The Marines have designed an improved Infantry school to teach skills to Marines desiring to become infantry squad leaders. The school is located at Camp Pendleton California and is designed specifically to teach leadership and infantry skills to prospective Marine Corps Squad leaders. The new course is called the Infantry Squad Leaders Course and teaches myriad skills to the candidate to become an infantryman squad leader.
The education of a Marine Corps Infantryman starts at boot camp, but this is an exciting new school to refine the skills and rifleman concepts that every Marine is taught. The new ISLC course takes Marines and trains them as noncommissioned officers demonstrating to them leadership and active skills to help them become an effective and disciplined 12 man squad leader. The purpose of the corporals and sergeants trained in the ISLC program is to train them to become effective platoon and squad level weapons and tactics experts, and to become cohesive and efficient rifle squad leaders.
The Course is 37 days long and from the beginning it is conducted at a challenging and brisk pace. It is a course that features concepts based on acquired and accumulated knowledge, taking what the student already knows and refining their skills and focusing their efforts. It is designed on Warfighting, weapons skills, attacking, defending, decision-making, and other military operations that a squad leader is likely to encounter as a leader. Each of the squad leaders undergoing training has a 12-man rifle team. Each team is broken up into four man teams, three in number. The positions on each team include a automatic rifleman who fires the M-249 weapon, an assistant automatic rifleman who carries ammunition and backs up the primary rifleman, a regular rifleman, and a leader. The squad leader is taught how to direct each of his three four man teams to accomplish and meet certain objectives.
The squad leader is different in modern times than in the past, the modern Marine Squad leader is taught how to be technically and tactically ready, and how to write orders for combat, and to report and plan different fire support missions. The new course has close to 512 training hours of which about half are in field exercises. The course features a lot of changes to the traditional Marine Squad leader position but much of the material is merely reinforcement to the method and means that the Marines have always employed.