by Airman 1st Class Joshua King
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs
6/19/2015 - JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST- -- Marines
and Airmen are crawling and carrying one another through down pouring
rain - with their tan and green uniforms all covered up by mud, the
service members look like the joint fighting force they are.
During a three week Marine Corps Martial Arts Program course Airmen were
taught self-defense and close quarter combat skills by their JB MDL
neighbors and sister service Marines.
"After the first week we did a combat conditioning where it was complete
mud and water," said Marine Gunnery Sgt. Lucio Bernabe, Marine Aircraft
Group 49 and MCMAP instructor. "At that point is when they converted
over, like 'let's just go for it 100 percent, let's get dirty, let's get
into it.' I think from that it started clicking."
MCMAP teaches service members techniques in unarmed, edged weapons,
rifle and bayonet combat. It also teaches mental and character
development, including responsible use of force and teamwork.
"When I first started I didn't think I could do it," said U.S. Air Force
Airman 1st Class Mashia Wong-Holly, 87th Mental Health Clinic medical
technician. "I was in pain, I would go to work limping, but as the days
go on we get better at it."
"MCMAP is pretty much a sport where your pain tolerance changes," said
Marine Sgt. Teliah Wilson, MAG 49 adjutant and MCMAP instructor. "It's
not that you accept more pain but how to tolerate more pain with your
Throughout the three weeks of training, the students developed a bond
with their sister service instructors who pushed their students hard.
"The instructors motivated me," said Wong-Holly. "Some days I didn't
want to come but I did. They are very easy to talk to they go step by
step. As long as you're open minded and willing to go the extra mile for
it. It's a great environment; everyone here is pushing everybody to do
Being at a joint base offers a unique opportunity for joint training
like this to occur, further enabling the vital interoperability needed
when deployed in a joint environment. During deployments all branches of
the military live, eat and work together in a joint environment -
having the opportunity to train together stateside helps for a seamless
transition down range.
"Being able to physically train with other services allows them to see
how we react with each other in a combat scenario," said Wilson. "At any
time we could be deployed together and for us to train together is
exactly what we're supposed to do."
"It's always a very boastful thing (working with other services), you
always want to compete, 'Marines are better than the Army, Army is
better than the Air Force,' so on and so forth," said Bernarbe. "But
when you deploy, its one team, one fight. That's the one thing I wanted
to tell them and send that message - no matter what, we're all working
together. We may talk smack a little bit, or dig at each other a little
bit, but at the end of the day, we are working together to protect our
After three weeks of tireless training, from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. each
morning, the instructors evaluated each student in a test for their tan
belt in the MCMAP program.
They all passed.
"The proudest moment is today," said Bernabe. "You can assess them you
can see exactly what you taught them and how it's put into play."