Marines earn their tan belt during basic training

Learning the fundamentals of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program is a requirement that every recruit aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego must complete before they earn their Eagle, Globe, and Anchor.

Recruits of Company C, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, executed every technique to earn their tan belts Oct. 24.

MCMAP is a program developed by the Marine Corps that combines hand-to-hand and close quarter combat techniques. It also includes instruction in mental and physical discipline to prepare them for a combat situation.

Recruits are taught these techniques as self-defense and also to instill a combat mindset through discipline.

“Recruit training is all about building up recruits into Marines,” said Sgt. Chris Thompson, senior drill instructor, Platoon 1047. “Ever since Phase One, the recruits learned each technique of tan belt, which is the fundamentals of fighting. This just brings them one step closer to becoming a Marine.”

Recruits learn hand to hand combat skills

After a quick demonstration of rifle butt strokes, recruits of Company I, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, donned protective gear and faced one another in pugil stick match ups, aboard Marine Corps Recruiting Depot San Diego Oct. 25.


After a two-on-one match up, recruits faced off one-on-one until a kill strike was received or a fighter fell off their platform. The platform is only a couple feet wide and forces recruits to engage one another head on. The floor on both sides are cushioned to prevent injuries.

From an outside perspective the exercise could seem barbaric and without purpose, but that was not the case and both drill instructor and recruit would argue different.