Conquering the Obstacle Course

Recruits from Company E kicked up clouds of dust as they ran in place, getting pumped to take on the depot Obstacle Course for the second time during their training, May 15.

“This is their first O-Course since first phase,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Galvan, senior drill instructor, Platoon 2111, Company E.

This time around they were to run it as a fire team, of four men. Two men move at a time to create a staggered movement, so there is always cover provided.

“We do this to see how well their teamwork is,” said Staff Sgt. Edward Hernandez, senior drill instructor, Platoon 2110, Company E. “They already know the foundation of teamwork. This is a chance for them to apply it.”

Throughout their training, recruits are taught the necessity of teamwork, said Hernandez. Teamwork is more essential when running the Obstacle Course this time, he said.

Recruits carry more weight this time through. The gear includes flak jackets, Kevlar helmets and M16A2 service rifles. While navigating some of the obstacles, the recruits must pass their rifles over obstacles to their teammates so that they can continue through the course. If a teammate is stuck on an obstacle a recruit is allowed to assist him over.

“It is more difficult because of the fact that they have more gear this time around,” said Galvan.

Once the recruits had successfully navigated the obstacles, they found their senior drill instructor at the rope climb portion of the Obstacle Course and stacked their weapons with their fire teams. They then stood in line behind a rope and ran in place while they waited to climb.

The recruits climbed the rope while still wearing their flak jackets and helmets.

Once they reached the top of the rope, they were to yell their name, platoon number, and their senior drill instructor’s name. Once the senior heard them sounding off, he would respond with, “Kill!”

The recruit then could climb down the rope, retrieve his weapon, and ground his gear with the rest of the formation. Once the recruits reached the formation, they would perform exercises of the supervising drill instructor’s choice.

The recruits have overcome many obstacles during their time here at the depot. Although these obstacles only took one day to complete, there are many more facing the recruits before they can march across the parade deck to graduate.