Eight Marines from the Presidio of Monterey and Naval Air Station Lemoore graduated the three-week Marine Corps Martial Arts Instructor course Aug. 9 at the Presidio of Monterey.
The newly-minted instructors are now qualified to teach Marine Corps Martial Arts to fellow Marines.
"They're making the Marine Corps more capable -- this is a finite skill that most units don't have a great deal of capacity," said Lt. Col. Jason Schermerhorn, Marine Corps Detachment commander. "We now have twice as many instructors who will have more contact with students at Lemoore and Presidio to teach these skills."
Course instructor Sgt. Alexander Herold, an Arabic instructor at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, said "they learn the proper format how to instruct techniques -- they learn how to supervise free sparring -- and they learn how to administer belt tests, so Marines can belt up to the next level."
He added "We tie in Marine Corps history, character, morals and ethics discussions into the training."
Student Sgt. Carl Schlosser, an F-35 avionics technician with VFA-125 at NAS Lemoore, said the course sets the new instructors up for success to pass on knowledge and skills to their fellow Marines.
"The course brought in a good amount of dynamics and stuff I can take back to the unit, so I can train Marines to be more dynamic with their fighting styles, and help belt them up so they can get to a new skill level," said Schlosser.
The rigorous three-week course combined classroom academics and physical activities on ground fighting, striking, weapons training and combat conditioning.
"They have been physically and mentally challenged -- from sunup to sundown," said Schermerhorn.
Sgt. Benjamin Fulbrook, operations chief with MWSS-473 Detachment A at NAS Lemoore, said the students had to get a little aggressive with each other during sparring sessions, but they all remained mature and professional. "We did a good job of mitigating injury and risk."
"The MAI program is what you make of it, so a good Marine will make a great program and develop combat-effective Marines," said Sgt. Christopher Ellis, Chinese and Tagalog platoon commander at DLIFLC.