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Battle Skills Test: The Future of Well-Trained Marines

Battle Skills Test: The Future of Well-Trained Marines

Several Marines from Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia participated in a mock Battle Skills Test November 21, 2017. The test, which is still under development by Marine Corps Training and Education Command, will be an annual requirement for Marines to “get back to basics.”

“The BST is a program that consists of 30 tasks. Those tasks are derived from entry level training such as boot camp, Marine Combat Training or Infantry Training Battalion. Those tasks are common to all Marines so we expect all Marines to be able to perform these basic skills,” said Lt. Col. Stuart Glenn, Ground Combat Element Standards Branch head at Training and Education Command at MCB Quantico, Virginia.

First, the test requires the Marines to work together in a fire team, conduct patrolling and buddy rushes. Second, the Marines are evaluated on various topics including: land navigation, weapons handling, first aid and radio usage.

Each section has specific time requirements and parameters that will determine if the Marine has passed or failed the evaluation. It will be up to the discretion of the small unit leader on how the tests are administered.

Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Ronald L. Green was in attendance to see the first iteration of the new test. Green explained to the participants that these skills were perishable and need to be reinforced to maintain overall combat readiness.

The BST has been previously used in the Marine Corps and is making its comeback on January 1, 2018. Look out for the MARADMIN at the beginning of the year.

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ROBERT BEHEN - May 27, 2020


Robert Dickerson - May 27, 2020

Every Marine is first and foremost a rifleman. This type of training means that every Marine will also remain a skilled rifleman throughout his/her career – as it should be. Since becoming a civilian I have had similar annual training requirements for several of my jobs and it really makes a positive difference. Semper Fi, Marines.

Daniel J. Daly - May 27, 2020

Sounds like a good idea, I just thought the annual skills classes and trading took care of that, or did they do away with that to. Question: what are buddy rushes? Back when I was in(1965-69) we had fire team rushes. Is this the same thing? Semper Fi Marines. PS: It’s suppose to read Training.

Vince Piquet - May 27, 2020

Damn spell check.

Vince Piquet - May 27, 2020

And should read “Still gotta hang.

Vince Piquet - May 27, 2020

Should read PFT.

Vince Piquet - May 27, 2020

Kinda like a PET for combat and field skills. Excellent idea. That way old timers on the ROADS program still good a hang. Ooh Rah!

robert myers - May 27, 2020

Marines are the assault arm of the military and our skills need to be tested regularly. Each of us could be called to fill the billet of “rifleman” at any time. This looks like an annual training that could be done at the “small unit” level for every Marine-Enlisted and Officer. We can never allow “THEM” to take away our basic mission. Robert T. Myers, USMC Captain

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