1/12 takes a stab at Schofield
Submitted by: MCB Hawaii
Story Identification Number: 200399155528
Story by Lance Cpl. Monroe F. Seigle
MCB HAWAII, KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii(August 26, 2003) -- "AHHHHHHH!" yells a hard-charging United States Marine as he plunges a sharpened bayonet through an awaiting target, then swiftly moves on to the next.
He is motivated to keep his close combat skills sharp because he knows that if he runs out of ammunition he will have only his hands, his body and his bayonet to fight with.
The Marines from Bravo Battery, 1st battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, know that their secondary mission is to become a provisional rifle company when push comes to shove on the battlefield.
With this in mind, the Marines from Bravo Battery decided to stray from their normal missions of sending massive amounts of high explosives down range and destroying targets, and head to Schofield Barracks August 26 to show unrelenting war-fighting motivation and viciously attack a bayonet assault course.
"It has been almost a year since I have had a chance to get some good training with the bayonet, "said Lance Cpl. Boo Jernigan, a cannoneer with Bravo 1/12. "I know that during Operation Iraqi Freedom, the artillery batteries became grunts on the battlefield. It is always better to be prepared for the worst-case scenario and that would be when you are fighting the enemy face to face."
Along with attacking the bayonet assault course, the Marines also showed their capabilities in being able to shoot, move and communicate during battery training operations.
Although frayed at the edges from the bayonet assault course, the Marines had no problem moving a seven-ton truck into position with all their equipment and springing into action. As soon as they leaped out of the back of the truck, they quickly unhooked the 155mm Howitzer and prepared the sights for accurate firing.
As two Marines prepared an ammo pit on the sides of the truck, they quickly received a fire plan along with a shooting series by the company commander. Within minutes, the large cannon on the Howitzer is sending explosives down range to destroy enemies that are attempting to break the artillery battery's perimeter.
"In combat, the artillery can nail large targets, but we can't always get all of them from long distances," said Jernigan. "That is why we have to incorporate our bayonet skills with our regular training."
According to 1st Lt. Nathan Rylander, executive officer for Bravo 1/12, the bayonet training gives the Marines within the battery a fresh perspective on war fighting, along with a welcome break from the normal routine.
"All these skills are perishable, stated Rylander. "Continual training is necessary to maintain proficiency in all standards. We have to maintain our infantry skills in order to be effective on the battle field."
Private First Class Craig Murphy, Guns platoon, Bravo Battery, 1/12, viciously attacks a mock enemy
target as he negotiates through the Bayonet Assault Course aboard Schofield Barracks, Aug.26.
Photo by: Sgt. Joseph A. Lee
SSgt. Roger A.
ONE PROUD MARINE