MPs reach out to the NRA
Story by Lance Cpl. Raymond D. Lewis
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (Jan. 17, 2005) -- With some fancy footwork and phone calls, military policeman Gunnery Sgt. Robert G. Porter, company first sergeant for Military Police Company, Battalion Service Support Group 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, was able to recruit two representatives from the National Rifle Association to teach his 19 Marines weapons techniques before their deployment to Iraq this spring.
For more than 100 years, the association has provided generations of Americans with programs focused on weapon safety, education and responsibility.
Now the organization has extended its services to include Marines aboard Camp Pendleton.
“The course trained my Marines to give instruction on the pistol and shotgun,” Porter said. “Now those Marines can train other Marines (in weapons handling) and, if need be, Iraqis.”
Porter said it would give his Marines the proficiency and confidence they need once deployed.
“I wanted to send some Marines to Quantico, Va., for the Small Arms Weapons Instructors Course, but it’s difficult to send them,” Porter said. “Then I looked into civilian agencies, and I found the NRA.”
The NRA is an organization with a reputation for having weapon-savvy representatives, according to Porter.
The two representatives who taught the course were former Marine and FBI agent Dave Webber and former soldier Shawn Lewis.
“Lewis brings real world Iraqi experience as a NRA instructor,” Porter said. “He was ambushed by insurgents when he was in Iraq as a civilian and fought back. When he says a weapons technique works, he’s saying it because he went through it.”
Many Marines said the training they received was different from the stationary, known-distance courses they encounter at the rifle range.
“On the range we did practical application on cover and concealment, night shooting, and strong and off-hand shooting,” said Sgt. Rodney S. Bistham with MP Company.
Bishman added that what they did was a good change of pace from the humdrum of shooting at the range.
Although the Marines learned on the shotgun and pistol, the techniques they learned can be applied in other training opportunities.
“I love it. It’s excellent training that can be applied to every weapon system,” said Cpl. Justin R. Bowman, military policeman, MP Company, Battalion Service Support Group 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group.
“The training can be used on our (M-16A2 service rifles) and pistols,” Bistham said.
More importantly, the training can be applied to a desert environment.
“We can use it for enemy prisoners of war, Iraqi guard and military operations in urban terrain,” Bowman said.
Combat Skills Training instructor Sgt. Samuel Guardiola with 1st MLG said the training could help anyone before they deploy.
“I feel more confident in my job than I did before this course,” Bowman said.
“It’s a tremendous feeling to instruct Marines,” Webber said. “I’d do this for free to make sure these Marines come back.”
For information on the firearm instructor’s course, e-mail Porter at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (760)725-6141.
NRA guys training the Marines. I wonder if the Brady campaign heard about this, yet?
The NRA used to be an important player years ago with military training and weapons development.
SOF mag has been running several articles on this type of civvy training for the military, FWIW.
I would like to hear about that civilians fight in Iraq sounds like he did well.