Lancers complete MCMAP down under
Submitted by: MCAS Iwakuni
Story Identification Number: 200384191816
Story by Lance Cpl. Ben Slack

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE BASE DARWIN, Australia -- Every Marine is considered a riflemen and a warrior, which means that they must be combat ready not only with their weapons, but also with their bare hands. This is where the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program comes into play.

The Marine Corps has required everyone in its ranks to qualify as a tan belt before Oct. 1. With 48 of their personnel not qualified, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 212 has set up a training course while deployed here for Southern Frontier 2003.

?We have a lot of people who need to be qualified, and the problem is that everyone works different hours so we are running three to four classes a day,? said Sgt. Karl Jones, VMFA-212 green belt instructor. ?By the end of the deployment we should have everyone at least tan belt qualified.?

Not only are the instructors ensuring that everyone leaves Australia with their tan belt, they are also holding sustainment-training classes for the more advanced belts.

During the training, the class not only perfects the techniques that they learned for their previous belt, but they also learn more advanced moves.

?We have two gray belt classes going on, and some of them are going to try to leave here with their green belts,? said Jones. ?This is something that needs to be done, but not only that, it?s also a very important part of being a Marine.?

Staff Sgt. Keith Aubert, Administrative chief and gray belt class participant, couldn?t agree more.

?The Marine Corps has made a strong push towards this program, and it should push even harder because Marines need to be efficient in hand-to-hand combat, said Aubert. ?We should have sustainment training on a daily basis because these techniques can save your life in combat. MCMAP is only making the Corps stronger and more efficient one belt at a time.?

Lance Cpl. Josue Lopez, gray belt class participant, throws a horizontal knee into a pad held by Staff Sgt. Carey Green July 24.
Photo by: Lance Cpl. Ben Slack