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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

"The West Coast's Premier Fleet Marine Force Training Base"

AAV Commander Course navigates through Pendleton

By Lance Cpl. Alison Dostie | 10th Marine Regiment | July 22, 2020


U.S. Marine students with the Assault Amphibian Vehicle Commander Course, Assault Amphibian School, conducted mounted land navigation training in the Oscar Two Training Area on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, July 22.

The Vehicle Commander Course is used to train intermediate level Marines on the responsibilities of an AAV commander, with a focus on crew gunnery, direction and supervision.

During the course, students will learn AAV maintenance, orders and reports, navigation, tactics and gunnery. The students attending the Vehicle Commander Course must be a lance corporal or noncommissioned officer, and are proficient in AAV fundamentals and crew responsibilities. The students will have lectures and demonstrations, practical application, performance evaluations, written exams and a field exercise.

“This course is 25 training days,” said U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Hunter Mead, the lead instructor with Assault Amphibian Vehicle Commander Course. “Within that, there are 10 days of classroom time, the rest of the time is spent out here in the field doing practical application.”

This iteration of the class, AAV Commander Course 6-20, is different than most. Every single student is a Marine from 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve. These Marines have a set amount of time that they can be activated, so the class was condensed to ensure they received all the necessary training to effectively lead their crews.

“With reserves they make our orders a little differently, we can’t be on for more than 30 days,” said Cpl. Lucas Young, a student with the AAV Commander Course. “So they’ve shortened the classroom setting environment. I think it’s a lot better because it gets us the hands-on a lot quicker. The classroom can only impart so much knowledge to the Marine.”