March 9, 2015 --
Bravo Company, Marine Barracks Washington, D.C. kicked off calendar year 2015 with a company-sized Combat Marksmanship Program live-fire training exercise in Quantico, Va. Sixty Marines from first, second, and third platoons shuttled from the Barracks on a chilly January morning to accomplish this one-day training exercise at Range 15 aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico. Despite the cold and drizzly weather conditions, the Marines executed with enthusiasm.
The CMP shoot provided an opportunity to continue with the sustained infantry skills training program that the Barracks maintains throughout the year. Despite the extreme workload that the Marines endure while executing the ceremonial mission of the Barracks, the companies continue to stay current with the required infantry skills that will allow the Marines to be successful upon their transition to fleet infantry units. The Marines of Bravo Company will be able to take these skills and use them in future training operations, eventually culminating in squad- and company-level exercises. Ultimately, the training exercise was successful and approximately 60 Marines were qualified in the Marine Expeditionary Unit Special Operations Capable CMP.
Upon returning from the winter leave block, Bravo Company was thrust into an aggressive second-year refresher course for all returning marchers. In addition to this weeklong course, the Marines also completed Back in the Saddle training, executed three full honors funerals, and supported a variety of smaller ceremonial commitments.
Field preparation is always challenging at the Oldest Post; however, Bravo Company found time to adequately prepare for their first live-fire evolution of 2015. Gear inspections, weapons issue, and rehearsals filled the gaps in the busy January schedule. Range 15 is a versatile range that afforded Bravo Company the flexibility to conduct concurrent training during the day-long exercise. By its very nature, a CMP is relatively short and it allowed each platoon to execute an aggressive white space training plan.
The range Officer in Charge, Capt. Dave Moon, and the Range Safety Officer, Staff Sgt. Guillermo Fargas, emphasized minimal down-time in order to capitalize on the opportunities inherent to being in the Range Training Area. A mixture of physical training, buddy and fire-team level rehearsals, and an assortment of smaller tactical field classes maximized the Marines’ time in the training area. Ultimately, the CMP was accomplished in an effective and efficient manner, and was concluded just as the sun began to set on the Quantico horizon.
Now that the CMP shoot is complete, Bravo Company will yet again pivot back to its ceremonial roots and prepare for the relief and appointment of the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps. Bravo Company will practice every afternoon during the month of February in preparation for this high profile event at the Marine Corps War Memorial. After receiving 44 new infantrymen to the company, Bravo Company is hosting its own Ceremonial Drill School and integrating its newest infantry Marines into the practices and traditions of Marine Barracks Washington. These new Marines will stabilize the company and will set conditions for the next milestone, the 2015 summer parade season. Despite the high operational tempo, the Marines are motivated to continue refining their basic infantry skills throughout the year.