MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Marines with 3rd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment participated in an online M240G medium machine gun course, one of the first of it’s kind for the Marines here at the French Creek Recreation Center.
1st Lt. Dan M. Venuto, The Headquarters Battery commanding officer from Myrtle Beach, S.C., said this training was a chance for his Marines to get a basic understanding of the weapon and become qualified to operate it.
“Our Marines come in here, take the online course and then if they qualify, we take them out to the range to actually fire the weapon,” he said. “We want to make sure they have a good understanding of the weapon and know how to properly use, clean and fire it.”
The Marines are guided through the course by a digital staff sergeant who instructs them on every aspect of the weapon.
The course includes a firing portion where Marines digitally line up their sights and fire the weapon. They have an opportunity to see how well they would have shot if it was a real life situation.
“The bottom line is the more training we receive the better,” said Lance Cpl. John I. Wollett, a switchboard operator with the battalion. “This course gets us thinking about the machine gun and gives us knowledge on how to use it properly. It’s a very in depth course that I think all Marines should take.”
The course is offered on the web site www.Marinenet.usmc.mil. According to Venuto, this course is a good thing for Marines to have under their belt.
“It gives Marines a standardized course, so they are all getting the exact same training,” he said. “We are short on Marines in a lot of billets and it is sometimes difficult to get instructors. This course frees up our Marines to accomplish other missions and they still get the same training. A lot of times there are limited spaces in courses, but with this online course our Marines can take the course when they get the chance to.”
Similar courses for the M2 .50 caliber heavy machine gun course will be offered in the near future as well as a high mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicle certification course.
Venuto summed up why he thinks this course is good for Marines and can relate to them.
“It has a video game aspect to it and it’s a good tool to have,” he said. “In this day and age computers are such a big part of people’s lives and every day routine. This course is perfect for today’s Marine to learn. A lot of Marines play video games on their off time and this course uses that to teach them.”