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2nd Marine Logistics Group

Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Marines return to amphibious roots

By Lance Cpl. Devin Nichols | | January 11, 2013

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Marines with Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group pass off gear during the regiment’s swim qualification aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 8, 2013. Servicemembers removed the gear while underwater, disposing of their helmets, flak jackets and rifles in order to complete their basic swim qualification.

Marines with Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group pass off gear during the regiment’s swim qualification aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 8, 2013. Servicemembers removed the gear while underwater, disposing of their helmets, flak jackets and rifles in order to complete their basic swim qualification. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Devin Nichols)


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Sgt. Jonathan L. Leger, a landing support specialist with Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, gasps for air while creating a floatation device during the regiment’s swim qualification aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 8, 2013. In the intermediate qualification, Marines treaded water for 10 minutes then used their clothing as floatation devices to learn how to remain afloat if stranded at sea.

Sgt. Jonathan L. Leger, a landing support specialist with Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, gasps for air while creating a floatation device during the regiment’s swim qualification aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 8, 2013. In the intermediate qualification, Marines treaded water for 10 minutes then used their clothing as floatation devices to learn how to remain afloat if stranded at sea. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Devin Nichols)


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Marines with Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group perform a 25-meter swim assessment during their swim qualification aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 8, 2013. Troops with the regiment did several tests during their qualifications and were grouped into three different classes: basic, intermediate and advanced, depending on their skill levels in the pool.

Marines with Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group perform a 25-meter swim assessment during their swim qualification aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 8, 2013. Troops with the regiment did several tests during their qualifications and were grouped into three different classes: basic, intermediate and advanced, depending on their skill levels in the pool. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Devin Nichols)


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Lance Cpl. Jacob H. Schiros [rear], a swim qualification coordinator for Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, gives a Marine instructions before he stepped off the high tower during the unit’s swim qualification aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 8, 2013. In the basic qualification, Marines stepped off the high tower keeping their arms crossed and eyes level with the horizon while making a full 30-inch step to move on to the next test.

Lance Cpl. Jacob H. Schiros [rear], a swim qualification coordinator for Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, gives a Marine instructions before he stepped off the high tower during the unit’s swim qualification aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 8, 2013. In the basic qualification, Marines stepped off the high tower keeping their arms crossed and eyes level with the horizon while making a full 30-inch step to move on to the next test. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Devin Nichols)


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Marines with Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group swim across the pool with full gear during the unit’s swim qualification aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 8, 2013. In the basic qualification, Marines conducted a 25-meter swim with full gear loads including rifles, blouses, trousers, boots, flak jackets, helmets and packs.

Marines with Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group swim across the pool with full gear during the unit’s swim qualification aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 8, 2013. In the basic qualification, Marines conducted a 25-meter swim with full gear loads including rifles, blouses, trousers, boots, flak jackets, helmets and packs. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Devin Nichols)


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A Marine with Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group swims across the pool during the regiment’s swim qualification aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 8, 2013. In the basic qualification, Marines performed a 25-meter swim with their blouses, trousers, boots, helmets, flak jackets, rifles and packs.

A Marine with Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group swims across the pool during the regiment’s swim qualification aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 8, 2013. In the basic qualification, Marines performed a 25-meter swim with their blouses, trousers, boots, helmets, flak jackets, rifles and packs. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Devin Nichols)


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Marines with Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group use their uniforms as flotation devices during the unit’s swim qualification aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 8, 2013. In the intermediate qualification, Marines had to stay afloat for 10 minutes.

Marines with Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group use their uniforms as flotation devices during the unit’s swim qualification aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 8, 2013. In the intermediate qualification, Marines had to stay afloat for 10 minutes. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Devin Nichols)


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Sgt. Matthew A. Webb, a Marine Combat Instructor of Water Survival who held training for Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, instructs Marines how to properly step off the tower aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 8, 2013. In basic and intermediate qualifications, Marines stepped off the high tower and received specific instructions on how to land in the water safely.

Sgt. Matthew A. Webb, a Marine Combat Instructor of Water Survival who held training for Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, instructs Marines how to properly step off the tower aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 8, 2013. In basic and intermediate qualifications, Marines stepped off the high tower and received specific instructions on how to land in the water safely. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Devin Nichols)


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A Marine with Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group hits the water after stepping off the tower during the unit’s swim qualification aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 8, 2013. Instructors taught the Marines to cross their arms and look left, right, up and down before taking a full 30-inch step off a tower into the pool for their basic qualification.

A Marine with Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group hits the water after stepping off the tower during the unit’s swim qualification aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 8, 2013. Instructors taught the Marines to cross their arms and look left, right, up and down before taking a full 30-inch step off a tower into the pool for their basic qualification. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Devin Nichols)


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Sgt. Matthew A. Webb, a Marine Combat Instructor of Water Survival who held training for Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, instructs Marines how to properly step off the tower aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 8, 2013. In basic and intermediate qualifications, Marines stepped off the high tower and received specific instructions on how to land in the water safely.

Sgt. Matthew A. Webb, a Marine Combat Instructor of Water Survival who held training for Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, instructs Marines how to properly step off the tower aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 8, 2013. In basic and intermediate qualifications, Marines stepped off the high tower and received specific instructions on how to land in the water safely. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Devin Nichols)


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CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Swimming has been part of the Marine Corps since its birth in 1775. Marines stormed their first beach during the Revolutionary War. They turned the tide in Korea when they landed at Inchon in 1950, and their skill in water remains key today.

The Marines stood on top of the dive tower, looking down into the deep blue pool, hearts beating through their chests as the countdown began.

The Marines with Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group jumped into their annual swim qualification here, from Jan. 7 to 9.

“Everything we do revolves around water,” said Lance Cpl. Jacob H. Schiros, a Dothan, Ala., native and one of the regiment’s swim qualification coordinators. “Whether it’s being on base, ship, or taking the beach somewhere, Marines must know how to swim.”

The Marines embraced their 237-year legacy and dove into the Corps’ recently updated swim qualification program.

The new training is an awakening for Marines who haven’t qualified since recruit training. It replaced the six previous levels of qualification with three new categories: basic, intermediate and advanced, with the option of becoming an instructor.

To receive their basic qualification, the Marines first completed a 25-meter assessment swim to see if they are comfortable in the water. They also practiced removing their gear in the shallow end.
Servicemembers completed another 25-meter swim with their boots, blouses, trousers, helmets, flak jackets and rifles, and they jumped off the high tower simulating abandoning a ship.

Anything more than five meters is enough to test someone with a fear of heights, said Sgt. Matthew A. Webb, a Marine Corps Instructor of Water Survival who conducted the training for the regiment.

Stronger swimmers progressed to the intermediate level and conducted gear removal in deeper water. They had 20 seconds to complete the task before performing a 250-meter swim and treading water for 10 minutes.

Troops that overcame these obstacles can then go to a special school to receive an advanced qualification.

“The Marines who have done this before really show their confidence,” said Webb, who monitored the Marines’ performance. “If these Marines are not confident in the water, my job is to pull them aside, train them, assess what they are doing, and help them improve.”

Webb coached the Marines as they shed gear underwater and practiced creating flotation devices from personal clothing.

“This prepares them if they are in a combat situation,” said Webb, a Modesto, Calif., native. “If they are on a ship or out on the water and have to abandon ship with equipment on, they need to be confident that they can get out of their gear and onto the surface.”

The new requirements are getting the Marine Corps back to its amphibious roots. The regiment plans to conduct swim qualifications every month to keep all Marines up to date, said Schiros.


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