Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va. --
More than 65 infantry Marines from Marine Barracks
Washington, D.C., partook in the Barracks’ first Fire Team Leader’s Course,
Sept. 9 - 19, 2015.
The two-week long course began with a refresher on the
Marine’s use of various weapons systems to include the AT-4 anti-tank rocket
launcher, M-27 infantry automatic rifle, M-67 fragmentation grenade and M-203
The course continued with team and squad patrolling and
concluded with a team attack: day, night, and supported. During the training
the Marines honed and refined their land navigation skills, patrol base
operations and use of combined arms, and they were exposed to helicopter
“I hope the Marines take away the importance of rehearsing,”
said Capt. Brian Lander, the assistant operations officer. “Rehearsals on the
parade deck, which lead to successful ceremonies, directly translate to
rehearsals of infantry tasks and their success in the fleet.”
The Marines that participated in the course are soon transitioning
from the Barracks and into the Fleet Marine Force.
“These Marines will become fire team leaders in the
operating forces,” said Lander. The course is designed to teach the Marines how
to work as a team and develop the personality and discipline required for a
small unit leader.
The first three days of the course were spent in the
classroom focusing on reviewing nomenclature of the weapon systems, use of a
compass and use of night-vision optics.
Upon arriving in Quantico, Va., the Marines conducted day
and night battle-drills with the M-203 and the AT-4, a land navigation course
and landing zone drills. After three nights in the field, the Marines loaded MV-22B
Ospreys and moved to Fort AP Hill, Va. where the rest of the course resumed.
“That was the first time I have been on a helicopter,” said
Lance Cpl. Clayton Kilgallon. “It was exhilarating, and it was a great
The second part of the course at Fort AP Hill focused on
patrolling and patrol base operations. The Marines’ training focused on continuing
operations, leading patrols and basic patrol-base operations.
“I really [took away] the importance of team work in a small
unit,” said Kilgallon. “We were all striving to be the best we could be, and
the only incentive was to be a more efficient team.”
The culminating event for the course was a team attack. A squad of Marines provided suppression fire
with ordinance and small arms fire while the other two squads flanked the
objective. This included attacking fortified positions with rockets as well as
support by fire enabling the forward element’s assault through the enemy.
“We really began to work as a team,” said Lance Cpl. Gregory
Whitman. “By the end of the course, I understood how my team would react to
problems. The communication was nonverbal.”