In this post, we discuss MCMAP week, Mike Company, and online academics at The Basic School.
1) What is MCMAP week like at The Basic School (TBS)?
Following two weeks of in-processing, MCMAP week marks the beginning of training at TBS. MCMAP stands for Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, and is a system of martial arts complete with different belts that both enlisted and officers have the opportunity to participate in while serving as Marines.
Tan belt is the first level of MCMAP, and 2nd Lieutenants at TBS will be instructed by personnel from the MACE (Martial Arts Center of Excellence) aboard Camp Barrett.
The tan belt syllabus is fairly basic, with a few punches, throws, bayonet techniques, and other movements. Towards the end, Lieutenants will get the chance to fight with pugil sticks and conduct body sparring. Following three days of training, Lieutenants will test out and hopefully earn their tan belts.
For Lieutenants that are already tan belts or higher (grey, green, brown, or black) they will do sustainment hours (practice hours) which are a requirement in order to maintain their belts.
MCMAP week is one of the easier weeks at TBS. Training begins at around 0700 or 0800, lunch is long, and the days end early (typically around 1600). The next three weeks will be much harder, with long days spent at the range. Enjoy MCMAP week while it lasts, and use free time wisely.
2) What is Mike Company at The Basic School?
Mike Company is essentially a holding company for LTs waiting to pick up with a training company or begin MOS school. Upon checking in, all LTs will be in Mike Company for a couple days during administrative in processing.
Once LTs are medically cleared and have passed the PFT, training begins. However, in the event of injury or other extenuating circumstances, individuals will wait in Mike Company for as long as it takes for the issue to be resolved.
For example, if a LT is injured during training, they may have to wait in Mike Company for a few months to heal before picking up with a different company.
While in Mike Company, LTs may be assigned to working parties, physical therapy, or just working out. It is situationally dependent.
Ideally you will only be in Mike Company for the first couple days aboard Camp Barrett.
3) What are online academics like at The Basic School?
Academics at TBS make up a significant portion of the final grade/ranking.
10 percent of your total grade at TBS is determined by performance on quizzes which are taken on Moodle, an online academics platform.
Quizzes are due before the class room lecture on the specific topic, so LTs are forced to prepare in advance. Most quizzes are only 5 questions or so, however they must be completed in 2-3 minutes (depending on length). They are open book, however due to the time hack it will be difficult to search for every answer.
Quizzes are not difficult, and are probably the single easiest thing at TBS to do well on. They are completely in your hands. Don't give up that easy 10 percent!