Fall Plebe Training at MMA; Part II
Maj Harold Compton
The weekend of 18-19 August marked the end of the first week of plebe training and the first opportunity for the new plebes to get out on the LEAD Complex. On Saturday morning they took on the Obstacle Course and Confidence Course.
Plebe Training Saturday
Following a briefing on safety and demonstration by Cadet Instructors the plebes were ready to tackle the courses. The Obstacle Course challenged their upper body strength as well as their technique and many of the plebes found the course much more difficult than it appeared when demonstrated. After much encouragement and determination they all provided a good showing for their first time on the course. Most of them are looking forward to getting back on the course to improve their technique and see if they can lower their time to complete the running.
After a short rest upon completion of the Obstacle Course, plebe training took on the Confidence Course. This course covers a distance of about 1000 feet in length. The Confidence Course has a variety of obstacles, both low and high that tested the fitness, endurance and technique of the plebes and again they found it much harder than they imagined. The view from 24′ up on the Stairway to Heaven can unsettle the most sturdy participants but our plebes showed that they had what it takes. Once again they are ready to come back in the future to show how much they can improve on their first running!
Plebe Training Sunday
Following a hearty breakfast the plebe training moved to the practice football field to run COPE games. This is a series of team problems that are fun and challenging for the plebes. These events are the initial stage of ropes training during plebe training. The problems included Blind Square where a dozen of the plebes form a circle and are then blindfolded. Once blindfolded they are handed a rope that has the ends tied together to form a circle with each plebe hold the rope in front of him. On command they are to form a square without looking. It is interesting to watch how they work together, initially struggling but eventually working as a team to complete the square. The next event is called Pass the Hula Hoop. Again a group of about 12 plebes form a circle, each one grabbing the man to their right by the wrist so that they all form a connected circle. A hula hoop is place around the joined hands of two the members and on command they must pass the hoop all the way around the circle without ever letting go the person’s hand. Fun to watch! The next event is called Tank Walk. In this event two boards are placed on the ground. Each board has five ropes attached along the top of the board. Five plebes stand with one foot on each board and grab the rope attached in front of their foot. On command they must walk the boards a designated distance. This event requires real teamwork because if only one member does not lift his foot and the rope at the same time all the other member do they cannot walk the boards. The last event is called Islands and in this event the group (again about 12) uses a series of wooden blocks, each one just 1 foot square, as islands. They must move from one point to another point without touching the ground and each wooden block must have a hand or foot touching it at all times.
All of the above events are designed to foster teamwork and problem solving skills during plebe training, skills that will be most useful later in plebe training when they visit the Leadership Reaction Course. Of course these skills will also help them in navigating their way through the coming year!
Plebe Training Photos
Many photos were taken during the above events and can be viewed on our Plebe Training Page on Facebook.
If you are still considering enrollment at Marine Military Academy we are still accepting late registrations for the fall semester. Click the image below to request an information packet about attending.