My First Live Fire with Animal Co and the Creation of the Combat CADRE
During our first live fire at 29 Palms we fired tens of thousands of rounds with no evaluation of hits and misses on target; what a waste (there were no targets down range).
I told the CO if he gave me three Marines from each platoon for two weeks of training, on my schedule (different time each day due to my schedule) I would create a CADRE of instructors for the company. He agreed.
I trained these Marines in service rifle presentation drills, combat drills, and close quarters shooting. I also trained them in CQB (Close Quarters Battle) tactics; IBT (Initiative Based Tactics). We then trained the other 180 or so Marines and Corpsman with so many dry training drills, they all wanted to kill me.
I took possession of 50 LAV ammunition cans to hold targets I built with kill zones (three inch Circle and a T in the face and 8” pie on the chest – carved in with a nail, so the lines were not visible unless you were very close).
From that point on we never shot ammunition without scoring. The first time on the range these Marines were hammering targets, in the kill zones, like they were born trained – due to many hours of dry practice drills.
We continued doing conventional tactics, but added IBT and CQB shooting as often as possible. As far as I know, Animal Company was the only rifle company in the Marine Corps who were training in CQB and direct-action tactics. We were taking down warehouses on main-side, attacking the barracks, eventually even training in an old housing area (the old Marine Palms housing area).
Photo: Animal Company Live Fire 29 Palms, 2001.
Animal 8 Out
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