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  1. #1
    Marine Platinum Member jinelson's Avatar
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    The Crucible

    Personal Limits Tested during the Crucible

    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.

    The confidence course, along with every other obstacle in the Crucible, is comprised of several events that allow the recruits to compose a plan before pursuing a timed mission.

    “We have a similar confidence course on the depot, but it doesn’t have all of the obstacles we have here,” said Staff Sgt. Chad R. Kiehl, drill instructor, Platoon 2037, Company H. “Their only mission is to get across.


    “Here, they have to transport ammo cans and five gallon jugs in a timed situation with simulated casualties,” continued Kiehl. “It forces them to think for themselves for the first time in recruit training and come up with a solution to accomplish the task.”

    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 Kiehl.

    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.

    The confidence course on the depot is designed to help recruits overcome their fear of heights and prove to themselves that even though their minds tell them they cannot do something, anything is possible, said Kiehl. The confidence course here goes a little further and forces the recruits to work as a team, which leaves no time for individual fears.

    The recruits are made to solve their problems together with no guidance from the drill instructors. Each recruit has a turn developing plans to complete each obstacle on the confidence course.

    Company H recruits are required to cross the two-line bridge. Their mission is to get every member in their squad, along with five ammunition cans across the bridge within a set time limit.“I think the (confidence course) helps us to build teamwork, self-confidence and shows us the true meaning of honor, courage and commitment,” said Pvt. Anthony D. Lanza, Platoon 2037.

    He said he learned honor by helping out his team, courage by doing something even though it was challenging, and commitment by not quitting what he started.

    The recruits gained a better understanding of the importance of being open to suggestions when tasked with a mission. When a recruit had a good idea, whether he was leading the mission or not, his idea helped the rest of the recruits in conducting the obstacle within the time limit.

    They used the knowledge the drill instructors gave them prior to the Crucible, and added it to their common sense to complete each mission set in front of them.

    “We had the bigger recruits hold security on the two-line bridge while the smaller recruits went across first,” said Lanza, who is from Twentynine Palms, Calif.

    No better friend/No worse enemy


  2. #2
    Marine Platinum Member jinelson's Avatar
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    The Crucible continued

    Recruits provide security as their platoon completes the Weaver, an obstacle that requires them to climb under and over alternating logs.After they crossed, the bigger recruits followed with the ammo cans, while the smaller recruits held security on the other side of the bridge, said Lanza.

    Kiehl said when his platoon left the Crucible, they were different recruits. The confidence they gained by going through the Crucible became apparent when they returned to the depot as third-phase recruits.

    “We make the most elite war fighter of world,” said Kiehl. “Besides being tired and worn out, the recruits feel good about their accomplishments and returned to the depot as role models for the junior recruits, whether they realized it or not.”





    Last edited by jinelson; 12-12-06 at 04:58 PM.
    No better friend/No worse enemy


  3. #3
    The Crucible sucked but it was a LOT easier than I thought it would be

    just keep your mind on the unbelievable breakfast that you'll get to eat at the end of it and you'll get through it.


  4. #4
    Oh man that warrior's breakfast was unbelievable, I think that I ate 6 or 7 bowls of cereal and God only knows how much actual food! As for the crucible itself, it's all in your head. The worst part is the hike from the top of the Reaper to the chow hall because you know that you're hiking to alot of food...


  5. #5
    I wish they would have had this challenge when I went through Recruit Training, it would have been a really good experience. Do the Recruits determine when they get to eat from the MRE's, or are they instructed when to eat, and how much?


  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by USMCVet1992
    I wish they would have had this challenge when I went through Recruit Training, it would have been a really good experience. Do the Recruits determine when they get to eat from the MRE's, or are they instructed when to eat, and how much?
    I concur. I wish we had the crucible all those many centuries ago...


  7. #7
    Every company does things a little different, but in ours, we chose when we ate our MRE's. We were given 3 MRE's for the duration of the crucible...They gave us our MRE's at the beginning of field week (the week before) and some recruits where stupid and opened them up because they were hungry...so they screwed themselves over quite well when the crucible came around. But oh well they dug their own graves on that one.


  8. #8
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    my son personally had 2 MRE's and he said he guarded them with his life, but everyone has to sleep, and his was stolen along with a couple of his brothers. The Warrior breakfast was waiting for him, and he was ready!!!
    PMM D.B.
    P.s. He called tonite he is coming home for Christmas....SWEET!!!!!


  9. #9
    Yeah some recruits got theirs stolen also...I slept with my arm looped inside of my daypack strap so that I would feel it if another recruit tried to take my chow...I passed the same advice onto my recruits, but some didn't take the advice which was unfortunate...


  10. #10
    I remember going through the crucible, it rained the whole time but we made the most of it. Everything in the Marine Corps is what you make it to be. The crucible was one of my favorite things at boot camp.


  11. #11
    I agree with some of the other salts, wish they would have had this when I went through...

    Wife concurs....of course, she's jealous of the new female Marines (she's one of the last 'WM's and damn proud of it LOL) who get to do all the cool stuff she didn't....her platoon was one of the first to throw 'live' grenades and do the combat course on PI....in 1986. They still had to do all the 'etiquette' classes as well.

    I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat...


  12. #12
    I had no favrite thing at boot camp. I was Sgt. Bevalhimers punching bag. I swoure I would kill him if I ever seen hime again. It happened after my 1st.tour in Vietnam. I thanked him. What a Marine he was.


  13. #13
    After the crucible was the first time I was called a Marine by a drill instructor.


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