Thursday, October 29, 2009

Crucible Journal (part 2)

The following is a portion of a journal a recruit kept while at bootcamp on Parris Island as he embarked on the Crucible and became a United States Marine.

THURSDAY - Parris Island Boot Camp - CRUCIBLE:

Dear Journal, Up at 0200, staged and ready to roll at 0215. After having to wait for a while, we proceeded to the Parade Deck where we broke up into our squads and humped 6 miles out to Page Airfield (the Crucible site) for our first set of obstacles. Our gear is heavy, but we are in good spirits. Each Platoon has different Drill Instructors for Crucible Leaders. Another Drill Instructor followed behind us in a safety vehicle. We humped to the first Warrior Station and waited until 0600.

Each obstacle is set up at a Warrior station. On our first obstacle the scenario was that our HUMVEE had run out of fuel while carrying supplies. While we were headed back to Motor-T to get fuel, we came across a bridge that had been partially destroyed by the enemy. Our obstacle was to carry (3) 55 gal. drums across a cable from one platform to another. The drums had to remain upright and there are 3 red stripes on the cables 3' long. If you or your equipment (drums) touch the stripes… you are dead and your equipment is lost! It was hard because we were looking to the Crucible Leader to tell us how to get across, but he told us we had to figure it out ourselves. It was just out of habit, because for the last 11 weeks we hadn't made a move without asking permission. It made us feel proud when we made sound decisions and executed a successful plan!

Another station was called the Enhanced Obstacle Course, where we had to maneuver though while carrying a dummy (casualty) and heavy ammo cans. We had to get the casualty and ammo cans over each obstacle, as well! Then there was another station in which we went from tire swing to tire swing (6 swings total) and at each end was a platform. Touch the deck instead of the platform and you're dead! Another obstacle was a 12' pole and we had to get a tire around it and lower it all the way to the deck. We cheered when the first recruit finally hooked the pole and the tire went down! We thought man, this is going to be fun…like throwing rings over the bottles at a fair!! Then the Crucible Leader said we had to take the tire back off too!!! You can imagine the smiles fell right off our faces. Afterwards, we were told we would be starting the Team Shoot and Pugil Sticks shortly.

I will update as soon as I can…"

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