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December 23, 2017

Battle Skills Test: the future of well-trained Marines

By Cpl. Timothy Smithers, Marine Corps Base Quantico

QUANTICO, Va. — Several Marines from Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia participated in a mock Battle Skills Test November 21, 2017. The test, which is still under development by Marine Corps Training and Education Command, will be an annual requirement for Marines to “get back to basics.”

“The BST is a program that consists of 30 tasks. Those tasks are derived from entry level training such as boot camp, Marine Combat Training or Infantry Training Battalion. Those tasks are common to all Marines so we expect all Marines to be able to perform these basic skills,” said Lt. Col. Stuart Glenn, Ground Combat Element Standards Branch head at Training and Education Command at MCB Quantico, Virginia.

First, the test requires the Marines to work together in a fire team, conduct patrolling and buddy rushes. Second, the Marines are evaluated on various topics including: land navigation, weapons handling, first aid and radio usage.

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.

Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Ronald L. Green was in attendance to see the first iteration of the new test. Green explained to the participants that these skills were perishable and need to be reinforced to maintain overall combat readiness.

The BST has been previously used in the Marine Corps and is making its comeback on January 1, 2018. Look out for the MARADMIN at the beginning of the year.

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