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Marine Corps Installations Pacific

Corporals course navigates jungle, strengthens leadership skills

By Lance Cpl. Donald T. Peterson | Marine Corps Installations Pacific | December 06, 2012

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Service members with Headquarters and Service Battalion’s corporals course plot their grid points before beginning the land navigation course at the Jungle Warfare Training Center Nov. 28.

Service members with Headquarters and Service Battalion’s corporals course plot their grid points before beginning the land navigation course at the Jungle Warfare Training Center Nov. 28. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Donald T. Peterson)


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Lance Cpl. Andrew L. Elgin and Cpl. Chazz R. Peters verify their grid points during the land navigation course at the Jungle Warfare Training Center Nov. 28. Elgin is a military policeman with Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, and Peters is a telephone systems personal computer repairer with Combat Logistics Regiment 35.

Lance Cpl. Andrew L. Elgin and Cpl. Chazz R. Peters verify their grid points during the land navigation course at the Jungle Warfare Training Center Nov. 28. Elgin is a military policeman with Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, and Peters is a telephone systems personal computer repairer with Combat Logistics Regiment 35. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Donald T. Peterson)


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Cpl. Isis Ramirezblancas with Headquarters and Service Battalion’s Corporals course shoots an azimuth through the thick vegetation during the land navigation course at the Jungle Warfare Training Center Nov. 28. Ramirezblancas is a motor vehicle operator with Combat Logistics Battalion 4, Combat Logistics Regiment 3, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force.

Cpl. Isis Ramirezblancas with Headquarters and Service Battalion’s Corporals course shoots an azimuth through the thick vegetation during the land navigation course at the Jungle Warfare Training Center Nov. 28. Ramirezblancas is a motor vehicle operator with Combat Logistics Battalion 4, Combat Logistics Regiment 3, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Donald T. Peterson)


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Sgt. Justin D. Lofay, with Headquarters and Service Battalion’s corporals course, climbs down a steep hill to reach his squad’s next point during the land navigation course at the Jungle Warfare Training Center Nov. 28. Land navigation is a perishable skill that requires consistent training in various environments, according to Cpl. Christopher M. Becker, an instructor with the Jungle Warfare Training Center. Lofay is an instructor with the course and an automotive maintenance technician with Combat Logistics Regiment 35, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force.

Sgt. Justin D. Lofay, with Headquarters and Service Battalion’s corporals course, climbs down a steep hill to reach his squad’s next point during the land navigation course at the Jungle Warfare Training Center Nov. 28. Land navigation is a perishable skill that requires consistent training in various environments, according to Cpl. Christopher M. Becker, an instructor with the Jungle Warfare Training Center. Lofay is an instructor with the course and an automotive maintenance technician with Combat Logistics Regiment 35, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Donald T. Peterson)


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JUNGLE WARFARE TRAINING CENTER, Okinawa, Japan -- As time ticks away, Marines navigate through the jungle trying to find their final checkpoint before the clock runs out.

Students with Headquarters and Service Battalion’s corporals course raced against time when they traversed through the jungle during a land navigation course at the Jungle Warfare Training Center on Camp Gonsalves Nov. 30.

Land navigation is a perishable skill that requires consistent training to avoid forgetting the basics altogether.

“This course was hard to navigate, but fun,” said Cpl. Jaylenn B. Person, a supply administration and operations specialist with Combat Logistics Regiment 35, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “The terrain is thick the whole way. You cannot follow any paths because any paths you find could lead you to the road or deeper into the jungle,” said Person.

The jungle terrain proved to be both physically demanding and dangerous to navigate, according to Lance Cpl. Andrew L. Elgin, a military policeman with Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, Marine Corps Installations Pacific.

“It was very difficult to maneuver through the jungle,” said Elgin. “If you lose your footing you could injure your leg or ankle. We found ourselves having to move from tree to tree, staying low and sometimes sliding down hills. The few hills we did climb required us to send our best climbers up with the rope and then throw the rope down for other Marines to make the climb.”

Teamwork and listening to the instructor are key to making it through the course in the allotted amount of time, according to Sgt. Justin D. Lofay, an instructor with Headquarters and Service Battalion’s corporals course and automotive maintenance technician with Combat Logistics Regiment 35, 3rd MLG, III MEF.

“You could tell the difference when they actually took their time to work as a team to get to their next point and when they were just rushing,” said Lofay. “When they worked as a team they moved smoother from one point to another instead of accidentally going too far or winding up at the wrong point.”

Headquarters and Service Battalion’s corporals course plans on using the Jungle Warfare Training Center for future classes to practice their land navigation skills needed in the jungle.


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