Phase Two of boot camp features combat water survival. Many recruits arrive on Parris Island unable to swim; some actually fear the water, according to Captain Peter Marks. Instructors work one-on-one with the camouflage-clad, barefoot recruits at the shallow end of the pool until they’re ready for rigorous training in the deep end.
In five days of training, four hours per day, they must master the minimum level of combat water survival—CWS-4—which means that they can survive at sea if they jettison their boots and gear. Those who show more promise are trained for CWS-3, meaning that they can keep their boots, packs, and rifles; once cleaned, a water-logged rifle will fire again. Those who achieve CWS-2 are able to save another Marine and carry both packs. (There is a CWS-1, the highest level, but its requirements are not taught at Parris Island.) Knowing his level of certification will tell each Marine exactly what to do should he need to survive at sea.
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I fell in love with travel on a trip to Mexico when I was nine years old. Since then, I’ve travelled the globe from Israel to El Salvador. I’ve skied the Swiss Alps and hiked national parks like Acadia, Zion, Shenandoah, and Virgin Islands. I’ve marvelled at masterpieces in the Prado, the Uffizi, the Huntington, and the National Gallery of Art. I’ve stayed in a cabin on a mountaintop in Norway and on a kibbutz along the Sea of Galilee, and been kicked out of the Ritz at the Place Vendôme. I’ve taken cooking classes from New England to the Caribbean, and watched a chef prepare traditional shakshuka in the kitchen of his restaurant in Tel Aviv. I weave historical research and my personal experiences together in writing this blog. I hope you find it helpful. Read more …