New MCMAP order allows more Marines belt level advancement

24 Jan 2011 | Sgt. Marcy Sanchez

A New Marine Corps Martial Arts Program order has enabled Marines with I Marine Expeditionary Force, Headquarters Group an opportunity to advance their MCMAP belt level.

The program’s newest order, Marine Corps Order 1500.59 released November 2010, includes information on necessary training hours, injury prevention guidelines and reporting requirements, as well as re-emphasis on MCMAP’s role in developing a Marine’s mental discipline, character discipline and physical discipline to include Primary Military Education, guided discussions and martial culture studies.

The new order also allows MCMAP instructors to instruct Marines up to their own belt level. This will allow instructors to train more Marines and receive more training hours for their own individual records.

“Everybody really wants to upgrade their belt,” said Lance Cpl. Joseph McAlpin, a financial management resource analyst with MHG, currently enrolled in the brown belt course. “The availability of the course is the biggest hold up for most people.”

“Hours have been shortened, making it easier for everybody,” said Sgt. David T. Silvers, 29, a training non-commissioned officer with MHG.

The new order reduces the amount of hours spent in the MCMAP brown belt course from 63 integrated training and sustainment hours to 33.5 hours.

Silvers, from Springhill, La., believes less training hours will allow commands to encourage their Marines to pursue MCMAP advancement and fit MCMAP training into the training schedule more often.

There are few minor changes to the syllabus, Silvers said. Marines are not spending as much time on remediation and are able to focus more new maneuvers.

Junior Marines can also benefit from the order. The new order allows lance corporals and below to advance up to black belt without requiring a waiver for their rank. However, Marines wishing to do so must meet the prerequisites of commander recommendation and completion of appropriate PME.

“A brown belt is a leadership belt,” Silvers said. “I screen all my Marines. I want to make sure that the individual receiving the training is ready for that belt level and has the proper maturity to be able to apply the force they learned in the course.”

Previously unaware of the new order governing MCMAP, McAlpin enrolled in the brown belt course under the impression he would be able to test out of the course, but not be authorized to wear the belt until he was promoted to corporal.

The 25-year-old from Natchitoches, La., was happy to learn the new order authorized him to wear the brown belt immediately after finishing the course.

McAlpin said he hopes to advance to a black belt and ultimately become a MCMAP instructor.

Marines interested in upcoming MCMAP courses should contact their unit’s S-3 office.