< Back

Roles in the Corps: Infantry Officer

[Capt Kutilek]:
I think when Americans see a Marine, they automatically envision a Marine infantryman who is out there in the front lines carrying a, carrying a heavy load, going hand in hand with the enemy at the forward edge of the, of the battle area, the forward edge of wherever the combat may be. And that's who they envision and that's what I wanted to get involved with, you know, as far forward as possible against the enemy forces.

Your job is to learn infantry skills and to employ your Marines in a training environment to learn the skills necessary to have an impact around the world in a combat situation. And so you're training them, you're mentoring them, honing their skills as a collective team effort to go out and accomplish the mission.

All Marines are a part of a larger picture and if we start worrying about our own self, our own goal, our own achievements and worry about our own hardships, we're gonna fail. But if you start looking at how we fit in the larger picture, the mental and physical toughness becomes a little bit easier.

[Capt Plascencia]
As an Infantry Officer, my responsibility is to prepare and to train the crown jewel of America, and that's the United States Marine Corps infantrymen. What an Infantry Officer does is to train and to prepare the United States Marine infantrymen for combat and for whatever the world has to offer. We have a concept that's called the three-block war concept. In the first block you can find yourself doing full combat operations. In the second block you can find yourself doing peace-keeping missions, and in the third block you can find yourself literally passing out humanitarian aid. Anywhere from food to medical supplies. These are the things we have to train our Marines to do. We have to train them to be extremely aggressive and we also have to train them to be compassionate. You, as a Marine officer, are in charge of that. You're the one who's responsible for making sure that these men are physically, mentally, and also morally able to take on this task. In essence, you're like the quarterback. You're playing but you're doing all of the decision making. You're making sure everyone is in the right place and doing the right things.

I always tell them, "This is a job that not very many can do. Not very many people can be Marines, and even fewer can be United States Marine Officers."

You know, it's not a job. It's like breathing, you wake up and you're going to do X, Y or Z. That's what the Marine Corps is like for me. It's challenging something that every day has a different challenge and a different way of approaching it.

Editors note: On June 27, 2016, infantryman was renamed infantry Marine.