Obstacle Courses and Additional Drills - Confidence obstacle courses
Confidence obstacle courses must be built in accordance with Folio No. 1, “Training Facilities,” Corps of Engineers Drawing Number 28-13-95. You can obtain this publication from the Directorate of Facilities Engineering at most Army installations.
Confidence courses can develop confidence and strength by using obstacles that train and test balance and muscular strength. Soldiers do not negotiate these obstacles at high speed or against time. The obstacles vary from fairly easy to difficult, and some are high. For these, safety nets are provided. Soldiers progress through the course without individual equipment. Only one soldier at a time negotiates an obstacle unless it is designed for use by
more than one.
Confidence courses should accommodate four platoons, one at each group of six obstacles. Each platoon begins at a different starting point. In the example below, colors are used to group the obstacles. Any similar method may be used to spread a group over the course. Soldiers are separated into
groups of 8 to 12 at each obstacle. At the starting signal, they proceed through the course.
Soldiers may skip any obstacle they are unwilling to try. Instructors should encourage fearful soldiers to try the easier obstacles first. Gradually, as their confidence improves, they can take their places in the normal rotation. Soldiers proceed from one obstacle to the next until time is called. They then assemble and move to the next group of obstacles.
Rules for the Course
Supervisors should encourage, but not force, soldiers to try every obstacle. Soldiers who have not run the course before should receive a brief orientation at each obstacle, including an explanation and demonstration of the best way to negotiate it. Instructors should help those who have problems. Trainers and soldiers should not try to make obstacles more difficult by shaking ropes, rolling logs, and so forth. Close supervision and common sense must be constantly used to enhance safety and prevent injuries.
Soldiers need not conform to any one method of negotiating obstacles, but there is a uniformity in the general approach. Recommended ways to negotiate obstacles are described below.
This group contains the first six obstacles.
Belly Buster. Soldiers vault, jump, or climb over the log. They must be warned that it is not stationary. Therefore, they should not roll or rock the log while others are negotiating it.
Reverse Climb. Soldiers climb the reverse incline and go down the other side to the ground.
Weaver. Soldiers move from one end of the obstacle to the other by weaving their bodies under one bar and over the next.
Hip-Hip. Soldiers step over each bar; they either alternate legs or use the same lead leg each time.
Balancing Logs. Soldiers step up on a log and walk or run along it while keeping their balance.
Island Hopper. Soldiers jump from one log to another until the obstacle is negotiated.
This group contains the second six obstacles.
Tough Nut. Soldiers step over each X in the lane.
Inverted Rope Descent. Soldiers climb the tower, grasp the rope firmly, and swing their legs upward. They hold the rope with their legs to distribute the
weight between their legs and arms. Braking the slide with their feet and legs, they proceed down the rope. Soldiers must be warned that they may get
rope burns on their hands. This obstacle can be dangerous when the rope is slippery. Soldiers leave the rope at a clearly marked point of release. Only one soldier at a time is allowed on the rope. Soldiers should not shake or bounce the ropes. This obstacle requires two instructors--one on the platform and the other at the base.
Low Belly-Over. Soldiers mount the low log and jump onto the high log. They grasp over the top of the log with both arms, keeping the belly area in contact with it. They swing their legs over the log and lower themselves to the ground.
Belly Crawl. Soldiers move forward under the wire on their bellies to the end of the obstacle. To reduce the tendency to push the crawling surface, it is filled with sand or sawdust to the far end of the obstacle. The direction of negotiating the crawl is reversed from time to time.
Easy Balancer. Soldiers walk up one inclined log and down the one on the other side to the ground.
Tarzan. Soldiers mount the lowest log, walk the length of it, then each higher log until they reach the horizontal ladder. They grasp two rungs of the ladder and swing themselves into the air. They negotiate the length of the ladder by releasing one hand at a time and swinging forward, grasping a more distant rung each time.
This group contains the third six obstacles.
High Step-over. Soldiers step over each log while alternating their lead foot or using the same one.
Swinger. Soldiers climb over the swing log to the ground on the opposite side.
Low Wire. Soldiers move under the wire on their backs while raising the wire with their hands to clear their bodies. To reduce the tendency to push the crawling surface, it is filled with sand or sawdust to the far end of the obstacle. The direction of negotiating the obstacle is alternated.
Swing, Stop, and Jump. Soldiers gain momentum with a short run, grasp the rope, and swing their bodies forward to the top of the wall. They release the
rope while standing on the wall and jump to the ground.
Six Vaults. Soldiers vault over the logs using one or both hands.
Wall Hanger. Soldiers walk up the wall using the rope. From the top of the wall, they grasp the bar and go hand-over-hand to the rope on the opposite end. They use the rope to descend.
This group contains the last six obstacles.
Inclining Wall. Soldiers approach the underside of the wall, jump up and grasp the top, and pull themselves up and over. They slide or jump down the
incline to the ground.
Skyscraper. Soldiers jump or climb to the first floor and either climb the corner posts or help one another to the higher floors. They descend to the ground individually or help one another down. The top level or roof is off limits, and the obstacle should not be overloaded. A floor must not become so crowded that soldiers are bumped off. Soldiers should not jump to the ground from above the first level.
Jump and Land. Soldiers climb the ladder to the platform and jump to the ground.
Confidence Climb. Soldiers climb the inclined ladder to the vertical ladder. They go to the top of the vertical ladder, then down the other side to the ground.
Belly Robber. Soldiers step on the lower log and take a prone position on the horizontal logs. They crawl over the logs to the opposite end of the obstacle. Rope gaskets must be tied to the ends of each log to keep the hands from being pinched and the logs from falling.
The Tough One. Soldiers climb the rope or pole on the lowest end of the obstacle. They go over or between the logs at the top of the rope. They move
across the log walkway, climb the ladder to the high end, then climb down the cargo net to the ground.
Rifle drills are suitable activities for fitness training while bivouacking or during extended time in the field. In most situations, the time consumed in drawing weapons makes this activity cumbersome for garrison use. However, it is a good conditioning activity, and the use of individual weapons in training fosters a warrior’s spirit.
There are four rifle-drill exercises that develop the upper body. They are numbered in a set pattern. The main muscle groups strengthened by rifle drills are those of the arms, shoulders, and back.
Rifle drill is a fast-moving method of exercising that soldiers can do in as little as 15 minutes. With imagination, the number of steps and/or rifle exercises can be expanded beyond those described here.