Separating the men from the boys - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Separating the men from the boys

^ Rejected by the rope. Hoo-wah! ^ Rejected by the rope. Hoo-wah!

February 13, 2003

MCLB Albany-- Marines are trained, tested, and tough. Television reporters-- not so much.

Even though Marines here in Albany are stationed at a domestic logistics base, they must remain just as strong and vigilant as those who may be near the front lines of combat.

Running the obstacle course is just one way these Albany Marines stay in shape.

"This tests your physical and mental endurance," says Obstacle Course Expert SSgt. Steven Burkett. Marines have to go through at least three hours of physical training every week. "No matter where you are in the Marine Corps, you always have to maintain that warrior attitude."

The course includes about 20 obstacles, culminating with a rope climb. Some of the obstacles can be a little tricky. "You're gonna do what we call the chicken wing. The key is technique and confidence."

Sergeant Burkett gives good advice. "It's gonna be one motion of you jumping, hitting it with your waist, and going right over."

Especially at the rope. "You just need to wrap it on the outside of your foot and bring it back on top of your foot and step on it."

The Marines make this look easy-- Especially the rope. For me, after a little trouble on the high bar, things were going pretty well, but the rope whipped me.

That's as close as I got to the top. "It gives you a great sense of accomplishment when you get done," Said Burkett. That's a feeling I didn't experience, but one these Marines get every time they step on the course.

posted at 2:40PM by dave.miller@walb.com