Marine motorcycle mentorship

9 Aug 2013 | Lance Cpl. Brendan Roethel

There is a growing trend with Marines owning motorcycles but not complying with the rules put into place by the Marine Corps. All motorcyclists are required to join and report in with the Marine Corps Motorcycle Club, register their motorcycles with the Provost Marshals Office and have all the required training completed and entered into the Marine Corps Total Force System. 

“Being a member of the MCMC is mandatory for all riders from the top down,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jeff Kaus, the Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron combat camera chief. “Whether you have a license endorsement but don’t ride, or you ride to work every day, you are required to report into the group, as well as, ensure the appropriate entry     is made into the MCTFS. This is the rider’s responsibility. If a Marine is not recorded as a rider with the club and gets into an accident, the ramifications legally, financially and professionally will be extremely adverse.” 

Prior to purchasing a motorcycle all Marines are required to consult with their leadership in advanced to ensure the Marine is aware of the dangers and responsibilities of motorcycle riding. The responsibilities include registration with PMO, training, proper wear of mandatory personal protective equipment and membership with the MCMC. Failure to report ownership or purchase of the motorcycle, or failure to report the motorcycle with PMO is punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. 

When ownership of the motorcycle is reported, commanders should verify     with PMO that the Marine holds a valid driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement, that the motorcycle was registered and, they have completed or are scheduled to attend the Basic Riders Course and signed up with the MCMC. It is encouraged that Marines complete BRC prior to their purchase. 

The MCMC offers members the opportunity to attend professional courses provided by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, a non-profit organization who teaches the fundamentals of motorcycle safety and riding on all levels, including specific riding styles such as sport and dirt bike riding. These free courses would cost members an estimated $400 out in town. 

“The Marine Corps is striving to lower the motorcycle fatality rate by ensuring all Marines have the appropriate motorcycle training,” said     Kaus. “The major contributors to motorcycle fatalities are speed, behavior and inexperience. With use of the mentor system these contributors can be alleviated.” 

Since the implementation of the various motorcycle rider courses, the number of fatalities have dropped from 25 in 2008 to six in 2011, said Jordan Pickett, the safety specialist for Marine Corps Instillations East. The goal is to see consistent improvement in the fatality rate of Marine motorcyclists. That is why membership in the MCMC and consistent counseling and training is important. 

For more information call 228-7447.