Under darkness and a light drizzle, recruits of Company C, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, lined up to receive an M-16 A4 service rifle aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego Dec. 26.
Throughout the remainder of recruit training these rifles will be in recruits’ hands constantly. There will be few places these rifles do not accompany the recruits, such as their rack and mess hall.
It was Training Day 2 for Co. C recruits and the issuing of rifles signified they would soon become familiar with the M-16 A4, learning drill movements, the components of the rifle and eventually, become proficient in rifle marksmanship.
“They will start learning rifle manual now which (teaches) them discipline and how to be a team,” said Sgt. Jason A. Sabater, drill instructor, Plt. 1050, Co. C, 1st RTBn. “It teaches them to be a team because the movements need to be one sequence (with the rest of the platoon).”
From past experiences, the issuing of rifles lets recruits know their training was going to start, according to Sabater, a Vallejo, Calif., native.
Although recruits acknowledged recruit training wouldn’t be an easy task, many felt confident they would have no problem learning to be proficient in drill and rifle marksmanship.
Drill instructors break down new material into smaller segments, as opposed to one big assignment, which helps recruits learn easier, explained Recruit Jeremy B. Mattesen, Plt. 1051, Co. C, 1st RTBn.
“I’m not too worried about drill. I know it will be hard, but I should be able to catch on easily. It helps that our drill instructors break things down to us,” said Matteson. “I look forward to learning how to use the rifle to its full capability.”
Not many recruits have prior drill experience under their belts, however, many recruits do come into training with some hunting experience.
“I’m looking forward to firing down range with the Rifle Combat Optic device (RCO) at the range and in training scenarios,” said Recruit Alejandro S. Cariman, Plt. 1051, Co. C, 1st RTBn.
Cariman and Mattsen both expressed excitement and confidence in their ability to learn to use the M-16 A4 service rifle proficiently along with many other recruits.
“I’m pretty confident with shooting. I’ve used rifles before for hunting,” said Mattsen, a Milwaukee native.
With the mass amount of information these recruits are about to learn during recruit training, some recruits have broken their 13–week evolution into smaller pieces.
“I’ve been told this is the hardest recruit training in the world, so I’m planning to take this a day at a time,” said Cariman.
Although Training Day 2 is complete, recruits still have a long way ahead of them in recruit training. Whether they have rifle experience or not, recruits will have the help of their drill instructors every step of the way.
Article by Cpl. Walter D. Marino II, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego