The Marine Times headline: Critics say [Marine] Corps’ new swim quals are too easy! My witty retort: ...and the statistics think so too:
From the Marine Times:
Gunnery Sgt. Joshua Turner, an experienced instructor-trainer and safety swimmer, said he has found considerable problems with the new quals, calling them “ridiculously easy” and suggesting the program fails to ensure that Marines will learn enough to survive a life-threatening situation on the water. Since 2001, more than 70 Marines have died as a result of waterborne mishaps, according to Navy statistics. Five died last year alone.[...]
“In combat, you are not going to take off your boots,” said Staff Sgt. Jacob Howard, an instructor-trainer and special projects team leader at the San Diego recruit depot pool. Howard, an amphibious assault vehicle crewman by training, said he likes the new rules and noted that, during the Iraq war, Marines died in rivers “because they didn’t know how to properly execute gear shed.”[Link]
Here is something I learn if I ever fall off a boat and I wearing shoes:
"... Bare feet no more. Every Marine and recruit must jump into the pool wearing his boots and utility uniform. This, instructors say, will be a mental obstacle initially. They’ll have to use bicycle kicks — rather than egg-beater movements — to better tread water with all the extra bulk. ..."