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Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego

Confidence Course does its job in inspiring confidence in recruits

By Sgt. Walter D. Marino II | Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego | July 30, 2014

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Recruits of Charlie Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, execute the Skyscraper exercise at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, July 28. Drill instructors supervised the exercise and advised the recruits on the technique needed to complete the exercise.

Recruits of Charlie Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, execute the Skyscraper exercise at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, July 28. Drill instructors supervised the exercise and advised the recruits on the technique needed to complete the exercise. (Photo by Sgt. Walter D. Marino II)


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Recruits of Charlie Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, maneuver over the Weaver exercise at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, July 28. If recruits fell from the Weaver they had to start the exercise from the beginning.

Recruits of Charlie Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, maneuver over the Weaver exercise at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, July 28. If recruits fell from the Weaver they had to start the exercise from the beginning. (Photo by Sgt. Walter D. Marino II)


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Recruits of Charlie Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, attempt the Run, Jump, Swing exercise at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, July 28. The Run, Jump, Swing is one of many obstacles included in the Confidence Course.

Recruits of Charlie Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, attempt the Run, Jump, Swing exercise at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, July 28. The Run, Jump, Swing is one of many obstacles included in the Confidence Course. (Photo by Sgt. Walter D. Marino II)


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Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego --

High temperature, height and fatigue were dealt with in succession as recruits of Charlie Company weathered the summer heat to finish 11 different obstacles.       

Company C, attacked the Confidence Course at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, July 28.

Staff Sgt. Dustin F. martin, chief drill instructor, Company C, explained the purpose of the exercise is to allow recruits the opportunity to build upon their physical and mental courage in the beginning stages of recruit training.

The event took place on training day 12, and some of the recruits were not yet fully acclimatized to the San Diego summer.  

“I’m from Oregon, where it can get as low as negative 30 degrees,” said Recruit Brandon J.W. Thatch, Platoon 1041. “It’s taxing, it’s humid and I’m feeling it here.”

Thatch explained lots of water and the desire to see his family as a Marine helped him push through when thoughts of giving up crossed his mind.

Thatch said he slipped on the tallest obstacle and came close to falling, but somehow found the strength to hold on.

“I was on the last ledge of the Skyscraper and my hand slipped,” said the Sisters, Oregon native. “I was holding on by one hand and I thought if I made it this far why would I quit.”

Thatch managed to pull himself to safety, but he wasn’t the only recruit to have problems with the Skyscraper. Recruit Luis G. Udave, Platoon 1041, had a difficult time climbing the obstacle because of his fatigue and fear of heights.

“I’m pretty physically drained, but (the exercise) was mentally tough too,” said Udave. “The Skyscraper and the Dirty Name were hard exercises because they take a lot of upper body strength, and because I don’t like heights. The thought of falling was freaking me out.”

Despite the difficulties, Udave and Thatch were able to overcome all 11 obstacles.

“It feels great to be done and not have those nervous feelings in your stomach anymore. I feel pretty proud of myself,” said Udave, a Las Vegas native.

Although all the recruits finished the Confidence Course, they will have to complete it once more before becoming Marines. On their second attempt however, taller and harder obstacles are added.

Thatch said the training he received today made him realize what he is capable of and believes he will succeed when challenged again.

“I just hope the next time we do this, we do the hardest one first,” said Thatch, as he smiled and looked at the tallest obstacle. “That way we can just get it done quick.”



2 Comments


  • Lee Montano 78 days ago
    Rec Montano, these are things I taught you how to do. You should have no problem. Use your legs rec to hold you up.. Semper Fi


    Love Dad
  • kelly colln 84 days ago
    So proud of all our recruits! Keep the faith! You can do it!

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