The Marines say the course offers more than just physical training. It also gives them a newfound confidence in themselves and their abilities.
"The purpose is to let you know you can fight through it," said Lance Cpl. Paul Kistler, special intelligence communicator. "In case you're apprehending a suspect and you get some on you, you're confident in your abilities to perform and take him down even with the pain."
There are three levels of contamination for OC certification.
Level one OC contamination certification includes fight-through drills, handcuff positions, verbal commands, mechanical advantage control holds and several additional techniques used during suspect apprehension.
The Marines had two days of training which stressed their understanding of the proper use and escalation of force in order to better understand how to use the least amount of force to handle a conflict.
"The training helps us understand how bad OC would hurt someone," Kistler said. "That way we don't spray someone unless they're committing major offenses."
The course consisted of five stations where Marines fought and apprehended multiple suspects after being sprayed with the OC.
The course's degree of difficulty and intense physical strain provides Marines with a large amount of confidence, said Cpl. Matthew Garcia, a military policeman with Marine Corps Base Provost Marshals Office.
"It's basically a confidence-builder course," Garcia added. "Knowing that after you've been sprayed you can fight through this and you will fight through this."
When coupled with their basic training as warriors, the confidence the Marines get through this course gives them a sense of assurance in their abilities during gas attacks, fire-fights and other combat related situations, explained Garcia.
"It's about Marines being able to look inside themselves and know that a situation is going to get bad," Garcia said. "But, they know that they can fight through it."