News: SRT pushes candidates to physical, mental limits during indoc brief
Story by Lance Cpl. Kenneth Trotter
IWAKUNI, Japan - Potential candidates from the Provost Marshal’s Office took part in a Special Reaction Team indoctrination brief on a vacant lot behind the Matthew C. Perry Schools here April 10, 2012.
The Special Reaction Team is a subdivision of PMO which is tasked with taking on certain situations that have escalated beyond what a basic PMO Marine could expect to encounter. SRT can be seen as the Marine Corps’ equivalent of civilian police’s Special Weapons And Tactics division.
The purpose of the indoctrination brief was to give SRT members a chance to see several candidates who may eventually fill vacant spots which will become available when current SRT members change their permanent duty stations.
“This is our chance to replenish our ranks,” said Staff Sgt. Bryce Good, SRT staff non-commissioned officer-in-charge.
The candidates started their indoctrination brief at 4:30 a.m., running a Physical Fitness Test. They next performed a number of drills and exercises, such as step-out drills, proper room-clearing procedures, and techniques essential to the job of all SRT members.
The Marines were also required to perform weapons disassembly and reassembly of both the M16A4 service rifle and the M9 service pistol at different stations, all the while SRT members asked them random questions tailored toward distracting the candidate while under pressure
and performing physical exercises such as pushups, burpees and jumping jacks. These procedures tested their mental and physical dexterity.
“It’s pretty much one big evaluation,” said Good. “They come out and show us what they’ve got.”
Once the candidates finished the grueling period of training, they took an oral examination followed by a written test. The candidates who showed the most promise will conduct on-the-job training in preparation of going to the SRT Training Phase 1 course, which is located in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
“The schoolhouse training is only two weeks long, but they cram a lot of knowledge in those two weeks,” said Good.
For the candidates, the biggest hurdle was signing up.
“It takes a special mentality to be SRT,” said Good. “These Marines have heard horror stories of what an (SRT) indoc is. Them willing to sign up and come out for it shows greatly on their part.”
For consideration into SRT, the Marines must have a first class PFT and Combat Fitness Test and must be at a minimum rank of lance corporal. However, there’s a certain intangible SRT looks for when selecting potential candidates.
“You have to have heart,” said Good. “We’re pushing and testing them to their physical limits to see if they have heart. If you have the heart to keep going, I can work with you. If you’re a second class or low first class PFT, I can get you to a first class. Those are things that can be worked on. If you don’t have the heart and determination to do it, I can’t work with you.”