In Phase Two, recruits are introduced to field skills, take part in two weeks of primary marksmanship training and complete “Team Week”.
The first inter-platoon contest, held in the first week of the second phase, is termed “initial drill”, where the platoon and junior-most drill instructor are graded as a whole on their performance in close order drill.
Recruits learn rappelling, a controlled slide down a rope that prepares Marines for deployment from helicopters, for navigating difficult terrain and for gaining access to buildings during raids. From the rappel tower, recruits learn the proper way to brake, regulate speed and land safely.
Rappelling teaches recruits technique as well as confidence and courage in a supervised environment.
Grass week is when the recruits spend time practicing their firing positions, also called “snapping in”. During grass week a strong emphasis is placed upon firing positions, firing procedures and safety requirements.
During firing week the recruits are awakened early in the morning to prepare the rifle range for firing. Half of the platoons will fire at the 200, 300, and 500 yards, in the standing, sitting, kneeling and prone positions; the other half will mark targets in the pits. Friday of that week is qualification day, where recruits must qualify with a minimum score in order to earn a marksmanship badge and continue training. The Marines are the only branch of the United States Armed Forces that require the 500 yard line qualification.
The “Gas Chamber” is actually the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) confidence chamber. The recruits learn about the M50 Field Protective Mask, or “Gas Mask.” This exercise exposes the recruits to a simulated toxic environment by using CS gas, also known as tear gas. It is non-lethal and builds the recruits’ confidence in their gear, with the understanding that the masks can save their lives. This experience gives them confidence as they now understand some of the basic protective measures that must be taken against chemical weapons or hazards. It further reinforces the understanding that as Marines, we are a “force-in-readiness” regardless of the circumstance.
After the rifle range, recruits are assigned to a week of maintenance duties, known as team week. During this week, recruits will be able to revisit previous instruction and retake tests. Recruits that need to have medical or dental needs addressed, such as the extraction of wisdom teeth, have those procedures done here so that recovery time impacts training as little as possible. Team week is a brief break from the intense training so recruits can rest and be prepared for their final phase of training.