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School of Infantry

School of Infantry

Since 1942, Camp Pendleton has been the U.S. Marine Corps’ primary location for teaching Marines how to fight and win on the battlefield. Young Marines who learned the fundamentals of infantry weapons and tactics at Camp Pendleton are the same Marine heroes who raised the flag at Iwo Jima, landed at Inchon, made valiant sacrifices in Vietnam and liberated Iraq.

Today, the School of Infantry (SOI), located in the San Onofre area, continues the tradition by providing training that follows the commandant’s guidance of “every Marine, regardless of occupational specialty, being capable of serving effectively in a rifle squad in offensive and defensive combat, being able to participate in security and ambush patrols, and being able to employ medium and heavy machine guns.”

This Marine Combat Training (MCT) is a continuation of the Basic Warrior Training, started in boot camp. Following recruit graduation and a 10-day leave period, every Marine, except those with infantry military occupational specialties, attend this course.

MOSs are assigned during the 28-day course. All infantry specialties bypass the 24-day MCT and report to Infantry Training Battalion to complete one of six basic-infantry courses, to receive the infantry MOS.

Basic infantry training courses are designed to qualify Marines in one of six MOSs prior to assignment to their first permanent duty station. These specialties include rifleman (MOS 0311), machine-gunner (MOS 0331), mortarman (MOS 0341), anti-tank assaultman (MOS 0351), anti-tank assault guided missileman (MOS 0352) and light armored vehicle crewman (MOS 0313).

Courses are eight to 10 weeks in length. SOI graduates a class of 150-320 new infantrymen every three weeks, year-round. Graduates are assigned to duty stations throughout the world, including Fleet Marine Force and Marine Corps Security Forces. Reserve Marines complete initial active duty and return to their reserve units.

The School of Infantry also conducts advanced infantry training for 260 squad leaders and 156 platoon sergeants each year. These seven- and 11-week courses provide key, small unit leaders with weapons and tactical expertise to function effectively on the battlefield.

Additionally, SOI provides officer and SNCO LAV leaders training to 60 LAV company commanders, platoon commanders and platoon sergeants annually.

SOI has 50 officers and 690 enlisted permanent personnel. Four subordinate commands provide the organizational framework for instructor and support functions within the school. Collectively, SOI’s formal courses of instruction trained approximately 18,000 Marines in fiscal year 2014.

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