Marine Combat Training (MCT) is located at the School of Infantry (SOI) at Camp Pendleton, California and Camp Geiger, North Carolina.
MCT is a basic infantry training condensed into 29 days. MCT is for Marines whose MOS is not infantry (03xx).
The Marine Corps' mantra is "every Marine a rifleman", and Marine Combat Training is where that philosophy is implemented. Learning basic combat skills is mandatory for all Marines before moving on to their primary Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). Whether a Marine is a cook, truck driver, or administrative personnel, first and foremost a Marine is a rifleman.
While at MCT, Marines will be taught weapons skills such as the handling and firing of M203 grenade launchers, AT-4 rocket launchers, M240 machine guns, and M249 Squad Automatic Weapons. Additionally, they will receive instruction on improvised explosive devices, convoy operations, combat hunter skills, offensive/defensive fundamentals, tactical communications, and land navigation. Combat conditioning hikes, fitness runs, and Marine Corps Martial Arts sustainment will be on the agenda while attending MCT.
Upon completion, the Marines will be directed to their Military Occupational Schools throughout the United States.
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Sergeant John A. Wallace, Company E combat instructor, Marine Combat Training Battalion, teaches a group of students the fundamentals of patrolling.
—USMC photo by Cpl. Orrin G. Farmer