News: BSRF-14 Marines participate in MCMAP
Story by Lance Cpl. Krista James
MIHAIL KOGALNICEANU, Romania - Marines with 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Alpha Company, started their first day of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program during their deployment with Black Sea Rotational Force 14, aboard Mihail Kogalniceanu, Romania, Tuesday.
MCMAP consists of lectures, combat conditioning and various leadership skills. Together this challenges Marines taking the course not only physically, but mentally as well.
Sergeant Butch Fortner, an operations clerk with the command element, senior MCMAP instructor for the BSRF, and Alliance, OH native, said that the first day of a MCMAP course always has a few kinks in it.
“The first day is always slow, but it always improves and increases in proficiency,” said Fortner.
Lance Corporal Patrick Boyle, a rifleman with 2nd LAR, Alpha Company, 1st platoon, and Deltona, FL native, said the first day of MCMAP went very well.
“Our first day was pretty fun. It was more of a team building exercise,” said Boyle. “There was some combat conditioning where we worked as a team. It was a competition and the losing team would have to do extra exercises which will help them improve for next time.”
Boyle said that he believes doing MCMAP will help him become a better Marine.
“I personally [am doing MCMAP] for professional development, to further my career and to learn different techniques that may help me in the future,” said Boyle. “I’m excited to do MCMAP because I want to see myself improve and advance in my career.”
Boyle also said that participating in MCMAP will benefit the Marines in different ways.
“It will benefit us as a whole because we will all have a common ground and something to fall back on, so if we are ever in a situation where we would need to use it, we all have basic instruction in hand-to-hand combat,” said Boyle.
Likewise, Fortner also believes that MCMAP will benefit and improve the Marines who participate in it.
“MCMAP benefits Marines by improving their physical ability for combat readiness, and it also gives the Marines an opportunity to exercise teamwork,” said Fortner.
Fortner said that MCMAP is important to Marines because it is a martial art, and the Marine Corps as a martial culture.
“It teaches all of the Marines, regardless of military occupational specialty or rank, how to defend themselves and how to attack an opponent in the situation of an actual fight or hand-to-hand combat. It also gives Marines a chance to improve themselves mentally and physically and overall work on their discipline,” said Fortner. “It’s not all about physical ability, it also improves your leadership skills and makes you a well-rounded Marine.”
There are various things the Marines have to do and learn in order to receive a higher ranking belt in MCMAP.
“There will be lecturing periods where I will teach the actual techniques that they will be learning, there will be a sustainment period where they will sustain the belt which they are already at, there will be combat conditioning and then with every set of techniques there are tie-ins where the Marines will learn specific things that they need to know about the Marine Corps at that belt ranking level such as honor, courage and commitment,” said Fortner.
Fortner is currently instructing tan belts, which is the first belt a Marine receives, in order to rank them up to grey belts.
“They will achieve the belt rank of grey, and that is 25 hours total,” said Fortner.
Every Marine in BSRF 14 will get their chance at a higher ranking belt. Once Alpha Co. Marines conclude their MCMAP course, Marines in the command element of 2nd LAR will be able to rank up in the MCMAP belt system.