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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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MCMAP tests recruits' toughness, character

By Lance Cpl. Dorian Gardner | | September 30, 2005

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Before combat comes combat training. Aboard the depot, drill instructors give recruits a course integrated with the rest of recruit training that teaches recruits about close-hand combat.

The Marine Corps Martial Arts Program is exactly that - a program that compiles different techniques with different weapons, including the M-16 A2 service rifle with a bayonet. There is also a weapons of opportunity class.

The program was introduced into the Marine Corps and became a part of recruit training in early 2000. According to Sgt. Sergio Esquivel, Instructional Training Company close combat drill instructor, the program is proficient.

"Because it is basic motor skills, it is something the Marines can remember," said Esquivel. "The program also takes into consideration the gear we will be wearing in combat. Even under the physical and mental stress of combat, Marines can remember the moves."

From the basic warrior stance to the angles of movement to leg sweeps and chokes, safety is always taken into consideration. ITC instructors observe training to make sure recruits execute the moves using the proper techniques and safety precautions.

"Safety always depends on what the event is," said Staff Sgt. John Johnson, ITC drill instructor. "We take into consideration the type of ground if we are doing break-falls, to mouth pieces, helmets and flak vests. There is always a corpsman and a safety vehicle standing by."

In order to receive a tan belt, recruits must meet the minimum requirements of 27.5 hours in MCMAP training. To facilitate the process of obtaining their belts, the hours are augmented into other parts of recruit training.

On the obstacle course, recruits run a number of different low and high obstacles. While waiting to move onto the next obstacle, recruits practice pad drills to help retain moves.

During the third phase of boot camp, recruits are tested on their knowledge of the program. For three hours, a series of recruits will go through different stations to demonstrate the proper techniques. Passing the MCMAP test is a graduation requirement.
"(Its purpose is) to sustain recruit training," according to Esquivel. "MCMAP does not only teach close combat, but develops mental character and physical discipline."

Once recruits graduate with their tan belts, they will be able to train for higher-level belts. The gray belt follows the tan belt, but Marines will not be able to proceed higher than a gray belt until they become noncommissioned officers.

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