MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Marines are known for being riflemen above all else. Regardless of their military occupational specialty, every Marine is trained to fight and win in a combat environment. Although Marines perform different duties across the Corps, they constantly train to keep their combat mindset and skills up-to-date.
In order to keep those skills fresh, Marines with Headquarters Battery, 5th Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, participated in a hand grenade training course aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, Nov. 18.
All Marines learn how to throw hand grenades at the School of Infantry where they attend either Marine Combat Training or infantry training, but maintaining those skills throughout their career is imperative to the Marine Corps’ mission.
“It’s not about being privates at MCT or being in [the Marine Corps] for 20 years, we have to know the basics as Marines,” said Sgt. Jesse Garner, the local security chief with Headquarters Battery, 5/11. “You have to be able to throw a grenade; you have to be able to shoot a weapon.”
Marines with differing jobs, from administration specialists, to field radio operators, and fire direction controlmen participated in the training event.
The Marines started the day with a class on the basics of safely and effectively employing a grenade. The Marines reviewed the nomenclature of different grenades and throwing techniques. The techniques covered included standard combat tosses along with alternate positions such as standing to prone and kneeling to prone.
“We went through the fundamentals and made sure our Marines are still able to successfully throw grenades,” said Garner, who previously served as a combat instructor at SOI.
Garner also said he has been able to take advantage of the knowledge and the certifications he earned while working as a combat instructor to train the Marines of 5/11 on combat-related subjects. He emphasized the importance of ensuring that Marines are familiar with safety procedures, from protective personal equipment to proper throwing methods.
Before handling live grenades, the Marines practiced throwing M-69 practice grenades, which replicate live grenades, providing a feel for the heft, shape, and fuse time of a live grenade.
Marines threw live M-67 fragmentation grenades to complete their training. The live grenade can be thrown 30 to 35 meters by an average Marine. It has a casualty radius of 15 meters, a fatality radius of 5 meters and its detonation delay is from 4 to 5.5 seconds.
Private First Class Ryan Eberle, a fire direction controlman with Headquarters Battery, 5/11, said he was glad to be able to participate in the training exercise.
Eberle also said that going through the training helped him feel confident about his combat skills and it was a good way to practice what he learned during MCT.
“It’s good to have this training, especially if we ever deploy,” said Eberle. “You never know when you’re going to need the skills.”
Through this type of exercise the Marines of 5/11 remain trained, ready and relevant to respond to any situation at a moment’s notice.