By Maj. Joe McMenamin, United States Marine Band
MARINE BARRACKS WASHINGTON, WASHINGTON -- style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 18px; margin: 0in 0in 10pt; color: #000000;">In keeping with the credo of every Marine a rifleman, Marine Corps Institute
Company spent the month of August refining their basic Marine Corps skills and ethos in a series of professional military education events.
In order to take full advantage of MCI’s geographical placement within the National Capital Region, and to gain a fuller appreciation of the effects of terrain and weather, MCI Company conducted a battle study of Bull Run in Manassas, Va.
Since February 1920, the Marine Corps Institute has facilitated the training and education of individual Marines. The institute ensures access to products and provides opportunities to improve performance, enhance professional military education, and provide promotion opportunities working in conjunction with Marine Corps education sponsors and programs.
Manned by a vast array of military occupational specialties with a mix of junior Marines and senior staff non-commissioned officers, MCI Company has a unique blend of experience and talents not often found within other units in the Marine Corps.
Having previously engaged in a detailed classroom discussion about the series of battles at Bull Run, the company departed for rolling and highly vegetated terrain in Manassas. Marines of all ranks provided briefs about significant locations during the battles at Bull Run and focused on key learning points including the tactical perspective with the terrain, lines of communication, and the effects of small unit leadership.
“The Battle of the Bull Run trip was important to me because it painted a picture of the fighting plans, war tactics, and weapons used during the Civil War,” said Lance Cpl. Kirk Thao, Student Services Division, MCI Co. “It was amazing to see how much we have advanced in the military.”
With the themes from Bull Run in mind, the company continued their training with a series of classes on small unit leadership, fire team tactics, land navigation, weapons, optics, and reporting procedures.
Training for the month culminated with a practical application of land navigation skills at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va. Each Marine honed their land navigation and map reading skills as they made their way to several waypoints throughout the course.
“Going to Quantico for land navigation was an excellent way for us to do something different than just our normal day to day duties,” said Cpl. Jose Calil, a Miami native. “It instills confidence in the abilities of each Marine and teaches the fundamentals of land navigation in a safe and controlled environment.”
The month’s training events not only assisted with developing skills, which will aid the Marines during a multiple day patrolling and live-fire field exercise at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va. in October, but also allowed the company to maintain their basic Marine combat skills while simultaneously executing their primary mission of providing distance education services to our Corps.