Military Obstacle Course Background

Military Obstacle Course at Marine Military Academy

Maj Harold Compton

obstacle courseThe military obstacle course at the Marine Military Academy was originally built in 1999 and was patterned from the obstacle course at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island.  The course is one of the major courses located on the Leadership Enhancement and Development Complex.  Initially the ground was cleared of all trees, bushes and leveled for the course.  Next step was to cut all poles to the appropriate lengths and auger the holes for them.  Construction moved quickly and was completed prior to summer camp that year.  Final step in the construction was the addition of uncompressed wood chips below some obstacle to prevent injury from a fall.  The course was set up with two lanes for running and the left lane was built with smaller participants in mind so that each obstacle had a step built on it or the ground was built up so the obstacle was obstacle coursenot too high for our younger summer campers.  Following completion of the course, an outdoor classroom was constructed immediately next to the course to provide shade for participant and a classroom for teaching and demonstration of the course.  A road was completed alongside the obstacle course which provides a running course of just over 1/2 mile.  A potable water system was later added which was much appreciated by those on the course during summer months.

The completed obstacle course saw its first heavy usage during summer camp 2000 and was an immediate hit with all participants. The course is used many times by the Corps of Cadets during the school year and it an integral part of each semester’s plebe training program.

Obstacle Course Events

obstacle courseThe obstacle course is composed of seven major obstacles separated by six low hurdles.  The course begins by vaulting over a low hurdle and then taking on the single high bar.  On this event two different techniques are demonstrated, college boy roll or a kip. Participants may use either of these techniques.  The next obstacle is a second low hurdle and then the combination event.  This obstacle is again followed by a low hurdle and then the wall.  The wall is followed by a low and a high hurdle, another low hurdle and a series of four medium hurdles.  After the medium hurdles comes the double bars, another low hurdle and then the ropes climb.  The entire coures is about 50 yards in length from start to finish.

Running the Obstacle Course

obstacle courseParticipant running the obstacle course quickly learn that technique is much more important than brute strength.  The course tests the upper body strength of the participants and those that learn the right techniques can negotiate the obstacles easier without tiring themselves out.  Check out the Obstacle Course Video from Summer Camp 2012 to see how some of the obstacles are run.  Keep in mind that these are young men between the ages of 12 and 17 and they are running the same course that our military runs!

Learn More About Marine Military Academy and the MMA Obstacle Course

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