News: Marines become ‘combat hunters’
Story by Cpl. Kenneth Jasik
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Marines with 1st Marine Logistics Group learned skills improve awareness of their surroundings and help them identify possible threats while operating an a hostile environment during a combat hunters course, here, June 20-24.
The Marines who took the class learned about skills such as combat tracking, advanced observation and combat profiling; it was centered around noticing details that could be clues to the future.
“It’ll help keep me from going complacent when I’m on patrol,” said Lance Cpl. Jeffrey Kulwatno, Motor transportation mechanic, 1st Maintenance Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st Marine Logistics Group.
An effective combat hunter knows to notice things like body language and footprints.
“I think it’s pretty cool, we’re giving the lance corporal the opportunity to think,” said Staff Sgt. Lucas C. Lamothe, instructor, Mobile Training Company, Mobilization Training Battalion, School of Infantry (West). “We’re asking him what he thinks. We’re helping them become more articulate and a better critical thinker.”
Along with skills such as tracking like a hunter, the Marines learn how to navigate the human geography as well. They learn skills on how to read a person to see if they are lying.
“We can tell based off body language, biometric cues, some of the atmospheric changes, how someone interacts with you,” said Lamothe.
The Marines who teach these skills enjoy sharing their observation knowledge with the logistics Marines, who can use the skills as well.
“Because some of this stuff is a new skill set, it’s great to see Marines want to be better observers, than see them progress and better their skills,” said Lamothe, 31, Titusville, Fla. “Basically, they can become a critical thinker and use stuff either we didn’t notice or didn’t use in the past.”
In the end, the trainers just want the Marines to be more aware when they are in dangerous zones. They hope their knowledge will save the lives of those they train.
“We just want the Marines to be the better observers and critical thinkers,” said Lamothe. “We want them to be able to notice changes in the baseline and based on the criteria decide to kill or capture.”
The Marines who learn these skills do so to become better while patrolling and possibly use the training to save lives in the future.
“I suggest that everyone takes this class,” said Kulwatno, 21, Torrance, Calif., “It’s phenomenal.”