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3d Marine Division

The Fighting Third

Okinawa, Japan
U.S. Marines conduct the Advanced Infantry Marine Course in Okinawa

By Cpl. Josue Marquez | 3rd Marine Division | April 17, 2020


OKINAWA, Japan – U.S. Marines with 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division participate in the Advanced Infantry Marine Course (AIMC) on Okinawa, Japan, March 9 – April 14.

The AIMC is a course designed to enhance infantry Marines’ skills and leadership while leading a rifle squad. Normally units send Marines to AIMC during their pre-deployment training while at home station in the United States. 3rd Marine Division conducted this course, with a mobile training team from Hawaii, for forward deployed Marines from all four Marine Divisions. Conducting the AIMC in Okinawa allows units to increase their readiness while forward deployed and return to home station a better trained unit.

“Marines walk away from this course as deadlier warfighters,” said U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Dane Summerfelt, the chief instructor of the AIMC. “It’s a very difficult program of instruction for the Marines, and all participants graduate with an immense sense of pride in having completed this course.”

During the 6 week course, Marines learned a variety of skills such as calling for fire, utilizing close air support, and leading a squad through various combat scenarios.

“It was a really tough and rewarding experience,” said U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Nikita Hupalo, an infantry Marine with 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division. “I learned a lot from the overall course, from the classroom phase through the field phase, and now I feel better prepared to lead Marines in any combat environment. As Marines, we are expected to respond to any crisis. This course gave me the tools I need to better prepare my squad for any challenge.”

The Marines spent the first four weeks of the course studying tactics and procedures in a classroom environment and conducting physical training. The final two weeks were spent in a field environment applying the skills in various combat scenarios.
While conducting this training, Marines implemented preventative health precautions such as social distancing and the wearing of masks when applicable.

“Being able to conduct this course in Okinawa, with precautions added to account for the current global health situation, highlights 3rd Marine Division’s ability to maintain training and operations regardless of the circumstances,” said Division Gunner, Chief Warrant Officer 5 James Law from 3rd Marine Division.

3rd Marine Division continues to conduct mission essential training to remain ready to respond to any crisis situation throughout the Indo-Pacific region.