Marine Corps News Room

u s marine officer ranksOn the final day of the Crucible, the 54-hour field event in which employees apply all they have learned throughout boot camp, Co. E stepped away at 2: 30 a. meters. to tackle a 9. 7-mile hike that includes a 700-foot tall hill dubbed the Reaper.

“Recruit training is full of stresses and physical challenges that all lead up to the Crucible,” stated Gunnery Sgt. Wilbert Hill, key drill instructor, Company E. “The Reaper is the final test in the Crucible, and finishing the Reaper hike is a major accomplishment.”

The Reaper is a legend in Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego’s boot camp because of how large it is, said Hill. He stated the recruits know about it just before they arrive to the depot.

“Before I came to the depot I heard that even though the hike is only 10-miles, the Reaper was very challenging and the entire platoon would be hurting after it,” Pvt. Travis Duncan, Platoon 2102, Company E.

In preparation for your Reaper hike, the recruits deal with 3-mile, 5-mile, 5. 7-mile plus 8-mile hikes, carrying full combat-loads throughout training.

The amount of equipment the recruits carry depends on the time of year, said Hill. During the winter, the particular recruits� packs weigh between 65 to 75 lbs each simply because they must carry heavier cold-weather clothes.

“Most of the recruits are intimidated by each the hikes, but as they complete each of the conditioning hikes they build their confidence to tackle a longer one,” said Hill. “By the time they reach the Reaper hike, they are eager and ready to get through it.”

During the Crucible, the recruits are usually tested on their teamwork and command skills, said Hill. They study award citations at each obstacle they will face on the Crucible to learn from all other Marines heroic actions, said Hill.

At the peak of the Reaper is Col. Merrit A. Edson’s Medal of Honor citation. Edson Range was named after this brave Marine.

After the recruits tornado the final hill of the Reaper, they will read his citation.

During the battle of Guadacanal, Edson’s Raider Battalion, consisting of two businesses from the 1st Parachute Battalion, had been guarding an airfield when they had been attacked by Japanese forces. Under Edson’s leadership where he was stimulating, cajoling, and correcting as he continuously exposed himself to enemy fireplace, his 800 Marines withstood the particular repeated assaults of more than 2, 500 Japanese soldiers. Edson was afterwards awarded the Medal of Honor for his honor, courage plus commitment.

“When I finally made it to the top of the Reaper, I was so proud of myself,” said Duncan. “It was a great to finally accomplish something I never thought I could do.”

Although all recruits strive to achieve the peak, due to the physical afflication, some may not.

Dehydration is among the major safety concerns during the rise. The recruits must fill 2 canteens before beginning the hike. The company stops four times through the hike to allow the recruits to modify their gear and drink drinking water.

During the hike, there is a business lead safety vehicle that carries additional water and sets the recruits� hiking path. A rear protection vehicle follows the platoons in the event a recruit gets injured plus cannot complete the hike.

“If a recruit does not complete the final hike, his reason for not finishing and past performance in recruit training will be reviewed. The series commander will determine whether they graduate or not,” said (*****************************************************

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