Recruits tested on basic Marine skills
By Cpl. Pedro Cardenas
| Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego | November 16, 2013
San Diego --
Recruits of Company I, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, applied their basic Marine Corps knowledge during their practical examination aboard the depot, Nov. 5.
The examination is also a graduation requirement.
“It gives them the basic knowledge of the necessary skills used in the Marine Corps,” said Staff Sgt. Daniel C. Rivera, drill instructor, Platoon 3207. “We break it down for them so they are able to comprehend everything they have to learn.”
Recruits began by taking a written exam. The exam is multiple choice and consists of history and regulations.
Then, recruits moved on to recognition quiz. Posters with every rank, uniform and rifle parts were displayed along with five magnets. Each magnet has a different item written on it. The recruits had to correctly match the magnet to the image on the poster.
Afterward, recruits performed combat first aid to a simulated casualty. Recruits had to diagnose the appropriate injury to the casualty. There were three types of injuries including chest wound, open fracture and chemical burn.
Recruits then moved on to the assembly and disassembly of the M16-A4 service rifle. Recruits were handed a disassembled weapon and then had to put it together. At the end, they performed a weapon’s function check to ensure the weapon could fire properly.
“I wasn’t really thinking. We have done it so many times that it becomes muscle memory,” said 18-year-old Recruit Andrew V. Culp, Plt. 3205.
Lastly, recruits had to perform a check-in procedure. At every new unit, Marines are required to check-in with their first sergeant in the same manner.
For most recruits, combat first aid proved the biggest challenge because while they treated the patient they also had to recruits talk to the simulated victim to help prevent the victim from going into shock.
“For combat scenarios you have to remember a lot of details and I didn’t want to miss any of that. I didn’t want to fail,” said Culp an Albuquerque, N.M., native. “I was talking to the dummy about my life back home.”
Drill instructors ensured recruits did well in the examination by instilling confidence in their abilities.
“If they stay collected, focused and minimize their mistakes they will do well,” said Rivera an Oxnard, Calif., native. “I tell them to relax, that way they can be smooth and fast at the same time.”
Recruits who failed risked being dropped to the next training company. However, they were given another opportunity to remediate.
For Co. I, the practical examination marked the completion of the last academic hurdle for recruits. Now, they must complete the Crucible and earn the title Marine to become part of the history and tradition of the Corps.
“I want to be part of that long tradition,” said Culp. “It starts by knowing our history and understanding where we come from and what we do.”