MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT, San Diego --
Recruits of Company A 1st Recruit Training Battalion, closed out their third week of training with an ability group run and stations aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego May 10.
Ability group runs help recruits build and maintain the strength and endurance they will need to successfully complete recruit training.
“It’s used more for build-up,” said Sgt. Joseph Weaver, Platoon 1010, Co. A, 1st RTBn. “It’s a low impact, lower intensity endurance training session.”
Before their two-mile run, recruits were split into groups to complete various warm-up stations. A whistle blow signaled the recruits to switch stations.
“Today’s important because it helps improve recruits’ agility,” said Sgt. Tommie Tate, drill instructor, Plt. 1014, Co. A, 1st RTBn.
The sound of recruits yelling could be heard above all else at each station. The recruits are instructed to “war cry” while performing each exercise to keep up their motivation.
The warm-up stations consisted of crunches, planks, running through cones, push-ups and more. Once the recruits had the chance to visit each station, their drill instructors put them in two groups based on their run time from their initial strength test.
“The main reason we break them into groups is for safety, but it’s also a motivation tool,” said Tate.
By breaking the company into groups, drill instructors are able to monitor the recruits better, as well as keep the run at a challenging, yet comfortable pace. Throughout recruit training, recruits can monitor their progress with each run and move up to a faster group.
“We can push each other in the groups,” said Recruit Vincent Reyes Santiago Jr., Platoon 1015, Co. A, 1st RTBn. “If the recruit next to me knows he can run as fast as me, it helps us to know we can push each other.”
At the end of the run, recruits returned to their gear to hydrate and cool down.
“It was outstanding physical training,” said Santiago, an Oceanside, Calif. native. “Every day is a progressive (physical training) session.”
Each training session builds off the last ensuring recruits make progress each day.
“The recruits of Alpha Company are getting stronger and stronger,” said Santiago, 21. “I had a much harder time the last time we did something like this.”