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Despite deployment training continues

Marine Corps News

Story Identification #: 200552323338
Story by Lance Cpl. Evan M. Eagan

CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq (May 23, 2005) -- “Come on, sound off like you mean it,” the instructor pleaded to the Marines as they executed armed manipulations, during a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program class, inside the battle square. “Put some intensity in to it,” he added, as he inspected each one’s technique, making sure their form is correct and able to fend off would-be attackers.

Staff Sgt. Timothy S. Hall, future operations and planning section, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Headquarters Group, II MEF (FWD) with the help of Cpl. Arthur D. Estrada Jr., air support liaison team, Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division, is giving Marines, and anyone else interested, the opportunity to enhance their combat readiness through the MCMAP program.

“It’s good training,” said Hall, a native of Dowagiac, Mich. “We are real strict on the three disciplines: mental, physical and character. This program helps you become a better Marine. We hone in on leadership skills, warrior ethos and Marine Corps traditions.”

Hall and Estrada, who are both brown belt instructors, teach Marines of different belt levels, including those few who haven’t earned their tan belt, what they need to know to progress to the next level in the program.

Mondays - Fridays from 7 p.m. until sundown, these instructors and a group of more than 20 Marines can be found throwing each other to the ground and applying various lethal and non-lethal techniques from the MCMAP arsenal.

“I love teaching Marines, especially these techniques that can save their life, or the lives of the other Marines with them,” said Hall, who will soon be testing to become a black belt instructor. “The more Marines we get out here, the more motivated we are. We know Marines love to train, and we’re out here having a good time.”

Regardless of belt or skill level, Hall encourages anyone motivated, to come out and train with them.

“Depending on what belt they are and how they’ve mastered their skill, we’ll run them through sustainment and progress from there,” said Hall. “It doesn’t matter when you come, we’ll all start everybody at the same place and depending on how your skills are, we’ll move them up or keep them in sustainment.”

In order for a Marine who currently has a tan belt to earn the next belt, the gray belt, he must complete 27 hours of training. For those who don’t have their tan belt it is not too late to get started.

“The goal was that everyone would have at least a tan belt by fiscal 2003,” said Hall. “However, there are still a handful of Marines who do not have them yet, due to their duty station and access to instructors. I would tell these Marines to get out here and get the training done.”

For Marines like Cpl. Daniel Williams, 21, maintenance management specialist, motor transportation maintenance, II MHG, II MEF (FWD), the MCMAP classes serve not only as a way to earn a higher belt, but to learn necessary skills to survive in a combat situation.

“It’s good training out here,” said Williams, a Sacramento, Calif., native. “It brings focus on getting in a ground fight. We’ll have better techniques to use on the enemy and help save Marines lives. The techniques we learn get me motivated.”

All service members, to include civilians under a Department of Defense contract, are encouraged to attend.


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