Written by MIDN 3/C Ben Brewer
A lazy Sunday was not on the schedule for Boston NRTOC Marine Options. At 0545 the 16 midshipmen, along with cadre and officer instructors, arrived at Ashford Supply for a day trip to Fort Devens. The second Field Expedition was only a one-day event, albeit an exceedingly long day. From 0545-1900 the Marine Options participated in training that would prepare them for OCS.
The vans arrived at the Fort at approximately 0745 and a flurry of activity ensued in order to begin the hike on schedule. Meeting up with a corpsman, the Marine officer candidates began the hike. The route consisted of 8.3 miles of hills as the platoon humped its way through Fort Devens for the majority of the morning. All midshipmen performed well and few fell back as MIDN Frayne and Maj Hritz led the hike at standard OCS 15-minute mile pace. Sore feet and blisters were commonplace towards the conclusion of the hike.
Within minutes of the hike ending, the platoon was tasked with setting up security as Bulldogs began to receive 5 paragraph orders for the coming Squad in the Offensive (SITO). For the next four hours the Marine Platoon wove its way through different scenarios under the rotating leadership of MIDN Schaffino, Noviello, Murray, and King. The candidates assaulted up hills, through thickets, over streams, into marshes, and across brush fields in order to simulate OCS style Small Unit Leadership Evaluation. Compasses and maps guided MIDN through their tasks as they plotted points. The day did not end there, however.
At around 1630, MIDN Frayne lined the platoon up in two columns to begin a 2 mile run to the Leadership Reaction Course. The run was grueling for the already exhausted MIDN and featured many hills as everyone struggled to keep up. The experience aimed to simulate the exhaustion you would feel at OCS. A great sense of pride and relief was felt by all who completed the event.
Finally, the MIDN conducted a brief Leadership Reaction Course evolution. In fire team size elements, candidates were expected to overcome difficult obstacles. The evolution gauges success on the leadership exhibited rather than the success of the team.
After a long day the Marine Options returned to Ashford Supply to clean vans, check gear, and return rifles. At 1900 they were dismissed. It can be assumed that all participants in the Sunday FEX consumed exorbitant amounts of food before falling quickly asleep.