Hand grenade Assault Course Challenges Soldiers in Basic Combat Training

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A Soldier in Basic Combat Training with Co. C, 1st Bn., 61st Inf. Reg., uses a three to five-second rush to bound to the next over watch position on the hand grenade assault course at Fort Jackson, S.C., Feb. 1, 2016. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Brian Hamilton, 108th Training Command (IET), Public Affairs

FORT JACKSON, S.C. — In preparation for their culminating event, Victory Forge, Soldiers in their seventh week of Basic Combat Training with Co. C, 1st Bn., 61st Inf. Reg., at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, took to the hand grenade assault course to refine their individual skills as well as boost their confidence going into next week’s exercise.

On the course, Soldiers were given a series of stations to maneuver through as buddy teams where they combine individual movement techniques with cover and concealment and engage targets in bunkers and trenches with hand grenades from the standing, kneeling and prone positions.

“I think the hand grenade assault course serves its purpose by proving to that Soldier in training they can do more than they thought possible,” said Army Drill Sergeant, Staff Sgt. Jonathon Martin, Co. C, 1st Bn., 61st Inf. Reg.

A Soldier in Basic Combat Training with Co. C, 1st Bn., 61st Inf. Reg., tosses a practice grenade into a bunker on the hand grenade assault course at Fort Jackson, S.C., Feb. 1, 2016. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Brian Hamilton, 108th Training Command (IET), Public Affairs

For most, this is the first, and possibly the last time they will experience a course like this: a course designed to test a Soldiers physical and mental limits but also develop a sense of cohesion while working within the team concept.

Martin sees the course as more than just another Army Warrior task to check off a list. He sees it as a powerful tool to prove to Soldiers that they are capable of accomplishing things they never thought possible.

“When a challenge like this is presented; go put this grenade in the front of that bunker, it provides a great opportunity for personal growth and development by taking them out of their comfort zone and gives them a specific standard to meet,” Martin said.

A Soldier in Basic Combat Training with Co. C, 1st Bn., 61st Inf. Reg., tosses a practice grenade from the standing position on the hand grenade assault course at Fort Jackson, S.C., Feb. 1, 2016. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Brian Hamilton, 108th Training Command (IET), Public Affair

“If you can push yourself to accomplish tasks outside your normal expectations then suddenly other difficult tasks become more achievable.”

Martin, an Infantry Soldier, who has been a drill sergeant for close to eight months, says although the hours are long and he misses his old assignment as Airborne Infantry squad leader, he enjoys the training environment as well.

“It’s a powerful experience to see citizens transform from civilians to Soldiers in a matter of weeks,” he said.

“There are always the great success stories as well as harsh defeats in every class. Not everyone has what it takes to become a Soldier. But by the end of each training cycle, I feel proud to know that I am contributing to the Army in a very profound way.”

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