MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Marines have tough jobs. They work late, through weekends and occasional holidays. In order to gain perspective of Marine Corps life, approximately 20 spouses took on their Marine’s job for a day.
Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 1 held its annual Jayne Wayne Day May 23, 2014. The event took Marine spouses to different Combat Center sites to experience a taste of the Corps.
“They are spending a day in their Marine’s boots,” said Heather Hutchinson, family readiness office, VMU-1. “It gives them a better understanding of what their Marine does and how different their Marine’s life is as opposed to their friends back home.”
Their day started like the beginning of every Marine’s career, with some drill. Rows of men and women formed up into columns at Del Valle Field as they took commands from their temporary drill instructor and screamed, “Aye, aye gunnery sergeant!”
Once they learned obedience to orders, the group of spouses observed a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program demonstration, followed by a modified Combat Fitness Test.
The spouses got some hands-on training with both events, as they partnered up and applied some MCMAP techniques and moved on to the test, where they conducted a 400-yard movement to contact, 50 ammo can lifts and a modified maneuver-under-fire portion, where they carried water jugs instead of another person.
“I have not been to Jayne Wayne Day before,” said Cassie Coke, wife of Capt. Joshua Coke, officer in charge, intelligence, VMU-1. “The CFT was the hardest part; the water jugs specifically.”
After their CFT, the group geared up in flak and Kevlar and loaded up into the back of seven-ton trucks to move to their next event at Range 105.
Each spouse was then handed an M16A4 rifle and given a magazine with 20 rounds to shoot at stationary targets down range. The spouses enthusiastically moved up to the firing line, five at time, to test their skill with the rifles. They tried different shooting positions and some proved themselves to be potential marksmen. The majority of the spouses confessed the rifle range was their favorite part of the day.
The group continued in their rifle practice at Camp Wilson, where they were given the opportunity to work together during a convoy simulation. The spouses were split up into separate rooms at the Combat Convoy Simulator, with stationary vehicles in the center of the room. This time, they were handed a rifle that shot digitally into the projection of Afghan terrain projected on the walls. As soon as each room was ready, the simulation began and they made their way through the streets of Afghanistan.
Their last stop was the air field, where a static display of an unmanned aerial vehicle awaited them. The spouses ended their day controlling the cameras on the UAV and inspecting it up close.
The spouses started their day full of energy, but they left the airfield exhausted from the day’s activities and with a better understanding of their Marines.
“It’s a lot of fun and interesting to see the ins and outs and experience all the different things,” Coke said. “I would definitely go again next year.”