MARINE CORPS AIR STATION NEW RIVER, N.C. --
Aspirant officers in the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps summer program known as Career Orientation and Training for Midshipmen completed the Military Operations on Urban Terrain and aviation portion of their training during Marine Week aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River, July 20.
The Navy ROTC midshipmen learned the basics of MOUT and closing with the enemy, as well as flight procedures, nomenclature and parts of the Corps’ planes and helicopters.
During the MOUT exercises aboard MCB Camp Lejeune, the midshipmen were separated into teams and inserted into a urban battle zone which represented small towns or cities troops have fought in the past.
The midshipmen were geared up with the proper protective equipment and full magazines of simunition rounds, which are very similar to paintballs. The future leaders were briefed by their leadership but it fell upon each team to devise a plan, choose squad leaders and attempt to crush their fellow midshipmen in an urban, unfamiliar terrain.
Midshipmen 3rd Class Jeremy Wayne-Dempsey, from the University of South Carolina, said he thinks the training is very interesting and most of the Marine Week exercises may be a once in a lifetime opportunity, especially for the Navy option midshipmen.
“We get a chance to see what our Marine brothers go through,” said Wayne-Dempsey. “I’m enjoying it.”
Midshipmen 3rd Class Joseph Buckley, from Drexler University, said MOUT training was awesome experience and probably the most exciting thing the midshipmen would do during Marine Week.
“It was a very hands-on experience,” said Buckley. “The instructors told you what to do, but when it came down to it, it was just you and the other people on your team. It wasn’t like paintball when you get a small toy weapon. We used life-sized rifles with real weight. It was urban warfare and we got a taste of the ‘grunt’ community.”
Midshipmen 3rd Class Joshua Delhotal, from the University of South Carolina, said he thought MOUT training was a fun opportunity to not only train to fight but to run through buildings and shoot at friends.
“We learned how to cover corners and other midshipmen as they move forward,” said Delhotal. “Sweating, running and shooting – this is what I chose to do and I really enjoyed it.”
Later that day, the midshipmen traveled to MCAS New River, where they got their first rides in a MV-22 Osprey and afterward took part in flight simulators.
“The flight was really great, I even had a chance to ride in the cockpit,” Midshipmen 3rd Class Katie Martinez, from the University of Notre Dame. “Instead of just feeling the turns, I could actually see where we were going. I could also see what the pilot was doing to make the plane do what it did.”
Capt. Joleen Young, Marine officer instructor at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, said that especially for the Navy option midshipmen, this may be their one and only experience with the Marine Corps.
“I hope that they are getting experience and exposure to how we live, the way we think, our ethos, who we are and what we do,” said Young. “For the Marine option (midshipmen), I hope that they’re getting a better idea as to the path that have chosen and into various military occupational specialties. When they get to The Basic School, they are actually going to get the opportunity to choose the job and career. This gives them a taste of what’s out there.”