MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Approximately 40 Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps cadets from Desert Hot Springs High School, visited the Combat Center to gain additional knowledge in military training Dec. 18, 2013.
The purpose of the program is to instill in students the values of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment.
During their visit to the Combat Center, the cadets were given a period of instruction on different weapon systems and were given the opportunity to apply marksmanship skills at the Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer (ISMT).
After firing, the cadets ate at the Phelps Mess Hall and then went to the Combat Center Marine Corps Exchange, furthering their opportunity to experience how Marines live on a daily basis.
“We appreciate the opportunity to be able to come out here and see more into how the Marines do things on a day-to-day basis,” said Alexander Camacho, cadet, MCJROTC, Desert Hot Springs High School. “The cadets getting this training get a boost in choosing their future career paths. I personally want to become a pilot, and am deciding between the Marine Corps and the Army. Experiences like this greatly help in making that decision.”
With the MCJROTC being a school program, it was difficult for them to get a lot of hands-on weapons training, according to Carl Lewke, senior Marine instructor, MCJROTC program.
“Marksmanship training is an important aspect of our program,” Lewke said. “For the cadets who plan on joining the service, they are going to need to learn the fundamentals. It is a great thing for us to be invited to the Combat Center to allow the cadets a chance to get that training.”
While it was good training for the cadets, it was also a great experience for the Marines instructing them, according to Capt. Benjamin Rapach, combat engineer officer, Headquarters Battalion.
“It was great to have the chance to work with them and see them go through the ISMT training,” Rapach said. “These kids are potentially the future of our military.”