U.S. Marines with Charlie Company, Infantry Training Battalion, School of Infantry-West conducted a fire and movement range as part of their final basic skills retention exercise at Range 208C on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, Jan. 22.
“ITB is the stepping stone of becoming an infantry Marine,” said Sgt. Blake Chegwidden, a combat instructor with Charlie Company, Infantry Training Battalion, School of Infantry – West. “This course focused on basic infantry tasks up to the weapons split, where they get more focused training on their individual military occupational specialty.”
The students began the 43-day training cycle Nov. 12, 2019. ITB trains, develops and certifies Marines as rifleman before sending them to their primary MOS training within the infantry field. The Marines conduct 19 days of live-fire ranges as well as 10 training events.
The culminating event the Marines go through before graduation from ITB is the Infantry Integrated Field Exercise. The Marines implement the skills they learned throughout the course.
The last live-fire range the Marines conduct during this exercise is the fire and movement, or “buddy rushing.” This showcases their ability to quickly locate the target, and neutralize the enemy.
“Buddy rushing is essentially, ‘suppress, assess, move, kill,’ or ‘I’m up, he sees me, I’m down,’” said Chegwidden. “That initiates contact with the enemy so they can’t pick out their visual target.”
ITB teaches brand new Marines how to shoot, move, and communicate in a combat situation. Upon completion of this range the Marines will be certified as riflemen and ready to transition to the Fleet Marine Force. The Marines are slated to graduate Jan. 28.
“The best thing about training ITB Marines is being able to train and mold the next generation of infantry Marines, by giving them personal experiences and setting them up for success in the fleet,” said Chegwidden. “I want the squad leaders and team leaders in the fleet to receive the best and most well trained Marines.”