News: Officers learn the bread and butter of the Marine Corps
Story by Lance Cpl. Emmanuel Ramos
QUANTICO, Va. - The reputation of the Marine Corps as the premier fighting force speaks for itself. This reputation would not be possible if it were not for the small unit tactics that make the Marine Corps a deadly force to be reckoned with.
Golf Company, The Basic School, underwent their first field exercise in squad tactics using live fire at Camp Barrett, Nov. 3.
The purpose of today’s events is for the Marines to get hands-on training on how a fire team works and how the Marine Corps uses it, said Capt. Josef Wiese, an instructor for Golf Company, TBS.
Led by their platoon commander, Marines from1st squad, 6th platoon, practiced procedures such as combat glides, a technique used in combat to keep a low profile, and squad rushes, a tactful way of suppressing the enemy while advancing on their position, before using live rounds.
“What where doing here is building muscle memory,” said 2nd Lt. Stuart Bryson, squad leader, 1st squad, 6th Platoon, Golf Company, TBS. “In combat you’re going to have a lot of a lot of things going on at once. You need to react without hesitation.”
After completing a few drills, the squad transitioned to an area where they were allowed to observe other platoons conducting squad-sized rushing attacks. After each attack, the Marines of 1st squad would critique the exercise with an instructor.
“We expect them to make mistakes,” said 1st Lt. Nathan Wood, an instructor with War Fighting Section, TBS. “It’s important that they get a feel of they will be doing, and what they take away from the training that’s important.”
Marines then drew ammo and were given a load plan for the offensive attack.
Load plans are important, because ammunition is spread out evenly and it allows for a stronger attack, Bryson said.
With his squad in position Bryson radioed for air support, but support was not available so he proceeded with the squad attack.
As the squad made its way down range, mechanical targets, simulating enemy fighters, popped up at unknown distances, immediately Bryson yelled, “everybody down.”
Like the roar of a lion the sound of machine gun fire erupted, as the squad began rushing in 10-yard increments.
“It was a rush,” said 2nd Lt. Seth Long, a machine gunner, 1st squad, 6th Platoon, Golf Company, TBS. “Being able to fire and get a feel for the weapon really drove the lesson home.”
After the squad rushes where over, Wood broke it down and explain to them where they could improve on for the next time.
“What they are being taught out here is monumental to the Marine Corps,” Wiese said. “Squad tactics and capabilities are the bread and butter of the Corps. What they’re doing today is going to make them better platoon commanders.”