CAMP SCHWAB, OKINAWA, Japan -- The 4th Marine Regiment's Regimental Schools conducted its pre-deployment training program Jan. 22-Feb. 16 for the first time since the school's creation in December.
The Regimental Schools, once a part of 3rd Marine Division Schools, was created as a specialized school with a core of about 15 instructors, according to Staff Sgt. Larry R. Lintz, the PTP staff non-commissioned officer-in-charge for the Regimental Schools. The instructors are now dedicated solely to providing pre-deployment training to 3rd MarDiv Marines preparing for operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, he said.
"(As Division Schools), we were responsible for a number of different training (programs) such as Marine Corps Martial Arts and Corporals' Leadership Courses," Lintz said. "But we got the word that we were going to switch and become a cadre of instructors that comes up here to 4th Marines and would be responsible solely for PTP."
Before Regimental Schools was implemented, the division's training section would take individual Marines from their regular place of duty to be PTP instructors, said Gunnery Sgt. Tony A. Polzin, the Regimental Schools' staff non-commissioned officer-in-charge.
"They were pulling Marines from 4th Marines, 12th Marines, Combat Assault Battalion and 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion and putting together a little training package to train deploying Marines," Polzin said. "But they were pulling guys out of their regular jobs to do this, so they weren't necessarily the best people that you could put together because they had to worry about their usual jobs plus the training of deploying Marines."
Although this training was adequate, a new strategy was decided upon to improve the training even more, Polzin said.
"What they were finding out is that the training wasn't as good as it could be if you had a dedicated team of instructors with their sole purpose being to conduct this kind of training," Polzin said.
The Marines selected to become the school's instructors come from varied military occupational specialties, Polzin explained. No matter what military occupational specialty they're coming from, their job is now exclusively to provide deploying Marines with the knowledge they need to survive in combat, he said.
"We've got a whole bunch of different MOSs putting this thing together, from the infantry field to motor transportation to communications," he said. "I have communication guys teaching basic urban combat skills and convoy operations and motor transport Marines teaching combat marksmanship; but it doesn't matter, you don't have to be infantry to teach these basic skills."
The goal of the training is not to teach all new concepts but rather to reinforce the skills all Marines have instilled in them since basic training, Lintz said.
"Our motto is 'brilliance in the basics,' which means we should be reminding Marines of all the things that they already should know and practice," Polzin said, "That's our goal, to get everyone's basic knowledge up to where it needs to be in order to deploy."
Polzin said he is more than satisfied with the new program and he is certain Regimental Schools will make a difference.
"From what we've seen so far, it looks like the end product will be much better at getting Marines trained and ready to deploy into combat."