All Marines are trained riflemen and they also know how to use a bayonet. Instead of using a real bayonet which is a steel blade that attaches to the end of a rifle, Marines use a pugle stick for training purposes.
Sgt. Robert Stull, Marine Corps Martial Arts Trainer says using bayonets isn't common, but Marines have to train for any and all scenarios. "If we ever have to get close quarters which the enemy is getting close enough to engage us, we'll actually take our bayonets out and put them at the end of our rifles so this is a way of training these techniques" says Stull.
The reason Marines wear full gear and conduct pugle stick training outside is to simulate the hot environment they could experience in Iraq or Afghanistan where deployed Marines have had to use their bayonets in hand to hand combat. Although the rounds are two minutes each, trainers say it's a challenge. "It's very hard, it's very strenuous all that gear on you, you're tired, your endurance is low, you're hungry, you're thirsty, you're thinking about the pain. To push yourself beyond that limit is very tough" says Stull.
Training sessions are for Marines to learn, but when it comes to pugle sticks, they go all out to make sure they can take down the enemy if need be. "This is the time you want to really put it down; you want to throw down hard. This is when the ball meets the pavement is the pugle sticks" says Stull.