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Private 1st Class Christian Cochola and Pfc. Rojas Esgar, combat camera specialist in Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC), load blacktip 5.56 ammunition. Marines had the opportunity to fire an M27, M249 SAW, and M9 and M45 service pistols.

Photo by Ida Irby

Any weapon, anytime, anyplace

7 Apr 2016 | Ida Irby Marine Corps Base Quantico

Marines with the Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC) attended a one-day weapons familiarization program led by Weapons Training Battalion on April 1 aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico.

“We say that every Marine is a rifleman, but how many of us work to prefect those skills?” said Sgt. Maj. David Jobe, MCCDC sergeant major. “How many of us can grab any issued weapon system and handle it efficiently? This training is what we will need to be successful during a conflict.”

There are thousands of war heroes because sufficient training helped them to succeed. While the Marines were at the range, Jobe spoke to service members about two Marines who were honored after using multiple weapon systems to engage the enemy during wartime.

One of those Marines was Sgt. Maj. Daniel Daly, two-time recipient of the Medal of Honor (in 1900 and 1915). The medals are on display at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. The other name mentioned by Jobe was Pfc. Christopher S. Adlesperger, (KIA), recipient of the Navy Cross on Nov. 10 2004, for his heroic acts in the Battle of Fallujah. These warriors performed incredible acts and completed their missions because they were competent with multiple weapon systems.

“Without regard for his own life, Adlesperger protected the lives of his comrades while defeating the enemy in Fallujah during Operation Al Fajr,” said Jobe as he shared a detailed historical account of both warriors.

According to Jobe, Marines in his unit spend a considerable amount of time behind computer screens, so he wanted to promote team building and competence through training.

At MCCDC, leaders assist in making decisions about the fielding for weapon systems used throughout the Marine Corps. Marines, though, are not always familiar with weapons systems used in training and warfighting.

“I want my Marines to understand what goes into the requirements and why the Corps uses specific weapons and ammunitions,” said Jobe. “Its easy to say these are the requirements for a weapon, but in the testing phase Marines can give recommendations for future use.”

Marines are required to complete annual rifle training and pistol training. Through weapons familiarization, Marines gain additional weapons training, used to build confidence in the safe and proper use of multiple weapon systems.

“Coming to the range reminds me of my duty as a Marine, to know and understand the weapons. This is what I was trained to do,” said Cpl. Arryor Olijones, MCCDC motor transportation operator, who admittedly spends much of his time behind a desk. “I was a little bit shaky when firing the M27 IAR. But after a few tries, it was all smooth sailing from there.”

At the range Marines fired the M27, M249 SAW, M9 Beretta service pistol, and M45 service pistol.

“No matter what you do in the military, you might be the one to save my life one day,” said Sgt. Jacques Yves Duroseau, Weapons Training Battalion weapons instructor. And so all Marines need to be familiar with these weapons.”

Although a dry patch of grass caused a fire and subsequently a cease-fire at range 305, the Marines completed one of many training days ahead. As mentioned by Jobe, success on a range, or in life, is about repetition.

— Writer:

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