MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines are trained to use a wide variety of weapons systems in order to be able to pick up any weapon and effectively utilize it. Midshipmen aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune got a taste of the different types of weapons available to Marines July 26 as part of their Career Orientation and Training for Midshipmen.
One of the four weeks of CORTRAMID is Marine Week, during which midshipmen are aboard MCB Camp Lejeune. The last thing the midshipmen take part in during Marine Week is shooting.
The midshipmen either fired or received a class on the M16A4 rifle, M203 grenade launcher, M249 light machine gun, the M2 .50 caliber machine gun, AT4-CS light anti-armor weapon, M224 mortar system, as well as others. For many of the students, it was their first experience firing a rifle.
“After their freshmen year of college, they are either a Navy option or a Marine Corps option,” said Gunnery Sgt. Ryan Claunch, an assistant Marine officer instructor with Duke University. “The Marine Week is to show Marine options at-a-glance, what they could be doing and to make sure it’s something they want to do. It also introduces the Navy options to the training, in case they want to possibly switch from the Navy to the Marine Corps.”
The midshipmen received training on each of the weapon systems from Marines who use them in their everyday lives to ensure they were being taught accurately about each individual weapon.
“The purpose of the live firing this week is just to let (the midshipmen) know about every aspect of the Marine Corps, so they can set themselves up for success in whatever field they go into in the future,” said Claunch.
Midshipmen were introduced to the kick of an M16A4 rifle, the deafening boom of an AT4-CS light anti-armor weapon, and the feeling of dropping a mortar into an M224 mortar system in many cases, for the first time in their lives.
“These midshipmen experience more in this week than many Marines do during the course of an entire enlistment,” said Claunch.
“It was a fun experience to be up close to some of the bigger weapons Marines use,” said Mishipman Blake Wilson, a Virginia native currently attending Xavier University.
Claunch said Marine Week, and especially firing rifles, is a sort of recruiting tool for the midshipmen to experience all the different aspect of what the Marine Corps has to offer.