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Urban Leaders Course teaches combat leadership

4 Mar 2009 | Lance Cpl. Jeremy Fasci

Approximately 50 Marines from 1st Marine Division participated in the Urban Leaders Course at Division Schools here Feb. 23 through Mar. 20.

 “Urban Leaders Course consists of urban shooting skills, convoy operations and MOUT, which is military operations in urban terrain,” said Sgt. Justin T. Adams, the MOUT section leader for the course.  “During the USS portion we do barricade shooting; shoot, move and communicate; learn different techniques of shooting; and different shooting positions.”

Students are given information in a classroom environment where they receive five-to-six presentations that are approximately 45 minutes long. After they receive the presentations, they then have practical applications on the subjects so the Marines utilize what they learned from the presentations, Adams said.

 Each portion gives students a number of different exercises to

learn the information for upcoming deployments.

The instructors teaching the course are very knowledgeable on the operations that are needed to be successful in Afghanistan today.  Many of the Marines have just returned from an eight-month deployment.

“We have a lot of instructors that have just got back from Afghanistan with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines,” said Adams. “They brought a lot of knowledge here that we are trying to give the students now.”

Instructors said changes to the curriculum keep the course current and school seats full of Marines.

“Students give us input on what they think would better the course,” said Adams. “Everything we do with Urban Leaders Course is coming from the students that have been here.  They give us different ideas and different ways to go about things.  We listen to their ideas and put them into the course to make it better.”

Although the course was made for non-commissioned officers, lance corporals can also attend with a waiver.

“I came through the course for the MOUT training,” said Lance Cpl. Richard J. Pratt, a student in the course and member of Weapons Platoon, Company G, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment. “I never knew that the other information given would be so interesting and informative.”

Courses run all year and each class can hold up to 50 Division Marines.

“Urban Leaders Course is taking the Marines that are in leadership billets in the fleet and showing them different tactics to open their mind to do things differently when they go back to their units and can pass it to (their Marines),” said Adams.