View Full Version : Recruit Training Impresses British Marine General

07-03-03, 03:48 PM
Recruit Training Impresses British Marine General
by Cpl. Alisha R. Fitzgerald
Marine Corps News
July 1, 2003

MCRD/ERR PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. -- Brigadier Gen. Nick Pounds, commandant of the Commando Training Center Royal Marines at Lympstone observed recruit training, June 19-20, in an effort to fuel ideas to improve or enhance Royal Marine training.

The Commando Training Center is a recruit training facility for the British Royal Marines. Brigadier Gen. Pounds took command of the center in May and serves in the same capacity there as Brig. Gen. Joseph J. McMenamin, commanding general Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island/ Eastern Recruiting Region, does here.

"I've been very impressed with everything I've seen," said Brig. Gen. Pounds of his visit. "I picked up a lot of ideas today that I plan to try once I get back... specifically the shooting record books the recruits use while on the rifle range."

The Commando Training Center serves as the hub of all Royal Marines' training; it encompasses the British equivalent of recruit training plus Marine Combat Training, the School of Infantry and Officer Candidates School. This makes the Royal Marines basic training period 17 weeks longer than that of the U.S. Marines.

Though the Marine Corps traces some of its heritage back to the Royal Marines, the Corps is significantly larger than its British counterpart.

This difference became clear to Brig. Gen. Pounds as he noticed the grand scale on which training is conducted here.

"The instructor to student ratio is much smaller for us," he said. "We average about 14-1, whereas I've found Parris Island is about 30-1. I can imagine how hard the drill instructors must work. I really admire them."

Despite obvious differences, some aspects of the two training facilities closely resemble each other. Many of the issues Parris Island drill instructors encounter with recruits are the same issues the Royal Marine instructors deal with at their training facility.

"One of the things that is always a big concern with us is how well the recruits retain all the information that is thrown at them in such a short period of time," said Brig. Gen. Pounds. "With the tremendous amount of pressure that they are under the entire time they're with us, I worry that everything doesn't sink in as well as it should."

During his visit, Brig. Gen. Pounds got a chance to see just how much information must be retained in order for recruits to graduate and become U.S. Marines. He toured Receiving, Special Training Co., Leatherneck Square, the rifle ranges, The Crucible site, Drill Instructor School and the Recruit Training Regiment.

Before his departure, Brig. Gen. Pounds commented that his visit was educational, interesting and impressive.