The beginning of the end started at 2 a.m. for Austin and his fellow recruits in Platoon 1038, Company A of the 1st Marine Recruit Battalion.
Day One of the Crucible started with Reveille at 2 a.m., and I woke up right at that time. Smiled and said a prayer for him.
At 3 a.m. they started a six-mile march to the Crucible site, and went immediately into a one-hour event in which the teams resupply water, ammunition and MREs through a course which consists of trenches, wire fences and walls, then a series of physical challenges requiring creative leadership and teamwork. For instance, they must work together to cross a series of stumps without touching the ground using three planks. They will demonstrate their knowledge and skill in hand-to-hand combat as well as competitions with pugil sticks (big padded Q-tips). And they will evacuate wounded comrades through trenches and obstacle courses.
Interspersed will be discussion of core values, and the day will conclude with a five-mile march, and they'll have an hour to make camp and be read for bed at midnight.
And I think they will be ready for bed by then. Four hours sleep, then up and at it again.
Only one MRE all day.
Hard. Tough. Exhausting.
Proud of him.
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