Ouch: This Video Shows the Training Need to Become a U.S. Marine

March 9, 2021 Topic: U.S. Marines Region: Americas Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: U.S. MarinesMilitaryThe CrucibleMarines TrainingUSMC

Ouch: This Video Shows the Training Need to Become a U.S. Marine

An incredibly demanding 52 hour exercise is what it takes to finally become a Marine.

Ever since the late 1990s, those completing boot camp in the United States Marines have had to complete The Crucible, a fifty-four-hour exercise during which they are only permitted six hours of sleep.

“This is a 54-hour day and night test of endurance,” The Marines’ website says of The Crucible. “It will challenge you both mentally and physically. You will be asked to perform on little sleep and little food. The Crucible is a test to see how you will react and respond to conditions of stress and simulated combat. You will learn how to rely on your fellow recruits and develop deeply personal bonds in doing so. You will work as a close-knit team, connected by a common cause and refusal to quit. Once you pass this demanding phase of recruit training, you will feel immense purpose and unmistakable pride that you have what it takes to win the battle in front of you and within you—as a United States Marine.”

The news website Insider recently produced a video taken inside the Crucible training, taking advantage of rare access to this training like no other.

The report looked at the many things that recruits do during the four-day training, which takes place in Parris Island. And this year, due to the pandemic, the recruits performed the training while wearing face masks.

The exercise has been gender-integrated since 2019, and the most recent class even included a brother and sister.

“You sweat more in training so you bleed less in combat,” one interviewee says. All parts of the Crucible are based on actual events that have taken place historically.

Parts of The Crucible include a long hike in the cold and dark while carrying fifty pounds of gear, simulated rescues of injured Marines, obstacle courses, and “The Octagon,” where the recruits fight each other. There are also combat shooting drills, and climbing of an obstacle called the Stairway to Heaven—and all this, with very little sleep or food.

A later event in the Crucible is the Battle of Hue City, named after an actual battle from the Vietnam War.

“Loudspeakers play sounds of gunfire and explosions to create a more realistic combat environment, the report said. “Along with simulated mortar explosions that occur when a spark plug ignites a combination of propane and oxygen triggered by the push of this button. [explosion] The goal of the event is for each fire team to maneuver across the area with all casualties and gear intact.”

Once the Crucible is completed, the Marines receive their Eagle Globe and Anchor emblem, and yes, they get to eat at the end.

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: Reuters.