Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C. --
Next to the thunder dome, Marines gathered at the crack of dawn. As the sun rises light reflects off the wet green grass. All around, an obstacle course emerges slowly from the shadows. Determined faces look around with one resounding thought: quitting it’s not an option.
Marines with the Provost Marshal’s Office tackled a confidence course at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island as part of a physical challenge designed to enhance confidence, build camaraderie, and promote team building, June 9.
“We like to do at least one physical training session per month to boost morale and build espirit de corps within the unit,” said Maj. Eduardo J. Pinales, the Provost Marshal for Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. “We chose the confidence course for PT because it’s quite a physical challenge and gives the Marines the opportunity, who never got a chance to do it before, to do it now.”
The role of PMO is to provide law enforcement, investigative, and security services to MCAS Beaufort, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and Naval Hospital Beaufort, S.C. The demands of the job require physical and mental endurance.
“We haven’t done this [obstacle course] since we were recruits so I think is a great way to build some confidence and push your body physically,” said Sgt. Michael L. Marcum, a criminal investigator with PMO.
The Marines were split into groups mostly by work section and given a different starting point at the course. Once the signal was given to start, it was on that team to complete a full rotation.
“Most of the groups were a mix of different sections, so there were Marines talking and interacting with others who they might have not had a chance to do that with in the past,” said Marcum. “Once we got moving and going through the obstacles everybody started to have a good time and pushed them to do things they thought they weren’t able to do.”
Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island is unique because male recruits from the eastern United States and all female recruits train here, totaling nearly 18,000 recruits annually. Designated as a recruit training base on November 1, 1915, more than a million men and women have trained at the depot, and have served the United States all over the globe.
“It’s a unique experience being stationed here at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and Parris Island,” Sgt. Michael Toops, an assistant operations chief with PMO. “Events like this give the Marines a chance to do something that they might not have in other duty stations.”
Due to circumstances that arise during recruit training not every Marine gets the opportunity to participate in every training event. For some Marines, this was their first time going through the obstacles.
“It was good training and a great way to get back on the saddle for me,” said Cpl. Lyndsay D. Dole, a military police officer with PMO, who recently returned from maternity leave. “The hardest but most fun obstacle here is ‘Slide for Life.’ I’ve never done it before but I got through it.”
Once all the groups got through the course, the Marines gathered once again and retreated to an area where the leadership could address them. After a short brief, the PMO Marines returned to work where they will continue to maintain constant vigilance over the Tricommand at all hours of the day and night to ensure the safety of its residents and visitors.