By Debbie Gregory.
In October 2016, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Ronald Green said the Corps was considering reviving the common skills test, which some enlisted Marines and officers used to take. But now, beginning in January, 2018, that proposed testing will become a reality.
At the start of 2018, all U.S. Marines, from privates through general officers, will need to be on their toes as the Corps launces the first of what will be an annual Battle Skills Test.
Marines will be tested on 30 of the 178 common skills that recruits learn at boot camp and the School of Infantry or Marine Combat Training. All Marines will have to pass the skills test each year.
The few/ the proud will need to demonstrate a variety of skills that fall in the following categories: basic infantry skills, communications, first aid, history, leadership and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Each section has specific time requirements and parameters that will determine if the Marine has passed or failed the evaluation. It will be up to the discretion of the small unit leader on how the tests are administered.
“This is the commandant directing units to be able to go back and do fundamental, basic Marine skills that they may not have in their training plans,” said Lt. Col. Stuart Glenn of Training and Education Command.
Glenn said all Marines will be tested on “the basic fundamentals of what it means to be a Marine,” which will help Marines prevail in both conventional and irregular warfare.
“The Marine Corps emphasizes the ethos of every Marine a rifleman,” Glenn said. “Getting back to these basic skills, now I know that no matter what a Marine’s MOS is, no matter what his unit is, he knows how to put on a tourniquet; he knows how to treat a cold weather injury; he knows how to operate a radio.”
Information about the required training and the evaluation checklists can be downloaded from Training and Education Command’s SharePoint site and the Marine Corps Training Information Management System.