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One Mind, Any Weapon
by U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Andy Orozco - February 20, 2014

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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. - Every Marine is a rifleman. But when ammunition is low and the enemy is advancing, Marines have no other choice but to turn to alternative means. By using knives, weapons of opportunity and their own bare hands, Marines use the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) ethos of “One mind, any weapon”.


In 2002 Marine Corps Order 1500.54 implemented the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) into Marine Corps training to give Marines an edge on the battlefield when in hand-to-hand combat. (U.S. Marine Corps photo illustration by Lance Cpl. Andy J. Orozco / edited by USA Patriotism!)

“The Marine Corps Martial Arts Program is a combination of different martial arts in the civilian sector that have been combined into something that is not a sport but more of a combat martial arts,” said Gunnery Sgt. Robert Baker, a MCMAP instructor and Air Traffic Control training chief for Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron (H&HS). “It's a way for Marines to take and learn not just how to engage in hand-to-hand combat but, hopefully teach them how to mature and be a more responsible Marine.”

Staff Sgt. Christopher Pickett, a MCMAP instructor and Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting material chief, said MCMAP is very important on the battlefield.

“The Marine Corps Marital Arts Program is there to keep Marines in a combat mindset because you never know what kind of situation you are going to end up in during combat,” said Pickett. “Not every Marine can shoot as well as the next, so if you miss your target there is a good chance you're going to end up face-to-face with the enemy. So, you're going to have to revert to other means than your rifle. You're going to have to go hand-to-hand.”

Baker explains MCMAP is not only a way to teach Marines to fight, but a way to help Marines grow professionally.

“They say ‘knowledge is power' so the more you learn, the more you have, and along with that comes added responsibilities,” said Baker. “As you go through the MCMAP belting system you learn more lethal techniques that can be used. So, along with those, we strive to impart on the individual Marine the importance of self-discipline and self-control.”

Pickett said MCMAP is not only for combative situations but something you can take with you throughout your life.

“You could take MCMAP for everything it gives you and instill that into your every day life that you want to lead,” said Pickett. “You could encompass it into your life style outside of the Marine Corps. You may have your own beliefs, but when it comes down to it, you're going to walk away with the values the Marine Corps taught you through MCMAP.”

By U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Andy Orozco
Provided through DVIDS
Copyright 2014

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