From classroom to field ops: Marines train to be squad leaders

KAHUKU TRAINING FACILITY – Lance Cpl. Anthony Acedo, a rifleman with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, and a Tuscon native, provides security Sept. 20 during a patrol as part of a training exercise aboard the Kahuku Training Facility. The exercise is part of a seven-week-long training event known as the Advance Infantry Course. The Advance Infantry Course, which is conducted by the Advance Infantry Battalion, Detachment Hawaii, is an advanced 0311 (Rifleman) military occupational specialty course for squad leaders who are currently serving in the operating field.

Originally, only for 3rd Marine Division, the course has opened up to various infantry units throughout the Marine Corps. Marines start with a week of proofing their prerequisites that are required for the course, confirming their basic skill sets, and then spend two weeks in a garrison environment doing course work and physical training routines geared toward the squad leader.

Toward the second half of the course, Marines conduct one live-fire week, followed by three consecutive weeks in the field, progressing from an urban exercise to a patrolling exercise, with offensive and defensive tactics. Marines trained in multiple areas on the island, from high in the mountains of the Kahuku Training Facility to the Military Operation in urban terrain facilities on Marine Corps Training Area Bellows.

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