The Basic Scout Swimmers Course is a three-week evaluation with the mission of providing Marines with the ability to launch boat raids from land, sea, or air.
A scout swimmer’s primary duty is to swim ahead, secure a beach landing site, and signal for follow-on forces. They can also be used as a reconnaissance force should the need arise.
These are some well-trained Marines and the course is not to be taken lightly.
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1. Be able to swim… obviously.
More specifically, be able to fin. First class swim qualifications are required, but having the endurance to fin as long and as far as possible is invaluable during the course.
2. Lean with it or get rocked by it.
Coxswain, the guys who drive zodiacs (low-profile rubber boats), are generally a thrill-seeking breed and they are encouraged to push the limits of speed during swimmer insertions. They will absolutely try to sling you off their boat during the course, so hang on and learn to anticipate the turns or swim much further to the beach landing site, or BLS.
3. Get used to being wet and sandy.
One of the first things you’ll do when you hit the BLS is the “sugar cookie.” The “sugar cookie” is when you roll around and toss sand all over your wet body, it sticks to you, and it becomes your camouflage. It’s strikingly similar to what happens to cat sh*t in a litter box.
4. Buy some black Converse.
Swimmers will use fins to swim to shore but, once there, you will need to remove your fins and secure the beach. Black Converse are a more practical footwear for running compared to fin booties. The Marines with green converse have endured the ocean for a long time.
5. Dummy chords are not for dummies.
Don’t bring anything into the ocean that you want to keep. If you cannot avoid bringing something important, dummy chord it. Dummy chording is a method of securing items to one’s body using 550-chord. This doesn’t guarantee the item won’t be lost at sea, but it certainly helps.
6 Be a team player.
Securing a beach is a team effort and it is a pass-or-fail scenario. So, do your best to enhance your interpersonal skills… or, basically, don’t be a dick.
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7. Do not quit.
This seems obvious, but people do it. Those people are not Scout Swimmers. Finish strong, my friend.