Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune --
Marines with 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment
began a 10-day long mortar course under the direction of the Division Combat
Skills Center aboard Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Aug. 10, 2015.
The course began with classroom instruction
over the M224 60 mm Mortar Lightweight Company Mortar System in which they
learned how to boresight, misfire procedures, and deflection changes for
“It’s basically to give the units a chance to
get their guys out here and…teach them something new with some of the other
aspects of the course that we have. It’s not just basic mortar gunnery, we go
into different portions as well to give these guys something better to go back
to their units with,” said Sgt. Aaron Snively, a mortar instructor with the
Lance Cpl. Ryan Piehl, a team leader with the
battalion, said that the course is important so that the Marines know how to conduct
misfire procedures and how to apply correct sight data on the weapon. He also
said that the mortars are one of the best indirect fire capabilities that the
Snively said that one of the most important
aspects of the classroom time is doing correct boresighting because it helps
take the deviation out of the sight so when the Marines conduct their live-fire
training the gun is firing properly.
“Basically you’re going to take the [M115]
boresight and put it on the end of the [M225 Cannon Assembly]. What it does is
help the gunner take out any error that’s going to be in the actual sight
itself…so it’s not going to be off when [they’re] shooting rounds down range,”
Piehl said that one of the biggest challenges
for new Marines coming to the course is taking their time and making sure they
are conducting each step proficiently.
“A lot of it I would have to say is discipline,
just disciplining yourself and doing the right thing the whole time instead of
just skipping steps because that’s when you start making mistakes,” Piehl said.
“You have to be open-minded and always want to learn more.”
Snively and Piehl said that both the
instructors and Marines take away a lot from the training.
“They take away the one-on-one training,”
Snively said. “The instructors go through and help them with anything they need
so they have a better understanding of doing their job once they get back to
“[The best part for me] is helping junior Marines,
inspiring them and showing them how to do their craft,” Piehl said. “This is
their [military occupational specialty], this is their sole purpose…to be a