US Marine Corps

Request

Increase Resilience of Marines alongside a pilot program for water survivability.

Challenge

A high percentage of prospective Reconnaissance Marines fail each year whilst attempting various water survivability and breath hold tests.

Our Frontline trainers video modeled the approach of RTC Training staff and discovered a number of problem approaches that were being used and which supported low breath hold rates.

Our trainers also live modeled elite free-divers who are able to hold their breaths and dive to depths that are on a world class scale.  

From these two modelling approaches we designed a context specific (for Marines and their unique demands) program that could be taught in four sessions.

Process

Pattern Detection

We identified an approach being used by training staff that was counter to the science of advanced breath hold diving. Language patterns of trainers also contained prompts and primes that influenced the trainees to enter into a stress state – the opposite of what is required for long duration breath hold.

Coaching and Training

Using modeled methods from advanced free-diving, as well as core methods of the Frontline Mind resilience and performance program, we trained a mixed cohort of Marines in the class and pool. Pre and post training breath hold times were collected. Training included multiple approaches to choosing ‘state’ whilst under extreme pressure and carbon dioxide build up (in the pool).

Sustainability

All trainees were provided the explicit instructions for how to use and coach others in the Frontline Mind and breath hold techniques. Ongoing video tutorial support was also provided for any interested parties. Proposals of mass scale ( across the DoD) were delivered to senior officers.