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Making Marines: Part 2

A former naval station that was eventually given to the Marine Corps in 1915, the wet swampy Parris Island has seen over one million young men and women go from recruit to Marine in the 13 week metamorphosis that is boot camp.

Physicality is premiere in that process, and that's why they train intently on different physical topics.

Fighting fire with fire is one thing, but just in case, the recruits are placed in bayonette training and marshal arts training as a physical tool to get them ready for war.

Sgt. Thomas Ochoa, who teaches Martial Arts Training said, "We show them basic techniques; later on they learn a lot more advanced techniques, which is some of the stuff the teachers we had use right now. They basically just learn a feel for it, how to maneuver the stick."

There are several different levels of Marine martial arts training. Once an instructor reaches a certain level of belt, he is then able to train a recruit up to that level.

There are also levels of swimming training, which is something every recruit must go through in order to graduate. And, facilitating future Marines who have never been in the water is done almost every week.

Swim Instructor Sgt. Joe Marshall said, "The first thing we're gonna’ do is have them swim one of the five strokes down in the shallow end. Big thing about swimming is being comfortable in the water and if you've got someone behind you, then you're comfortable."

Along with swimming and martial arts training, there is a large regiment of running, and other physical fitness activities including the obstacle course, also known as the confidence course. Educators took a crack at a few of the different set ups.

The confidence course is used to provide Marines with many things, most notably confidence to know that they can make it over any obstacle.

While these Marines make some of the obstacles look easy, for many who come to Parris Island, it takes quite a while to become good at them. And, injuries definitely become a factor.

Panama City Recruit Phillip Sappington said he is, "Training to become a Marine, so three weeks in how's your body holding up other than today. I got a slight injury to my ankle, but other than that, pretty well.”

Commanding General Brig. Gen Paul E. Lefebvre said, "If you have it in your heart to be a Marine, we can adjust the physical pieces to get you where you need to go to. That's not a lowering of the standard, that's accommodating the young person today that wants to be a Marine."


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