7 Marine Corps online-training classes are on the chopping block

A Marine takes an online course in 2012. The service will cut seven online courses starting next month, according to an internal message obtained by Stars and Stripes.


By TYLER HLAVAC | STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 18, 2017

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — The Marine Corps is axing some online courses and adding more face-to-face training, according to an early copy of an internal message obtained by Stars and Stripes.

The cuts, which include seven classes representing five hours of annual training, take effect May 1, the message said.

Those courses are Hazing, Tobacco Cessation, Unit Marine Awareness and Prevention Integrated Training, Marine Corps Records Management, Combating Trafficking in Persons, Violence Prevention and Social Media Conduct.

Online training on operational security, terrorism awareness and cybersecurity will continue, the message said.

The changes are part of a plan for less online instruction and more face-to-face training by small-unit leaders, said Lt. Gen. Robert S. Walsh, head of Marine Corps Combat Development Command.

“The leader-led discussion approach optimizes the transfer of learning, provides the opportunity for immediate feedback and remediation, and can occur at almost any time or place,” he said in the message announcing the changes.

Small-unit leaders will gain experience and maturity as they lead training discussions, he said, adding that Training and Education Command will offer online support to help leaders conduct in-person training.

Lance Cpl. Bradley Wood, a flight equipment technician with the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing on Okinawa, welcomed the changes and said Marines learn better in person.

“Switching to a more hands-on approach, as opposed to a primarily computer-based learning environment will help mold Marines to better suit their jobs in the fleet,” he said.

Since 2015, the Marines have reduced annual online-training requirements by 19 hours by consolidating classes, making some biennial and removing others. The latest move follows the Navy’s decision to end most annual online-training classes for sailors.

Stars and Stripes reporter Jessica Bidwell contributed to this report


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