Your Patrol FEX (field exercise) will most likely consist of four 4-6 hour long patrols through dense brush and vegetation with a full combat load. So it’s a lot of walking. I am normally extremely careful with my feet–even to the point of regularly applying preventative moleskin before strenuous physical events to avoid the creation of hot spots or blisters.
Here, I put on that preventative moleskin, but I wore my newer Bates Lites boots which I thought were broken in enough to feel comfortable through 10s of miles of patrolling. Ugh, was I so wrong! The heel was so stiff that it continuously rubbed on my skin through the bandages I wore. The result–a complete sheering of my left heel! I had to tip toe around for the first 2 days. Life was miserable and very, very painful.
On the second day, I had time to stop by the corpsman and ask him to tape me up. Before he saw it, I described the flaps of skin hanging off my heels. When I actually showed my blistered feet to him, he had 2 comments to me: 1) Ma’am, you weren’t kidding! and 2) You’re feet smell pretty bad. Haha. I apologized for the latter. Thankfully, corpsman taped me up exceptionally well–popping all blood and water-filled blisters, gluing the wounds together with liquid medical glue, putting 2 layers of moleskin on every hot spot, then wrapping up my feet with yellow athletic foam. I wore that for the next 2 days, tried to dry my socks whenever I could (dry clothes are hard to come by in the field!) and received a multitude of comments that I looked like an Olympic gymnast with all the tape on my ankles.
I really applaud Doc for being able to touch my feet without dry-heaving or actually throwing up.
At any rate, take care of your feet! If they go down, you’ll still make it, but you WILL be miserable. Haha. And if you have boots that you’ve broken in for over 2 years versus ones you just bought 3 months ago, choose the tried and true!
This post originally appeared on LittleMarineOfficer.com here. Many thanks for the guest post!
Littlemarineofficer.com is a fantastic resource and we are proud to be partnered with the blog. We are going to be featuring some of LMO’s great information as a series of guest posts coming soon.
Little Marine Officer.com is probably the best source of information about The Basic School for successful candidates, so we highly recommend bookmarking her site for when you successfully pass the trials of OCS!