Steely-eyed sailors prove their mettle

CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq  — Many months of preparation, including hours upon hours of diligent study and practical application rehearsals, and a grueling four hour oral examination were finally rewarded here June 12.

Four Navy corpsmen assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5’s Regimental Aid Station were awarded the Fleet Marine Force Warfare Specialist designation. Even better, they were pinned by RCT 5’s commanding officer, Col. Larry D. Nicholson.

The awardees were Navy Petty Officers 3rd Class Orlando. A. Soriano, John W. Harper, Andrew W. Tuohy and Seaman Bounmy Meunsy, all hospital corpsmen.

The designation authorizes the sailors to wear the FMF insignia, commonly referred to as the ‘FMF Pin.’ It signifies they achieved a level of proficiency in Marine Corps war fighting.

“The FMF pin gives the corpsmen instant street credibility with the Marines, and that’s pretty damn important,” Nicholson said.

Any Navy personnel serving in the “Fleet” can earn this pin. The four corpsmen mastered 20 different subjects – from Marine history and organization to communication procedures and infantry weapons.

A two-part written test – one for basic topics and a second that’s specific to their command – was part of their test. In their case, the RCT-5 corpsmen focused on ground combat.

The sailors passed both portions before going before an oral examination board.

The end result, though, was wearing their pride on their chest.

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