News: PMO Marines endure SRT indoctrination
Story by Cpl. Joseph Karwick
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan - Station military police with the Provost Marshall’s Office put themselves through a day of rigorous training May 2, 2013, in hopes of becoming part of the station's Special Reaction Team. An SRT is a specialized team or element within a military law enforcement unit.
“We are holding this indoctrination training in preparation for current members of the team switching duty stations,” said Sgt. Vincent Petitto, SRT team leader. “Marines come, they try out, we see where they are at and then we pick the best of them.”
With spots limited on the team, each participant must prove his worth to stand alongside current members by making it through the training process and to the selection phase.
“We start off with a physical fitness test because we want to make sure everyone can run a first class,” said Petitto. “Then, throughout the day, we go over some basic SRT knowledge, like how to go into houses, move in stacks, with more physical activities throughout the day.”
A few Marines have the opportunity to attend the SRT school at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., before actually trying to make a team.
“I have been a Marine for three years, and have had two combat deployments and I was given the opportunity to go to the SRT school in Ft. Leonard Wood,” said Cpl. Caleb Moeler, military policeman and SRT indoctrination participant. “I graduated the course and fell in love with the job. When I got here, I knew right away it was what I wanted to do, so now I'm out here, trying to accomplish that goal.”
Unfortunately, not all participants make the team. “We started with 10 today and we are now down to eight,” said Petitto. “We had two drop out. Usually about half make it through the indoctrination to the final selection phase.”
Due to station dimensions, the indoctrination here is short and to the point.
“We don't get as much time as other bases or stations do to conduct the indoctrination, simply due to our size,” said Petitto. “So we have it for just one day, but for that one day the training is pretty difficult.”
Petitto added they look for specific characteristics when selecting new hopeful members.
“We are basically looking for maturity, leadership and endurance,” said Petitto. “This is a special section and not everyone can do it. It's a very exclusive job.”
Each inductee gave his all to make it into the select group who make up SRT.
“I like the indoctrination. Coming from the field side, we do a lot of training like this,” said Moeler. “It shows a lot of heart and who really wants to be here.”