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Cpl. Michael Bassett, a scout sniper with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, teaches a class about patrolling to non-infantry Marines aboard Fort Pickett, Va., September 14. The class was part of an ongoing effort for the Marines to learn basic infantry tactics on top of their actual Military Occupational Specialties.

Photo by Pvt. Brian M. Woodruff

Marines strive to compete with infantry brethren

14 Sep 2011 | Pvt. Brian M. Woodruff

There has always been an aura surrounding the Marines who choose to become infantry. They have their own traditions, sayings and a way of viewing the rest of the corps.

Non-infantry Marines with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, want to show that they are just as capable as Marines and protectors and during training aboard Army Base Fort Pickett, Va., on September 14, Marines from a variety of sections increased their knowledge of the interworking of the Marine Corps infantry.

“It’s difficult working in supply when you're part of an infantry battalion,” said Lance Cpl. Lee R. Young, a warehouse clerk with 1/2. “All the infantry guys tease you because your not a rifleman or a mortarman, but I think they have a certain respect for us since we are part of an infantry battalion.”

Marines from the battalion spent their time learning the ins and outs of security, patrols and improvised explosive device detection. They also participated in what is known as Guard Force, which is a security detail provided by non-infantry Marines to keep their fellow Marines within their post safe.

“We’re learning a lot of the basics of infantry on top of what we already know about our respective [Military Occupational Specialities],” said Young. “We’re learning more about our weapons systems, where to position ourselves and how to switch over to the role of security when we’re needed for it.”

During a class on patrolling, taught by Cpl. Michael Barrett, a scout sniper with 1/2, he went over topics ranging from the purposes of patrolling to the types of patrols and when each one could be used.

“You never know when you might be the one out there having to patrol an area because sometimes extra Marines may be needed for a patrol,” said Barrett. “You need to be proficient in this stuff so that you can protect the Marines to the right and left of you.”

Some Marines are excited by this prospect and are more than willing to help wherever they are needed.

“Being in an infantry battalion, you get to do and see things that you may not have the opportunity for any other place,” said Cpl. Junior Campos, a warehouse clerk with 1/2. “While conducting this training, we get to experience a totally different side of the Marine Corps than many of us are used to. We may not need to ever react to an IED or call in a [medical evacuation] but the idea that we know how ensures that we’ll be prepared if those situations arise.”

Although many of the Marines with 1/2 may not have signed up to do an infantry job, many of them will suffer through the same hardships and hopefully gain a new perspective on their fellow Marines and what they bring to the table.

“I know there are plenty of non-infantry Marines in this battalion with combat action ribbons,” said Campos. “I hope that means that even though we’re not infantry, that shows them that we still have something to bring to the fight.”