The Marine Corps is reportedly ditching some traditional marching drills and adding board games to a new entry-level infantry course focused on training soldiers to better think and act independently.

The Infantry Marine Course pilot program was launched last month at Camp Pendleton, California, where instructors were pictured teaching new Marines how chess relates to battlefield tactics, Stars and Stripes reported. 

“Rote memorization, instant obedience to orders are good for certain things, and they’re not getting thrown away from this course,” Chief Warrant Officer 3 A.J. Pascuiti, the training battalion’s gunner, said in a statement last week, Stars and Stripes reported. “We’re just going a step further, and understanding that the individual — and a collective of individuals — is what wins in combat.”

The new course was developed as part of Commandant Gen. David Berger’s plan for revamping the service for future conflicts in which grunts will be expected to fight in small units that’ll be mobile, independent, and often dispersed far from headquarters, the military news outlet reported.

A second course will be launched at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, later this spring. Officials expect to alternate two more training cycles between the east and west coasts before the course is finalized next year, Stars and Stripes reported.

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