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Bravo Battery Marines Tour Washington

QUANTICO, Va.

Marines with Bravo Battery, 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion, packed their bags and headed to Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., for a lesson on Marine Corps history and a tour of the nation’s capital, Dec. 15-19.

According to 1st Sgt. Wesley O. Turner, the first sergeant for Bravo Battery, the trip was designed to give the battery’s Marines a chance to learn about the lineage of Marines past and to honor the sacrifice of previous generations of service members.

“The trip was designed to give the Marines background on their history and put it into perspective,” said Turner, a native of Kansas City, Mo. “Each day of the trio was intended to teach the Marines something different.”

During the trip, the Marines of the battery occupied a squad bay at the Marine Corps’ Officer Candidates School at Quantico. After claiming their racks and sorting out their gear, they prepared for day one, which included tackling the Tarzan Course at OCS.

According to Capt. Konrad N. Reese, commanding officer of Bravo Battery, the course gave the junior leaders within the battery a chance to challenge their Marines and build camaraderie.

“We chose to have the Marines take on the course to build unit cohesion and assess their mental courage,” said Reese. “Nothing makes a Marine more willing to overcome their fears than having everyone he knows cheering him on.”

The Tarzan Course was a blast, said Pfc. Isaac E. Moir, a gunner with the battery.

“The course wasn’t a cake walk,” said Moir, a native of Aurora, Colo. “Once you make it to around the half way point there is very little feeling left in your forearms. However, for me, the best part was after I finished and watching everyone else’s different approaches to the obstacles and cheering them on.”

On day two, the Marines visited the National Museum of the Marine Corps, outside the main gate of the Crossroads of the Marine Corps, as Quantico is known. According to Sgt. Anthony J. Zeitz, a section with 2nd Platoon, the visit gave the Marines a chance to learn about and view the history of the Corps and help give perspective to the junior leaders within the battery.

“I think for many of the Marines, myself included, going to the museum brought out who we are as Marines and reignited the flame that inspired us to join,” said Zeitz, a native of Olcott, N.Y.

During the third day, the Marines visited Arlington National Cemetery and toured the National Mall.

At the nation’s cemetery for service members, the Marines trod hallowed ground where more than 400 thousand service members are buried. During the tour, the battery’s Marines viewed the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a living monument to the sacrifice of service members across the generations, and stood solemnly during a burial ceremony.

“Visiting the cemetery opened my eyes,” said Moir. “It’s one thing to hear how many lives were lost but it is and completely jaw dropping to see it. It was an intense atmosphere.”

After touring the cemetery, the Marines explored the other monuments and memorials around the National Capital Region, a city rich with history, said Zeitz.

“A lot of guys bonded over the memorials,” said Zeitz. “Many of the Marines had family who fought in pervious wars but didn’t know about it until then.”

On the final day of the trip, the Marines visited Marine Barracks Washington, home of the Commandant of the Marine Corps. A special tour guide, First Lady of the Marine Corps Ellyn Dunford, explained the history and significance of the installation at 8th and I.

“The tour was amazing,” said Zeitz. “The house is full of history and Mrs. Dunford explaining everything to us, which made the experience even more unique.”

According to Reese, the battery’s leaders see the benefits of connecting their Marines to the past and providing a link to the Corps’ history and hope to make similar trips in the future.

“I believe the trip had a great impact on the Marines,” said Reese. “Our goal now is to make this experience an annual event for the battery.”

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Marine Lieutenants Shoot For Self-Confidence

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. – The Marine lieutenants completed their first live-fire range where they maneuvered downrange. Of the four field exercises they participate in during the six-month training cycle, this was the culminating event of the second.

“They [the students] blank fired last week and now they get to use the tactics and techniques they learned and integrate them with live fire while seeing the realism behind what they did,” said Capt. Robert Noxon, 2nd Platoon, staff platoon commander. “Today I want to see aggression out of them. More importantly, I want to see them more comfortable at the leadership position with the chaos of live fire, and really embrace what they are doing while using all the training they’ve gained up to this point.”

Lance Cpl. Samuel Ellis 1st Lt. Bill Lining, fire team leader, practices squad movements during a field exercise at Range 5 aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico on March 21, 2014. The Basic School Marines will conduct four field exercises before graduating the six-month course. Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/news/122537/squads-students-shoot-self-confidence#.UzL5cqKcRsQ#ixzz2x5MM2jzf Lance Cpl. Samuel Ellis
1st Lt. Bill Lining, fire team leader, practices squad movements during a field exercise at Range 5 aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico on March 21, 2014. The Basic School Marines will conduct four field exercises before graduating the six-month course.
Focused on squad-level tactics, the exercise gave Marines an opportunity to fire live rounds at responsive targets, which fall when hit.

“It’s been great,” said 1st Lt. Melissa Cooling, squad leader. “All the people in my platoon are great, and it’s really great to be here and learn what it is to be a Marine and learn how to lead Marines.”

According to Maj. Aaron Lenz, Bravo Co. commander, leading Marines can be intimidating which is why the TBS staff seeks to instill confidence in the lieutenants during the their time at TBS.

“They need to stand in front of their platoon and know their stuff,” said Lenz.

The way they need to establish themselves, as a leader, is knowledge and be confident in their abilities, said Lenz. This field exercise is one of the building blocks toward accomplishing that.

Correspondent: samuel.l.ellis@usmc.mil

Marine Wing Support Squadron 273 Career Day

Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 273 from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort attend a career day at Ladies Island Elementary School in Ladies Island, S.C. on March 14.
The Marines answered students questions and showcased gear and vehicles used in their daily jobs to promote awareness and public relations.

Video: Marine Recruits Calling Home

New recruits arriving at Boot Camp are given a very short phone call home to read off of a prepared script.

Part Two

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