I think it’s funny how we’re all supposed to be “amphibious” since we guard boats, but there is a significant amount of Marines who can’t really swim. I know every Marine had to pass boot camp, and in order to pass boot camp, you had to have passed swim qual. I had a guy in my platoon who was prior service Navy, and he couldn’t swim or shoot.
A lot of people who joined the Corps came from cities or from neighborhoods where you never grew up near a pool or an ocean. Every swim qual, I’m always there at the end of the line with a bunch of minorities, and we’re all waiting for some miracle that we’ll all pass swim qual.
During one swim qual, I saw my Staff Sergeant on the diving board. I yelled at him, “You can do it!” He looked down into the deep water. His head shook left and right. There was a pause… and then… he turned around and got of the board. I was confused. He can do that?! At this point, my Sergeant told me it was time for me to leave.
Swim qual doesn’t really matter because it’s doesn’t count toward your promotion. So, people usually do the bare minimum because they can. Fuck it.
Half-assed swimming since 1775.