How To Breach A Door Like A Marine

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Marines with Combat Engineer Company detonate an oval charge and prepare to enter a building during urban mobility breaching training Dec. 6 at the Central Training Area near Camp Schwab. During the training, the Marines learned to make different charges to breach doors, windows and walls. The Marines also practiced security tactics, movement techniques, protective measures when working with explosives, and what to do in the event of a failed breach. The company is part of Combat Assault Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Daniel Valle

Ever wonder how Marines go through doors that don’t want to open? A new video on YouTube from III Marine Expeditionary Force shows how.


The video demonstrates how entering buildings in a combat environment can be complicated and dangerous. When you cannot walk through the front door, you have to resort to much more aggressive means. “In certain environments we’ll be required to do so using explosives,” says 1st Lt. Andrew Paulmeno of 3rd Marine Logistics Group, 9th Engineer Support Battalion, whose Marines demonstrated the breaching techniques.

Breach teams include a breacher that both primes and detonates the charge, an assistant breacher who places the charge, and a blanket man who holds the protective blanket shielding the Marines from the blast.

The breacher gives a “hasty breacher’s brief,” in which he describes “the target that they’re attacking, the charge that they’ll be using, appropriate standoffs, and the casualty collection plan in the event that there should be casualties within the team,” Paulmeno explains.

As the Marines prepare the breach, they stack up behind the blanket man. The breacher’s detonator “provides instantaneous shock from when the Marine presses on the detonator to when the charge should explode.”

As soon as the breaching charge is detonated, they unstack and proceed to enter through a the newly formed hole created by the explosion. “Once the Marines come out of the stack, they will aggressively breach that target to fight their way inside.”

Check out the full video below, and you can stay up to date on everything III MEF is doing on Facebook.

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(U.S. Marine Corps photo)

Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.

We are women veterans who have served in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. Our service – as aviators, ship drivers, intelligence analysts, engineers, professors, and diplomats — spans decades. We have served in times of peace and war, separated from our families and loved ones. We are proud of our accomplishments, particularly as many were earned while immersed in a military culture that often ignores and demeans women's contributions. We are veterans.

Yet we recognize that as we grew as leaders over time, we often failed to challenge or even question this culture. It took decades for us to recognize that our individual successes came despite this culture and the damage it caused us and the women who follow in our footsteps. The easier course has always been to tolerate insulting, discriminatory, and harmful behavior toward women veterans and service members and to cling to the idea that 'a few bad apples' do not reflect the attitudes of the whole.

Recent allegations that Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie allegedly sought to intentionally discredit a female veteran who reported a sexual assault at a VA medical center allow no such pretense.

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