Here's a look at the five most challenging training exercises these elite warrior endured along the way:
These aren't the same kinds of swimming courses you took in elementary school. Not even close.
Marines entering recon training are expected to be acclimated to wet environments. To test to see how well soldiers endure the water, from the very first day Marines are put through a grueling swim test that includes treading water without touching the bottom of the pool for thirty minutes or more. In the process, Marines are fully clothed and given weights and rifles in the pool that they must pass around as they continue to stay afloat. Following that, Marines must swim 30 yards underwater, never rising to the surface.
In order to maintain safety during exercises, swim training is always done with the assistance of monitors, who look for signs of exhaustion and drowning if a Marine ever nears danger.
Not every drill is meant to test the endurance of a Marine. There are, however, exercises meant to sap every last ounce of energy. Entire days can be turned into what are essentially biathlons from dawn to dusk mixing a combination of swimming, running, rowing and strength training through the use of weighted backpacks and entire boats.