Training Shots

With budget cuts looming we are getting creative with training events lately. To illustrate, here are some pictures of Marines rappelling off the roof of our barracks here in Bahrain recently. Thought it would be something to share with you all as we head into the weekend.
Nah-nah nah-nah nah-nah nah-nah…Batman!

On belay as a Marine approaches the ground.

Here our HRST master supervises a Marine on rappel.


Marine demonstrates the “L-Shape” position in order to show the HRST master he has control of his decent. If he doesn’t have control we figure it out pretty quickly.
As a young Marine I always used to completely bust my rump doing the “L-shape” before rappelling down. For me it’s just another one of those unnatural acts the Marine Corps forces you do to.  I suppose it builds character as well as callouses on the buttocks. Maybe we should issue some of those ballistic drawers for this?  
Semper Fidelis,
America’s 1stSgt
/ / / /


  1. Top,
    I love going down the rope. It’s good they do training where they can….we did room clearing in the barracks for some of our deployment training…because some knuckelheads thought we didn’t need that kind of training.

    (Came in handy later on when going out with some nice folks with the Marines)

    If you’re not training, you should be planning it.

  2. CI Roller, you are right on point. We do room clearing in the barracks all the time. With cut backs looming some of us old timers (when did I become one of those?) are bringing back “budda-budda jam!”

  3. 1. Loved the rappelling biz until I ran into some high speed types who contemptuously explained that going up ’em fast was where it’s at.
    2. Sucked all the joy out of doing it at my humble grunt level -and never quite did get that figured out.
    3. On the rock, walked through fire team and squad tactics between the barracks, so the local commies wouldn’t see us and raise a fuss.
    4. One reason 2/9 got the crap shot out of it on Kohtang Island, back in ’75.
    5. When unit rotation started along about 1980, went a long way toward solving that problem.
    6. You have to train and you have to rehearse. Chalk talking it isn’t enough -even if your troops are salted, which I’m sure most of yours are.
    V/R JWest

  4. Damn you for the 60’s Batman television show reference. My Batman obsessed brother showed me a bit of the show, and since then I have been trying to evict it from my memory. But now all my hard work is for nothing! Jumping catfish!

    There’s nothing intelligent I can add to the discussion of rappelling, as I have never done it before, so all I can say is good luck in face of the budget cuts. I’m sure that the Marine Corps will do fine.

  5. Since real war seldom follows nice rules, I think it’s excellent that you’re using urban improvisation for your training. And better you than me….

  6. America’s 1st Sgt.:

    Rappelling is lots of fun, even more fun is the Australian method.
    Plus, you have one hand free for your weapon.

    Paul L. Quandt

  7. Pax:

    The Aussie Method is to have the harness set up so the rappel rope secures in the back, the brake hand is across the chest, and you go down the wall face first.

    This allows a body to run down the face of whatever is being rappelled, see what’s below and allows the free hand to be available for weapon use in those extreme cases where crazy is good.


  8. Aussie method also allows you to bust your shoulder and face instead of just your rump when learning to rappel.

  9. JWest, agreed, the attitude of “I’ve got this, it’s just like last time” is dangerous and leads to an unhappy ending.

    Erika, so why even try to evict the old Batman? It’s futile I say!

    Book, the fun part is when the Sailors freak out when we conduct urban patrols on base. Run! The Marines have rifles!

    Paul, Pax, Grimmy, and Mark, it’s pure madness. Especially when you are forced to eat musk sticks all the way down.

  10. Those things are supposed to smell and taste like perfume? Like musk? Don’t people know where musk comes from? That’s bloody gross!

    The reactions on your Marines faces when you fed them the crap was priceless, though. 🙂

  11. In college a few of us were board during a snow storm and thought it would be fun to repel down the dorm from the 7th floor, where the genius who thought of it lived. Administration got all butt hurt over it and stopped us before my turn 🙁

  12. Erika, just stay away from any confections from Australia. It’s just safer that way.

    Lin, NTA was crazy. I remember going over that cliff with full gear and a SAW. Then traversing the rest of that maze including the rope bridge.

    Kristina, even scarier are stories of drunk Marines doing the same during a typhoon. Not MY story mind you, but they are out there.

  13. I don’t think I ever rappelled without banging either my head or my knees, or both. Having a body longer than my legs causes me to be a bit top heavy I guess.

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