June 11, 2015 --
The infamous red books of Marine Corps Institute that lined book shelves throughout the Marine Corps are no longer produced and will soon be likened to VCRs, tape cassettes and dial-up internet.
After almost a century of service, Marine Corps Institute, Marine Barracks Washington, D.C. is closing shop this September and ending another chapter of history at the “Oldest Post of the Corps”.
“The mission of MCI was to provide distance learning to Marines worldwide,” said Master Sgt. Jason Bruce, senior enlisted advisor, MCI.
According to MARADMIN 209/15, ‘Transfer of Distance Learning Mission and Functions from MCI to Marine Corps University College of Distance Education and Training,’ the last day to enroll in an MCI course was May 1, 2015. However, students who currently are enrolled in any MCI courses have until July 31, 2015 to complete and submit their exams for credit.
The most important information for all Marines is to read and understand the MARADMIN, said Cpl. Jacobo Linares, non-commissioned officer in charge of Student Services Division, MCI.
The distance learning and education courses will be transferred to the familiar MarineNet platform. Currently, MCI has completed transferring 60 out of 100 courses to the computer based program.
“With technology and times changing to computer based [platforms], it’s probably going to be easier for Marines to get their hands on [the courses],” said Bruce. “The hard part will be for units deployed with Marine Expeditionary Units… or in areas with limited computer access.”
While MCI shuts down, the 18 of 110 Marines currently remaining are diligently transferring credits and providing customer service.
“There’s still work,” said Linares. “We’re putting in effort until the last day.”
The Distance Learning and Technologies Department, content providers for the MCI courses, have shut down. Student Services Division is in the process of grading final exams and ensuring that credits are transferred to Joint Service Transcripts properly.
Marines who were in MCI, have either transitioned to other units or been relocated to sections within Headquarters and Service Company, MBW, said Bruce. The Marines remaining at the barracks will provide hosting support for events and retain their Military Occupational Specialty credibility and proficiency.
Both Bruce and Linares are optimistic about the future of distance education learning. They both will remain in MCI and support the mission of the barracks until the closing date.
Bruce will be relocated to the operations section at H&S Co., MBW as the operations chief this August and plans on retiring in July 2016. Linares plans on returning to Las Vegas to continue his degree in psychiatry.
Bruce, Linares and thousands of other MCI Marines have served a crucial role in supporting all aspects of education for Marines. On a daily basis these Marines have bared witness to the impact education has on life both in and out of the Marine Corps.
“Marines need to know that with education you can get promoted faster [and have a] better future, and that’s what MCI was all about,” said Linares. “All you have to do is attempt it, just like the first day in the Marine Corps… education is the key to success.”