New Zealand Army learns training from U.S. Marines

Marine Corps recruit training is regarded by some as the toughest entry level training in the world

New Zealand Army learns training from U.S. Marines

New Zealand Army Maj. Logan A. Vaughan watches a pugil sticks bout at the depot, Nov. 19. The purpose of the visit was to introduce Vaughan to some of the methods used in the making of Marines. (Photo by Cpl. Pedro Cardenas)

Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego --

Marine Corps recruit training is regarded by some as the toughest entry level training in the world. Recruit training is often visited by other nations to learn from one the world's premier fighting forces.

New Zealand Army Maj. Logan J. Vaughan, company commander, Total Force Recruit Training, Training Area Depot, was given an overview of recruit training during his visit to the depot, Nov. 19.

The purpose of the visit was for Vaughan to learn and gain exposure to some of the methods used in making Marines.

“Marine Corps recruit training is the premier initial enlisted training in the world; it is known for its discipline, leadership and toughness,” said Capt. John A. McNabb, future operations officer, Recruit Training Regiment. “That reputation precedes the Marine Corps and stems from the foundation set in recruit training. A lot of foreign militaries want to see what we do and incorporate it to improve their training.”

Marines are an amphibious force ready to fight and deploy throughout the world in a moment’s notice. It is an attribute other forces attempt to emulate.

"We are trying to align our forces with other militaries in the world and are looking to begin an amphibious task force in the near future," said Vaughan, a Christchurch, New Zealand, native. "We wanted to look at some of the best military aspects of militaries around the world. We wanted to see how the Marine Corps solves and handles problems."

MCRD San Diego will graduate more than 14,000 Marines in fiscal year 2014 making it more than 20 times larger than New Zealand’s entire initial training.

"The sheer size of recruit training here; it’s huge," said 36-year-old Vaughan.  "We graduate roughly 700 recruits a year."

There are many aspects to recruit training from recruiting, screening, training, logistics and also rehabilitation.

Vaughan was especially impressed with the size of the establishment supporting the making of Marines. The depot is equipped with Walker Hall, a sports medicine facility dedicated to rehabilitate basic Marines who were injured during training. Marines are kept there until they are completely healthy to attend their follow-on training.

"We don't have a unit dedicated to rehabilitate our injured recruits although we are developing one," said Vaughan.

The supporting establishment is essential for the welfare of recruits and ensuring recruit training mission sizes are accomplished, said 29-year-old McNabb, a San Jose, Calif., native.

Vaughan gathered plenty of information from the world’s premier enlisted initial training to help support the New Zealand Army’s training, but also with a positive impression of the Marine Corps.

“There are a lot of good things I saw,” said Vaughan. “I was very impressed with the amount of emphasis, resources and support for your recruits.”