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NEWS | Feb. 15, 2018

Active-duty Marines incorporate combat experience to USMC Reserve training

By Staff Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Approximately 90 U.S. Marine Corps reservists completed routine training at the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Training Center here Feb. 11, sharpening Military Occupation Specialty specific requirements.

Nine active-duty U.S. Marines, Detachment 3 Supply Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 451, facilitated the training by teaching the technical aspects of motor transport and sharing their real experiences in a combat environment. Part of the training focused on planning a tactical convoy operation.

“A handful of these Marines, including myself, have been deployed and have participated in a mission brief,” said U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Justin Golden, Det. 3 Supply Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 451. “Today’s brief was centered on the terrain model. We reviewed everyone’s position in the convoy. We discussed the routes, security elements, the overall mission and everything the Marines would be doing as part of the convoy.”

U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Lance Cpl. Austin Sedicavage, Det. 3 Supply Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 451, said although these briefings may challenge some Marines, understanding how to plan for real-world operations is critical.

“For Marines who aren’t experienced with convoys, it’s a new skill with a steep learning curve,” said Sedicavage. “If we said ‘hey, we need you to go here,’ and that’s it, they wouldn’t know anything else. That’s being thrown to the wolves or being in the dark. By planning [convoy operations] we’re eliminating the possibility of human error.”

During the training, Marines used rocks and shrubbery to identify landmarks on a simulated convoy route. While using a map the Marines took turns briefing certain aspects of the mission.

“Laying out a terrain model with everyone’s tasks gives everybody a clear picture,” said Golden. “There shouldn’t be any questions about where we’re going and what we’re doing when we get there. It’s really helpful to everyone.”

Sedicavage appreciates the quality of the training, emphasizing the real-world experiences and care the instructors incorporate into the criteria takes the experience to a higher level.

“The instructors we have are combat veterans,” said Sedicavage. “They understand it, they’ve experienced it. They want to ensure we can implement what we learn during our annual training because we might be in a situation one day where they aren’t there. They want to know we’re capable and competent enough.”

U.S. Marine Corps reservists can be deployed anywhere in the world where terrain can vary. Golden explained, even though their job centers on logistics they could be “promoted” to infantry at any given time.

“These Marines are motor transport but they need to understand they may have to fight,” said Golden. “There’s a structure we have to follow to make sure everything goes as smooth as possible. The training is realistic because if these Marines deploy, they will face these situations.”