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US Marine Corps School of Infantry ensures ‘every Marine is, first and foremost, a rifleman’

United States Marines during their School of Infantry (SOI) training at the Camp San Onofre area of Camp Pendleton in California. (Foxtrot Alpha/YouTube)
December 16, 2016

Becoming a United States Marine is a multi-step process that requires months of hard work and dedication. Following their recruit training, Marines enter the second phase of their instruction: the School of Infantry (SOI), where they are expected to be combat-ready Marines upon graduation.

The School of Infantry promises that “Every Marine is, first and foremost, a Rifleman,” and it is through this training that each cadet learns how to properly use a wide variety of weapons and firearms for combat situations.

United States Marines during their School of Infantry (SOI) training at the Camp San Onofre area of Camp Pendleton in California. (Foxtrot Alpha/YouTube)

A video posted by Foxtrot Alpha outlines the daily life of cadets during their SOI training and offers a glimpse at what each cadet will go through during the 59-day course.

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“They learn everything from land navigation to basic weapons,” a platoon commander says in the video. “Machine guns, whether it be a 240 machine gun or .50 cal. They’ll learn the TOW system, the Saber system. They will learn mortar systems, as well as every other possible scenario.”

Check out the full 17-minute video below, which has more than a quarter million views:

SOI has two different locations: SOI West at Camp Pendleton in California and SOI East at Camp Geiger in North Carolina. SOI West is featured in the video.

“Everybody will become a combat-ready Marine when they leave SOI,” the platoon commander says.

United States Marines during their School of Infantry (SOI) training at the Camp San Onofre area of Camp Pendleton in California. (Foxtrot Alpha/YouTube)

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During SOI training, Marines will spend the first few weeks in a classroom. The remaining time will be spent in the field, where they will learn to employ their assigned weapons system.

The video features cadets conducting mock missions, overcoming obstacles on a course and training with a large selection of weapons. The Marines practice firing rifles on a range and even have the chance to use explosive weapons during their training, as well.

United States Marines during their School of Infantry (SOI) training at the Camp San Onofre area of Camp Pendleton in California. (Foxtrot Alpha/YouTube)

At the end of the video, the Marines are seen lining up for graduation day.

Following SOI, each Marine is assigned to a Permanent Duty Station (PDS). Permanent Duty Station assignments are random and can be located anywhere in the world. Marines are usually assigned for 24- to 36-month stints. After SOI, some Marines may even see their first deployment.