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Leading from the front: 3/6 Marines train to become small unit leaders

January 23, 2018

This report originally publishes at marines.mil.

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CAMP LEJEUNE, NC — Marines with 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division conducted a Tactical Small Unit Leaders Course at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Jan. 8 – 19, 2017. 

The 10-day course provides small unit leaders with the confidence, knowledge and ability to effectively lead Marines in combat situations.

The course begins with classroom instruction to retrain Marines on basic fundamentals such as the make-up of a Marine Corps fire team, mechanical skills, troop leading procedures and offensive tactics.

“We did two weeks of training and the first week was all classes,” said 1st Lt. Austin Cooper, the Tactical Small Unit Leaders Course Officer in Charge with the unit. “They focused on weapons that are organic to the fire team, how to integrate those weapons in a combined arms effect and different ways to train Marines.”

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The following week, the Marines conducted live-fire ranges where they rehearsed rocket battle drills and fire team attacks. The Marines used the M72AS 21mm Trainer System, M72 Lightweight Anti-Tank Weapon, AT-4 rocket launcher, M203 grenade launcher, M32 grenade launcher and M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle.

“The Marines used weapon systems they have never worked with before,” said Cooper. “Some of the Marines have never fired the M27 or live rockets. They are now more proficient and have a better understanding on how to implement them in their own fire team.”
The course aimed to make the Marines team leaders and increase proficiency with various weapon systems and tactics so they can mentor their Marines and become a more effective team. 

“My biggest take-away from the ranges was getting out and shooting,” said Lance Cpl. Zachary Baker, a team leader with the unit. “One thing to remember is to rely on your basic fundamentals and the Marines to your left and right. If you don’t know something, ask other Marines or the instructors, because everyone in the course is helpful and it’s been a good learning experience.”

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