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Marine Corps Recruiting Command

Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.

3280 Russell Road, 2nd Floor Quantico, Va. 22134
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H&S Battalion sustains martial arts training

By Sgt. Sandra K. Chiaravallotti | | December 21, 2001

MCRD SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego is leading the way in martial arts training. More than 72 percent of Headquarters and Service Battalion Marines are at least tan belt trained according to SSgt. Gregory H. Kelly, martial arts instructor trainer, H&S Battalion S-3.

"We have 449 tan belts, four gray belts, six green belts and one black belt qualified Marine in H&S Battalion," said Kelly, a first-degree black belt.

Kelly is currently the martial arts chief instructor for H&S Battalion. He was also one of the original Marines to test the martial arts program at Camp Margarita, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

"I trained with Kilo Co., Third Bn, Fourth Marines, in May through June 2000. That was the original pilot program of this type of training," he explained. "In October, the Marine Corps adopted the belt system and I was re-certified by the Quantico Mobile Training team at Camp Horno, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Tan belt training is important for all Marines according to Col. John T. Boggs, H&S Battalion commanding officer.

He also believes it is important to sustain the original training each Marine receives. During a physical training session Dec. 13, the battalion received two hours of sustainment training in the tan belt curriculum.

"The battalion is getting ready to go to gray belt," explained GySgt. Alphonso C. Mack, Headquarters Company first sergeant.  "When you test out of gray belt, you are required to perform tan belt techniques. If you can't remember the techniques, you won't receive your gray belt. The commanding officer wants us to keep our minds fresh."

According to SgtMaj. William Dubose Jr., H&S Battalion sergeant major, the overall goal for the battalion is to be 100 percent tan belt trained and 50 percent gray belt trained during fiscal year 2002.

"Every Marine is going to have to be gray belt certified in H&S Battalion," explained Mack. "The Marine Corps is going to require every Staff NCO to be green belt qualified. That is why we are only requiring gray belt training as the minimum for the battalion."

Currently, the battalion is preparing a plan to implement gray belt training. According to Kelly, the plan is scheduled to begin in January.

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