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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

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

Improved Motorcycle Training Course for Marines

By Pfc. Emmanuel Necoechea | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | February 10, 2016


Camp Pendleton hosted a demonstration of the Commandant of the Marine Corps Safety Division’s proposed Rider Essential Skills Training (REST) course here, Feb. 10.

Marine Corps officials are in the process of revamping the course to further reduce motorcycle accidents in the Marine Corps.

“This course brings some more advanced concepts and it is tailored to bring in and teach more skills at higher speeds on the road,” said Robert N. Dobarzynski, the director of safety and standardization for MCI-West and Camp Pendleton. “It focuses more on the braking requirements, turning and curving requirements, and braking while turning and curving requirements, because that is where we need to improve the skill set.”

The course targets intermediate riders and was designed to mitigate risks involved with riding.

Maj. Don Williams, a safety instructor with REST, added that this course is unique because it provides riders with essential skills to safely navigate the two biggest hazards riders face at real-world speeds, which no other intermediate course does. The two biggest hazards are intersection and corners.

“We want that Marine out on the freeway or highways and byways to have already practiced higher speed braking and cornering before he gets put in a situation where there is on-coming traffic or some other hazards on his roadway,” said Williams.

According to Dobarzynski, motorcycle safety is especially important to Marines stationed in Southern California due the terrain. The Marine Corps had 14 motorcycle fatalities last year with nine of them being in the MCI-West region.

“California is the most dangerous state to operate a motorcycle in both accidents and fatalities,” he added.

Cpl. Trevor R. Hoyt, a safety instructor for a basic riding course on base, says that motor cycle safety is important to Marines and all riders due to the nature of riding.

“The biggest thing that I would ever stress as far as riding goes is that it doesn’t matter how educated you are, things can always be thrown at you,” said Hoyt. “Whenever you get on a bike you need to be wearing the proper gear in the event that something unexpected happens.”

The Marine Corps motorcycle safety experts believe that many accidents can be prevented with appropriate training, protective gear and safe driving practices.

This course is not completely finalized and is in phase three of beta testing.