Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. -- Marines from 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division got a taste of what it’s like to work with foreign militaries in a Military Readiness Exercise from June 9-12 at Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field Bogue.
The primary focus of the exercise was to have Marines interact with civilian role players acting as members of foreign militaries. The interaction centered around four teams of ten Marines, each one led by an officer or staff noncommissioned officer, acting as advisers for the role players.
The Marines gave classes to the role players on the M16A4 rifle and the Rifle Combat Optics used with the rifle. All communication done with the role players was through an interpreter.
“This is the kind of training we’ll be doing with foreign militaries while on deployment,” said Sgt. Michael Hall, a squad leader with 2/2. “I think that the [Marines] are being put into a lot of good situations where they’re learning to become critical thinkers. They’re really grasping it and providing a level of maturity that this mission needs.”
During the exercise, Marines were challenged with not only language and cultural differences but other unfamiliar scenarios as well. Role players demanded bribes, acted disinterested and steered classes off topic to keep the Marines on their toes.
“The role players are doing a good job of helping the Marines understand why they have to be out here,” said 1st Lt. Benjamin Hooker, a platoon commander with 2/2. “Teaching Marines to handle situations on their own is a different type of training then what these Marines have had before.”
The exercise taught Marines how to continue advising and maintain strong relationships even when unorthodox distractions arose.
They practiced utilizing different negotiation tactics, as well as developing more effective ways to teach tactics and techniques.
“Marines are getting a great opportunity to handle things on their own,” said Hooker. “We’re only going to develop Marines by forcing them through decision making scenarios and pushing them to make decisions that are far outside of their normal skill set,”
Marines used the training to give themselves a good baseline for how situations will be while deployed. You can train a Marine to that baseline to set him up for success, but every situation is different and we will adapt to that, said Hall.