marksmanship Instructor). He wears the campaign cover as well (Smokey bear), but he is a lot more laid back and allows the recruits to relax a bit so they can learn better. They will also get a zero for their sights this week, so Wednesday they will get to go to the live fire range and actually do a little shooting. Mostly though they will be snapping in a circle, and dry firing, practicing their trigger control, breathing techniques, and shooting positions. They will have the 3 and 5 mile "humps" (that’s marine for hiking with heavy packs), with a full combat load (kevlar helmet, flak jacket, and LBV (load bearing vest)). The 3 mile was pretty easy in my opinion, just like going for a nice walk at a quick pace. The 5 mile is a bit harder because they add hills to this one.

Week 2 - Marksmanship Week
they will spend all day Monday - Thursday out at the rifle range. They will split them up and have half of them pulling down in the pits, while half of them fire, then they will switch out around midday. Thursday will be qual day, and whatever they shoot that day will determine what badge they get. The DIs won’t pressure them much this week because they want them to be able to concentrate on shooting. The 8 mile hike isn’t as hard as the 5 mile only because there are fewer hills. They will probably get a 5-10 minute break on this one too, where they drop packs sit down and drink water. They usually try and do the hikes in the morning too, when it’s not hot yet. Marksmanship week and grass week are probably the easiest 2 weeks of training.

Week 3 - Field Week
Here the recruits will go out to the field and set up hooches where they and a "hoochmate" will sleep. Your recruits will not have this problem, but when I was there, it was February and it was cold and rainy. You have to get undressed (down to shorts and skivvy shirt) before you can hit the rack, and it got real cold real fast. Hygiene out here is also not fun, but it's something they have to learn how to do. Ask them about it when they get back :P They have lots of things to do this week including a night infiltration course, a day assault course, land nav, patrolling, gas chamber and MOPP gear training, and combat marksmanship (yes they will be firing again this week). This is all in preparation for the crucible coming up, where they will be evaluated on all they have learned.

The end of the week will be with a short hump 5 miles. A hump is a hike with all of their equipment on, and the DIs set the pace.

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