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Pfc. Dugan Gilbert, a rifleman with 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, suppresses enemy fire during a training exercise at Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 20, 2016. The unit practiced buddy rushing and squad tactics to maintain readiness and prepare for future deployments. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Brianna Gaudi/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Brianna Gaudi

3/2 gains ground, readiness

22 Apr 2016 | Lance Cpl. Brianna Gaudi II Marine Expeditionary Force

Marines with 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment conducted training to improve their abilities communicating and working together as a squad at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, April 20, 2016.

Known as “buddy rushing,” the Marines made movements within a fire team toward the opposing force to assault and destroy the enemy. While one Marine engaged the enemy, another moved his position forward.

“Buddy rushing is a way for us to gain ground,” said Nicholas Frantz, a grenadier with the battalion. “We repeat the process until we get to our desired location.”

Marines took turns bounding to a forward position while looking to their fire team leaders, as well as their squad leader, for commands. Fire team leaders must pass commands throughout their team on what their next move is in order to control and direct.

“Communication is huge for this sort of training, and it allows team leaders and their squads to work together and better understand how they would cooperate on a battlefield,” said Sgt. Alexander Johnson, a squad leader with the battalion.

The environment in which the Marines trained on included micro terrain, a surface which contains convex and concave features, which enabled the squad leader to easily oversee the Marines actions.

After the exercise was complete, the Marines consolidated to discuss their strengths and what they hope to improve on.

“It’s important we do this training regularly in order to keep up with what we’ve learned,” Frantz said.

On the squad level, it is crucial the Marines perform to the utmost standard, for they are a small part of the pyramid of which the Marine Expeditionary Force is made up.

“The squad is the base of everything. When the squad is aware of what it can accomplish, it improves the MEF as a whole, and then the MEF can depend on all its squad leaders to make things happen,” Johnson said.

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