There’s an assumption, fed by movies and a romanticized view of war, that every American military member is an e-lite hand-to-hand ninja, martial artist, and/or dynamo in the Octagon. While there are many men and women in the military with particular skill in close combat, that is a fact of prior interest, and rarely a result of training received in the military. It will strike many as odd, but the vast majority of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines possess no exceptional skill at close combat, despite Hollywood’s glamorized portrayals to the contrary.
The U.S. Army and Marine Corps have each struggled over the years to develop close range combative skills, both armed and unarmed, within their ranks. We’ll focus on the ground combat oriented services, specifically the Marine Corps, in our case study.