Drill Instructors Push Recruits To New Limits

Carl | January 24, 2013 

With eyes squinted in exertion and camouflage utilities salted in sand, recruits of Company C, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, worked through various combat conditioning exercises aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.

Recruits of Co. C, 1st RTBn. pushed through a circuit course of multiple exercises that included fireman carries, low crawling and Marine Corps Martial Arts Program techniques in order to improve their physical fitness and prepare for the demands of a combat environment.

Every exercise from the fireman carry to MCMAP is combat related in order to build a combat mindset should there be an encounter with the enemy, explained Sgt. Cesar D. Martinez, drill instructor, Platoon 1053, Co. C, 1st RTBn.

Fatigue crept up on recruits like the calm before a storm, but when it came, drill instructors were there to get them out of the rain.

A recruit of Company C, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, climbs over a cargo net wall during the Combat Conditioning Exercise

During a buddy drag exercise, one recruit fell behind and didn’t appear to have any gas left in his tank. Suddenly, a drill instructor swooped in on his location, yelled a few orders, and the recruit finished quicker than he started.

“Their minds think they can’t do anymore, but we know they can,” said Martinez, a black belt MCMAP instructor. “You always have one more mile in you. When you think you’re tired you just have to tell yourself, ‘one more mile, one more mile’”.

Recruits appreciated the extra motivation and said their encouragement isn’t limited to physical fitness exercises.
“(Motivation) helps a lot. Instead of bringing us down, they motivate us by reminding us
why we came here – to be Marines,” said Recruit Manuel Gomez-Gonzales, guide, Plt. 1054, Co C., 1st RTBn.

Although drill instructors play a large role in motivating recruits, some recruits also have other sources of motivation such as their family.

“It’s not in my blood to quit. I keep my family in my mind to motivate me to be a better person and not a quitter,” said Gomez-Gonzales, a Colorado Springs, Colo., native.

For others it could be an inspiring quote.

“It’s about putting 100 percent. Not about doing the bare minimum. It’s like someone said, ‘To do anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift’, said Recruit Rodolfo Lopez, guide, Plt. 1050, Co. C., 1st RTBn.

For drill instructors like Martinez, the idea that these recruits will be the next generation of Marines is their motivation to keep pushing and motivating recruits to do the best they can do.

“If I put out, it will be worth it in the end when they get to the fleet,” said Martinez.

From the strained faces and grunts it appeared any and all inspiration was beneficial in helping the recruits finish that extra mile.
The combat conditioning course tested recruits both physically and mentally, in order to develop a combat mindset.
With the training they have received, recruits will now have a baseline to improve upon.

By Cpl. Walter D. Marino II
Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego

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