MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Among the many supporting elements the Marine Corps relies on in times of peace and war are their Navy siblings that make up the Fleet Marine Force corpsmen. This force of sailors that have been trained and qualified to support Marines have followed them through thick and thin.
Sailors with the Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force conducted training at the unit’s task force aid station to prepare for FMF qualification, Sept. 12, 2014. The FMF qualification process consists of learning and being tested on knowledge and practical application of a variety of Marine Corps skills.
“The goal of every fleet corpsman is to get FMF qualified,” said Petty Officer Third Class Phillip Babcock, corpsman, GCEITF. “It is both an honor and a tradition to learn about our Marines and apply it to operations.”
Sailors are required to learn significant dates, battles and Marines in Marine Corps history to be FMF qualified. They, like Marines, must be able to recall events such as the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945 and Marines such as Archibald Henderson, also known as “the Grand Old Man of the Marine Corps.”
According to Babcock, the evaluation process begins with sailors studying written material, with those that are already FMF qualified guiding them along the way. When sailors have mastered the material, they may move on to a more formal evaluation by senior enlisted sailors. Those who perform well during the process are awarded their FMF pins.
From October 2014 to July 2015, the Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force will conduct individual and collective skills training in designated combat arms occupational specialties in order to facilitate the standards based assessment of the physical performance of Marines in a simulated operating environment performing specific ground combat arms tasks.