MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Virginia --
On Oct. 24 dozens of acquisition professionals from Marine Corps Systems Command got out from behind their desks and behind the scopes of infantry weapons – the same ones they work hard to deliver to Marines in the fleet.
“In a word, awesome,” is how Elizabeth Jansen described her experience. Jansen, a financial analyst for raids and recon, spends most days crunching numbers, working funding documents to get gear out to Marines. She had never fired a weapon before.
“My dad was a Marine,” Jansen said. “So, I’m glad they were able to get us out here.”
“They” are the Marine Corps management team who oversee procurement and fielding for nearly everything a Marine wears, carries and shoots.
The live-fire range day was coordinated by the Program Management Office, Infantry Weapons Systems. Lt. Col. John Ethan Smith is the product manager for infantry weapons.
“Many functions within the PMO are compartmentalized,” Smith said. “This is an opportunity for people who devote their lives to delivering gear to Marines a chance to operate the gear. [Most] don’t get that chance.”
From the M4 to the infantry automatic rifle to the heftier M240B, dozens of Marines and civilian Marines got the chance to shoot on the firing line of Range 14C aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico. Other gear like mortar systems and optics were on display.
“We do a lot of paperwork, so to have the opportunity to come out to the range – I’m excited about it,” said Barbetta Rollins, a logistician, who appreciated the chance to get firsthand experience.
“It gives you a better understanding of what the gear looks like, feels like and how it works, said Matthew Brewer, who works in infantry combat equipment. “Very beneficial.”
Marine Corps Systems Command, with headquarters in Quantico, Virginia, is the Department of Navy’s systems command for Marine Corps ground weapons and information technology systems.