Breaking Out the Big Guns(02:30)
Master-at-arms Melanie Molina describes her weapons training. As a security officer, Molina instructs others on how to use weapons, helps fight piracy and watches over vessels.
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Master at Arms Melanie Molina: My name is Melanie Molina, and I'm a master at arms in the United States Navy. The job I do is security for ships to make sure that they are safe throughout the waters. I'd never shot a weapon before I'd joined the Navy. The .50 caliber, we shoot a lot. It's big. I mean, you have to shoot with both hands. They sent me to Crew Surf Weapons Instructor School. They teach you all different types of characteristics about the weapon. They make you take it apart, put it back together. You have to know how the weapon works. And everything that you need to do if something happens, if the weapon stops shooting.
Uh-oh. What are you going to do? There you go. Get back on target. Let's go.
The next two-week course is the instructor course; they'll put you through a stress course, so while you're shooting the weapon they'll yell at you.
Speaker 1: All right, corporal. Reload. What are you doing?
Master at Arms Melanie Molina: They'll throw links and brass on your helmet and forehead, and they'll make you really nervous. They'll do it on purpose because, if you can do that in a stressful environment, you can do it in a regular environment. I love instructing. I love teaching people. It's really cool for me to see somebody, like, once they get it.
Engage the target, reload and reengage.
Speaker 1: Stand by!
Master at Arms Melanie Molina: All right. You ready? Come on. Are the loadings clear? Drop it. Charting handle's loose. It shouldn't be loose. Cock it. Shove it. Safe it. There you go.
I most like it because I feel like I'm giving my knowledge out. I like kickboxing because it's a huge stress reliever. Going here is kind of like an escape. We all say it's an escape because you get to hang around different people. It's an awesome workout, and I mean, it's a self-defense type of thing, too. It makes me feel good.
I definitely think my job is important with the piracy going on. They're there with their weapons and their violence. We definitely can't let anything get close to the ship. We are lookouts for that type of stuff: small boat attacks, swimmers. One reason I joined the Navy is I wanted to get out, and I wanted to be independent. I definitely try to do anything that people say that I can't. If you tell me I can't do it, I'm just going to want to prove you wrong.closeX