News: Midshipmen learn invaluable lessons during Marine week
Story by Cpl. Eugenio Montanez
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – This time of year normal college students might be enjoying their time off, but there is nothing normal about the midshipmen with the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.
Approximately 200 midshipmen with 40 different Navy ROTC programs participated in a live-fire exercise during a part of their Career Oriented Training for Midshipmen (CORTRAMID) here, June 13.
During CORTRAMID the midshipmen spent a week experiencing different areas of the Navy and Marine Corps such as surface, Sub surface, Navy Aviation and Marine Corps weeks.
CORTRAMID is intended for the midshipmen who are undecided between pursuing a career in either the Navy or in the Marine Corps and gives them a chance to experience how it feels to be in each of these branches.
“We can see videos, we can read books and training manuals, but you never truly have an appreciation for what someone does until you actually step in their shoes,” said Lt. Ian Hayes, company officer for CORTRAMID West. “Even if they’re not going to walk a mile in their shoes – they’re going to get a taste of it.”
The Marine week is designed to have them interact with Marines and obtain knowledge of how the different areas of the Marine Corps work including interaction between enlisted and officers.
“We try to expose the midshipmen to the non commissioned officers and the staff non commissioned officers so they understand that those Marines and sailors they’re leading are very capable, and they need to be able to delegate and tell them what to do not how to do it, and step back,” said Maj. Dwayne Lancaster, executive officer of CORTRAMID West. “It’s a fine art that, sometimes as officers, you learn late in life.”
One of the primary points of focus during their Marine week was that they can rely on their enlisted personnel.
“Trusting my enlisted personnel is the biggest thing that I’ve learned,” said Midshipman 3rd Class Christopher Larson with ROTC, Texas Agriculture and Mining University from Houston.
The training included a fire-drill demonstration shooting all the weapons systems in coordination to show the capabilities of a Marine with his weapons system.
Marines with 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment taught midshipmen how to fire several weapons systems including the M240 Golf, the M2 Browning Machine gun and sent some mortars down range.
During the rest of Marine week the midshipmen will participate in the Infantry Immersion Trainer, an indoor combat simulator and will also spend time and talk to Marine Corp officers.
This training is invaluable for the midshipmen to have a picture of what career options they have, and also for their understanding of the important role an officer has for the Marines in his charge.