MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO --
Twenty-nine members of the Military Advisory Committee visited The Basic School on April 4, 2013, to see what the sounds of freedom are all about as they watched the lieutenants attending TBS practices their call for fire.
Capt. Courtney Boston, warfighting operations officer, The Basic School and the Range Officer-in-Charge, briefed the members after they arrived at the range.
“It’s really important to give community members exposure to the training,” said Boston. “It helps Americans understand what they are getting out of the Marine Corps.
“By coming out to the range they are seeing the foundation all Marine officers are trained on and it helps to give that appreciation for what they do.”
The group was led by John DeBerry, command visit coordinator, Marine Corps Base Quantico who gives 120 to 140 base tours a year.
“They are curious about what our Marines do,” said DeBerry. “Because most of our Marines live out in the surrounding counties, it helps to have the community understand what we are doing here.”
It’s very seldom that civilians get to see the mortar and artillery exercises, said Debarry.
“They get a chance to actually see what the noise is all about.”
The members were also able to talk with lieutenants and the instructors of TBS as they were moving from one task to another.
“The visitors were really interested in the purpose of the training and how the officers use what they learn while they are deployed,” said Boston.
Even civilians who have worked on the base for years were able to learn more about what goes on.
“You could feel the impact live-fire more than you actually heard it,” said Steve M. Hundley, community plans and liaison officer, Facilities Division. “I really felt the impact in my chest.”
The MAC group was debriefed by Col. Todd S. Desgrosseilliers, commanding officer, TBS at Heywood Hall before breaking for chow. Desgrosseilliers gave the group a basic overview of what the lieutenants go through during their training at TBS.
Marines from TBS, both officer and enlisted, as well as Col. David W. Maxwell, base commander, Marine Corps Base Quantico, met the group at Maxam Hall for chow.
“They have a better understanding of the base mission now,” said DeBerry. “The more civilians who understand the mission we have here and why we make noise, the stronger our entire community will be.”