‘America’s Battalion’ develops infantry fundamentals
By Cpl. Paul S. Martinez, II Marine Expeditionary Force
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines with Company F, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, conducted a week-long field exercise at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Jan. 28.
The company reinforced infantry fundamentals at all levels, beginning with fire team tactics before advancing to squad-level exercises. Training included patrolling, marksmanship and tactical decision-making.
“We started the week with patrol base operations before arriving at this squad range,” said Lance Cpl. Brian McCarthy, a fire team leader with the company. “We practiced security and reconnaissance patrols as well as ambushes.”
In preparation for a squad attack, Marines also focused on building their marksmanship skills with the M16A4 service rifle, M4 carbine rifle and M203 grenade launcher.
“After doing fire team level exercises, we are moving up to the squad level,” said 2nd Lt. Daniel Deminski, a platoon commander with the company. “The Marines have been building on weapon accuracy and analyzing feedback. They are getting more confident about identifying and hitting their targets.”
Mortarmen within the company assaulted simulated enemy positions at distances of approximately 500 meters with their M224 60mm light-weight mortar systems.
“This is an opportunity for Marines to get more proficient in the handheld mode of the mortar system and to accurately acquire and engage targets,” said Cpl. Christian Medina, a squad leader with the company.
Leaders within the company regarded the training as an opportunity for the newer Marines to become proficient with various weapon systems and the skills needed to apply them as a squad.
“The newer Marines are learning things they had not done before, and this training allows them to get familiar with their squad so that they work well in the future,” said McCarthy. “I want my Marines to take away the knowledge of effectively performing squad-level tactics.”
The company, normally consisting of 150-200 Marines, must be ready to deploy in support of II Marine Expeditionary Force’s rotational units in Spain, Italy and the Black Sea region. Maintaining readiness as an infantry unit requires Marines and sailors to master the fundamentals and further develop their skills.
2nd Battalion 8th Marine Regiment
2nd Lt Daniel Deminski
2nd Marine Division
Cpl Paul S Martinez
Cpl. Christian Medina
Lance Cpl. Brian McCarthy