Interview with a Marine

In this post we interview a Marine with a long professional career, he will explain everything, from his beginnings in the military, his time in the Naval Police, EOS, what his day to day is like and much more.

We hope you like it. 

The questions of this interview have been proposed by the staff of our Discord channel, join here to participate in future interviews.

"When people find out that water and cold aren't as cool as they are in movies and games, that's when they start to question whether they really want that kind of life."

Hi, before starting the interview, could you give us a summary of your military career?

Well, I entered on September 26, 2004 with 18 years and a few days, I finished my training in February 2005 and I was assigned to the TEAR, specifically to a BDE-I rifle company, there I have spent the best years of my military life, specifically 10, until due to promotion I had to go to Cartagena. There in Cartagena I have gone through the EOS, the Naval Police and the Cynological Unit. I have had the honor of being able to participate in several international missions, such as Haiti, Bosnia, Somalia, Lebanon, Active Endeavor, Sea Guardian, FOCUS... etc.

Why did you want marines?

From a very young age I liked the army, the police and the Civil Guard. And no matter how small I am talking about 5 years old, since that age I have always been interested in searching, seeing and reading military magazines, since at that time the internet was the people's library, and access to military information was the magazine that MINISDEF published called “DEFENSE” that they brought to the library every month. And since then the marine infantry corps began to attract a lot of attention to me, to which I add that with an older age I began to read about Spanish military history, of which the IM corps has been present since the 16th century, writing that story with blood letters. And whoever likes the army and history, inexorably owes, at the very least, like and respect the IM. Adding to that, several relatives of mine did the “mili” in the corps, and they always told me that the toughest corps in Spain were the IM and the Legion.

How is the process of adapting to this new lifestyle and companions when you enter the EIMGAF both mentally and physically?

I can tell you about mine, times change, and the methods and forms too, as a result of the professionalization of the Armed Forces, the pedagogical and instructional methods have been evolving and adapting to the new reality of a professional army, when I still entered There was in a certain way that mentality of compulsory military service, and I don't remember that there was a specific time of adaptation to military life as there is today. Adaptation was given to you by the time and determination that you had. I'm not saying it's better or worse than it is now, just that it was different.

What would you say is essential to being a good Marine?

The same thing I would tell you for any soldier in Spain, and it is nothing more than first, be an exemplary citizen and add to that, having a clear willingness to sacrifice your civil rights to shoulder the duties of the military.

What values has the Marine Corps given you?

The same that any ELITE unit of our Armed Forces can bring you, such as Sacrifice, humility, work, austerity and for me the most important, turning material deficiencies into personal virtues, because technology reaches a point , the rest is put by the minds that are in charge of making that technology work and having the determination to use it at critical moments that the company demands of us.

Many people ask us if it is a good place to study, what would you answer?

First of all, I would tell you that here you come to SERVE. And answering your question, like everything in military life, the more operational a unit is, the more sacrifice is made in the study, but it is not impossible. In addition, if the studio wants to focus on promotion, both the doctrinal and personal experience and the military background that a front-line unit gives you, they will not give it to you in the rest of the units or in two lives. Having said that, each one must be honest with himself and think if with that mentality of looking for a hole to study, he matches what is asked for in the military. I have taken everything I have proposed without giving up having an "operational life", that is, at the cost of sacrifice and stealing leisure time.

When you enter, you are assigned to a rifle battalion, if you want to change to another, what should you do?

Before, everyone or 95% went through the TEAR, yes or yes, now direct places are coming out for the Tercios and Groups, which does not mean that the instruction is exactly the same, both for those who go to the TEAR and for those who go to a Tercio. The change of destination is like in all units, first to exhaust the minimum time of servitude, second that there are vacancies and third to have the seniority or the course necessary for that position.

How is the day to day?

In the day-to-day TEAR, it is basically AFM (Military Physical Training) and pure rifle training. For rifle training I speak from theoretical "Quiet", CQB exercises, through rappelling sessions, Fast rope, to IMOC. To this should be added the numerous field trips (Retín, Almería, Toledo, Chinchilla...), and the no less numerous international manoeuvres.

In the EOS it is necessary to differentiate basically two stages, when it is embarked, 98% are real maritime security missions (MSO) or missions abroad, and when it is quartered, which is used to carry out that necessary training to be ready for the missions that the command may assign us, see CQB in both civilian and own ships, many exercises from helicopters and boats, as well as security devices on the occasion of important visits, etc.

In the Naval Police company, training is greatly reduced due to the number of services and guards to which they are subjected, but the day to day, apart from their guards, is basically AFM in the morning, followed by police theory and practice. They usually have about two maneuvers a year of their specific mission as Military Police that they are.

Do you think that someone who is clear about this path since childhood, or is clear that they are going to suffer and is part of the path, has a psychological advantage compared to someone who enters to try?

Napoleon said that the mind is the body, like 3 to 4, obviously bringing that awareness and predisposition from home helps to overcome adversity, but in the end what will keep you going is your determination, your tolerance for physical pain and above all, being willing to exceed those limits to achieve your goal. When people discover that water and cold are not as cool as in movies and games, that's when they start to question if they really want that kind of life.

We know that there are two types of destinations, the TEAR and the FUPRO (Terlev, Tersur, Agrumad, etc...) for example, the difference between the southern third and the navy third, both in Cádiz. What is the difference between them?

Within the IM, there are three legs that support this sacred institution, one is FGNE, another is TEAR and the last and not least is FUPRO.

The essence and reason for IM is the projection of naval power on a hostile or potentially hostile coast. And that is precisely the mission of the TEAR, which is the offensive fist of the Navy in a wide spectrum of possibilities, the TEAR and its battalions are the best example of a unit enlisted and prepared to carry out this type of operation in the shortest time. possible, it has already been seen in Lebanon, which was capable of deploying a reinforced Battalion entity force with barely a week and a half, since the order and the initial directive were received.

And the other big leg of this Corps is the FUPRO, whose main mission is to provide security to Navy facilities and personnel in the performance of their duties, apart from training and enlisting the EOS teams, which increase the level of operability and response of the Navy ships in their deployments and assigned missions.

When you go out of maneuvers, what do you do in the maneuvers?

In the TEAR, the maneuvers are something daily as I said before, the normal thing is to go out between one or two maneuvers a month, if it is to the Retin it is usually 5 days, (although I have lived through everything), if it is to other maneuver fields (Chincilla, San Gregorio, Alijares...), they can be between 8 and 15 days long, and the international ones embarked on ships of the FD are usually between a month and a month and a half.

The EOS, due to the high level of deployments and boardings in MSO, do not usually have maneuvers as such, they are usually fired several times with various weapons that cannot be executed on ships, such as throwing hand grenades and AG36, but those “ maneuvers” do not usually last more than three days on average or 5 days at most.

And as I said before, the PN usually has about two maneuvers a year, and they usually last between 15 and 18 days.

What is the feeling of embarking on a frigate?

Well, the feeling of being inside a can of preserves, little space and very little privacy, to which we must add that the weather conditions affect much more than when we embark on the large Amphibious Assault ships. Even so, it is a platform where we integrate perfectly as one of the crew, it offers us and we offer it unique capabilities, both for training and for the execution of real maritime intervention operations.

What would you highlight most about the Marine Corps?

Well, once inside, being a unique specialty, it does not limit you to take the path you want, that is, being an infant you can be a driver of a battle tank, artilleryman or sapper, unlike other armies that once you choose a weapon specifically, your chances of changing to another type of assignment are limited, here in the IM the limit is set by your seniority and your suitability for that destination or specialty.

Then another of the things that I highlight the most with respect to the other armies, is the promotion system in the troop ladder, to ascend you have to pass an opposition exam and a merit contest, you have to pass a training course both for the use of Cape as for that of Cape 1.

Since for the IM the role of these intermediate "commands" in the execution of amphibious tactics is essential, so their technical and physical preparation is essential, since due to the temporary loss of control during the first moments of landing, makes the "amphibious soldier" require a great capacity for aggressiveness and initiative.

Is there a way to mentally prepare for the arduous path of the Marine?

Self-instill discipline and ability to sacrifice, as well as arrive with prior physical preparation, bearing in mind that you are going to join an elite unit within the Navy.

For those of us who want to enter the glorious Marine Corps, what advice/words would you dedicate to us?

Much encouragement and be previously clear or perfectly clear where you are going. During instruction be quiet about your goals and very willful. That he take good care of his feet, which is the beginning and end of every infant, in addition to knowing how to take care of the cold and the water, the one who experiences or tolerates the coldest is no more an infant, but rather the one who knows how to protect himself and take care of him, to be most effective and efficient in fulfilling the mission. When I entered I was not very clear about this, and it cost me a pneumonia that almost ended, firstly with my health and secondly with my soldier course.

If you had to define the Marine Corps in terms of the "intangible" of this body, how would you define it?

For me, MI is like a virus, a virus that has had me and has infected me, it is a delicious virus that runs through my body, that widens and dilates my heart every morning when I put on my uniform, and that I think It will accompany me until the end of my days. The IM is a unique unit, with a unique mission within the FAS, and we carry on our shoulders the work and sacrifice of all those who preceded us during our almost 500 years of history, the IM is so closely linked to the history of Spain , as is meat on the bone. And in these uncertain and multi-threat times that we live in, having a Corps such as the Marine Corps is a first-rate instrument for the state's foreign policy, with Spain being one of the few nations in the world capable of projecting a well in its zone of influence.

If you have more questions, watch this video: Chatting with stubborn.

1 comment

Super guapa la entrevista, más motivación aun para esforzarme a entrar.

Fortis July 27, 2022

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