Why Marines wear 'floaties' during water training

Photo Credit: Romney Smith

Marines train in all different settings including the water and they recently participated in the Marine's Aquatics Maximum Power Intense Training course, also known as 'AMPIT'.

The class is a low impact way to train while being lighter on the Marines' body while providing resistance. However just because the class is low impact doesn't mean it's not challenging. AMPIT Instructor Sgt. Nathan Phelps says the course starts with a sprint across the pool, crunches and leg raises, and then Marines hop back in the water for some serious work. "Coming back across the pool so that they also work out their legs we did a long jump, that way they're forcing their body through the water both vertically and horizontally" says Phelps.

While treading water or swimming with just your legs may not look hard, when you do it for long periods of time, Corporal Sheldrick Thomas says it gets tough. "It drains you, it really doesn't put too much strain on your joints, but at the same time you'll feel it the next day" says Thomas.

As intense as Marines are known to be; instructors say there's one reason they make Marines wear 'floaties' during training. "They know that they have something there to support them. They're not going to drown" says Phelps. The floatation belts help build a Marine's confidence until they are able to float on their own.

All marines passed the AMPIT class which does triple duty as a training session, physical fitness workout, and practice for the upcoming swim qualification test.