PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. — Not even the frost on the ground could stop the recruits from using teamwork, perseverance, initiative and a commitment to their fellow recruit to overcome the obstacles that lay ahead of them.
The recruits from Echo Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, traversed the obstacles of the Confidence Course at Leatherneck Square, Jan. 31.
The Confidence Course is held in the wooded area of Leatherneck Square and is made up of a variety of obstacles that require recruits to climb tall wooden structures, shimmy across ropes over water and push themselves past their comfort zone.
“It’s not a graduation requirement, but it does tie into the core values of an individual,” said Capt. Darby Bodden, Echo Company’s follow series commander. “It can provide an indication that a recruit might need extra training.”
The course is used for testing recruits, boosting confidence and dissolving fears.
The obstacles included the “Weaver,” which has recruits suspended above the ground and weaving through wooden beams, the “A-frame” has recruits scale a 40-foot tower and climb down a rope and the “Slide-for-life,” where recruits must climb a tower and then use a rope to get over a large pool of water.
“I was excited and nervous,” said Rct. Jonathan Cobb, a 21-year-old recruit from Nashville, Tenn., and a recruit of Platoon 2026. “Once I was at the top of the tower it seemed a lot higher. Then, I had to reach out and grab the rope. That was the hardest part.”
Drill instructors motivate the recruits to push through the obstacles. The small groups allow the drill instructors to work one-on-one with the recruits and more easily evaluate them to discern the ones needing help and the ones that may be ahead of the curve.
“It’s not only a good activity to help build confidence, but it also lets you see which recruits have more confidence and would make good leaders,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jacob A. Moor, senior drill instructor of Platoon 2026.
Recruits said that it was both exciting and stressful while traversing the tall obstacles.
“Now that I’ve done it, I know if I ever came upon something like this, I could do it,” Cobb said.