Photo Information

Marines with 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment patrol alongside a road during an exercise aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 22. The Marines conducted reconnaissance and security patrols to enhance their combat skills and readiness for future deployments.

Photo by Cpl. Joshua Brown

Combat ready; Marines with Lima Co. conduct patrol base exercise

2 Feb 2015 | Cpl. Joshua Brown The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

Marines with Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, participated in a patrol base exercise, Jan. 22, at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

The training presented basic challenges and scenarios typical of infantry missions. The Marines were tested on patrol and security operations, reconnaissance, and command and control of troops.

During the exercise, Company L established a centralized base and conducted reconnaissance and combat patrols, using blank ammunition for simulated offensive and defensive maneuvers when encountered by an enemy force.

Platoons from other patrol bases represented friendly or enemy forces, so mock engagements were possible during the patrols. Marines were encouraged to maintain discipline and minimize brush destruction to better remain undetected from the other patrols.

“The training helps build discipline,” said Sgt. Timothy J. Padgett, a squad leader with the unit. “It makes them accountable for what they’re doing as Marines. This type of training allows us as leaders to evaluate the Marines to ensure they engage targets the correct way and monitor how they maneuver through the brush.”

Discipline was stressed throughout the exercise as the Marines using hand signals, posted security and moved around the terrain. 

During the training, noncommissioned officers observed the junior Marines and discuss what they noticed. The exercise was a perfect opportunity for teaching infantry tactics because many of the Marines have developed habits, both good and bad, according to Padgett. 

Padgett added that correcting bad habits such as unnecessary movements and failure to maintain noise discipline is important because these types of practices could potentially impact the unit success. 

“This type of training makes Marines more technically and tactically proficient,” said Padgett.

The training was vital to establishing teamwork within the platoon, according to Lance Cpl. Bryan E. Morgan, a rifleman with the company. 

“We’re a new platoon, this is our first operation together,” said Morgan. “We have a lot of guys who’ve only been in a few months, and this is the first training they’ve done with us. This exercise increased their experience, and was more informative than what we could get in a classroom or on paper.”