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Posted: 10/10/2005 12:04:56 PM EDT
This article is making its way around the Corps




Marine Corps Combat Rifle Marksmanship
by Andy Stanford

   A private sector perspective on Marine marksmanship training in the 21st century.

Nearly 13 years ago, I wrote my first published magazine article, “A Private Sector Perspective on Marine Corps Combat Rifle Marksmanship Training,” that appeared in the March 1991 Gazette. It provided an analysis of the programs in question, based on my then-decade-plus experience in private sector live fire combat rifle training. Since that time, things have changed for the better in the way the Corps conducts instruction in the staple skills of shooting with shoulder weapons.

That said, there is still a long way to go before the Marines can honestly claim that the instruction they provide truly reflects the current state of the art in this dynamic field. Although the Marine Corps emphasizes marksmanship much more than the other Services do, this superiority is relative not absolute. In other words, the Marines may very well be twice as good as the Army in this important area, but they could probably be more than twice as good as they are.

Past Programs
No one can deny that the Marines have capitalized successfully on their long tradition of excellence at warfighting. Visit any Marine base or camp and you can’t avoid the monuments and testimonials to the accomplishments of previous generations of Leathernecks. Rifle marksmanship is one area in which the Marine Corps has a distinguished history.

BGen William C. Harlee is undeniably the man most responsible for Marine marksmanship in the 20th century. The national match (NM)-type qualification course that survives today in the form of the known-distance (KD) course can be credited to his efforts during the early 1900s, as can the legendary skills evinced in World War I at places like Belleau Wood. The 1935 Marine Marksmanship Manual—republished by Lancer Militaria and reviewed in the December 1991 Gazette—documents the program he conceived, a program that will be familiar to current-day Marines.

Others who contributed during the early 20th century include Majs Charles Lauchheimer and George Elliot. Things remained basically the same until the Vietnam War. At that time, during the mid-1960s, LtCol Robert M. Calland became the key figure behind the adoption of the radical, reality-based, but relatively short-lived, requalification-only “C” course. This in turn was replaced by the current KD course in the 1970s under the aegis of Weapons Training Battalion commanding officer and Olympic Gold Medalist LtCol William B. MacMillan.

Since that time, for better or worse, the ebb and flow of efforts in this area have left Marine Corps rifle marksmanship training connected solidly to its roots. I’ll discuss this shortly, below. (For more detailed coverage of proposed and actual changes in this area since World War II, please see my article, “The History of the Call for Progress in USMC Rifle Marksmanship Training,” MCG, Jun93.)

Significant Steps
The last decade has seen significant steps forward in the Marine Corps’ approach to combat marksmanship training. These efforts began by improving instruction in weapons handling in the early 1990s. In so doing, the Marine Corps has significantly reduced the number of injuries and deaths due to negligent discharges, while teaching standardized and tactically efficient sling and ready positions.

Next, the KD course was changed somewhat for sustainment firing. With an increased emphasis on field firing positions (specifically kneeling), hasty sling instead of the loop sling, and hit or miss scoring, these small, evolutionary improvements nonetheless represent a noteworthy move in the right direction.

Most significantly, the annual field firing course implemented during the mid-1990s at last provides modern-day Marines with some of the transitional training required to apply marksmanship fundamentals in combat. As we shall see, this groundbreaking effort represents the best hope that Marine rifle marksmanship training will achieve the state-of-the-art status it deserves. In my book, the lion’s share of credit for this revolutionary step goes to Maj Richard N. Jeppesen, USMC(Ret), who laid the groundwork for the field firing program during the 1980s at the behest of then-Commandant, Gen Alfred M. Gray.

Lastly I should note that the firearms training provided to fleet antiterrorism security team companies, force reconnaissance, and other specialized elements of the Marine Corps is much closer to the cutting edge than that received by the typical infantryman. Specifically, the Marines’ close quarters battle (CQB) school, designated marksman program, and high-risk personnel course have stressed quick, accurate shooting in a combat context. And many of the units in question practice constantly to perfect and maintain these skills.

Unfortunately, the benefits of these high-speed, low-drag programs have not trickled down to the average Marine. I don’t think anyone would argue that run-of-the-mill 0311s are less deserving of this practical prowess than their brethren who are tasked with special operations, but the truth remains that the two are separate and distinctly unequal.

Tail Wags the Devil Dogs
For three decades the KD course has served as the cornerstone of the Marines’ rifle marksmanship training program. It is a near identical descendant of the “A” course described in the 1935 Marine Marksmanship Manual, which in turn is essentially the same as the high-powered rifle course fired at the first NM, held at Sea Girt, NJ in 1901. Therein lies a major part of the problem. To quote LtCol Robert M. Calland from the April 1965 Marine Corps Gazette:

       If annual marksmanship training is an end itself, it makes little difference what we do. As long as everyone does the same thing, and does it periodically, we will have an adequate program.

       However, if we expect more from our annual training—things like readiness and combat efficiency—we need to look at the heart of the program: the course of fire. Skills acquired over the “A” Course, however well and widely taught, are not readily transferable to field firing; not without transitional training.

The Marine Corps has always looked to its team shooters as the duty experts on marksmanship matters. However, given that the focus of these individuals has always been on NM-type shooting, their recommendations have virtually always favored the status quo. As a result, field firing has historically gotten short shrift.

This situation is likely to continue as long as the KD course remains the Marine Corps’ qualification course and, therefore, represents something of a catch-22. The Marine Corps competition shooting community will recommend what is familiar (and what they are good at), and the KD course is basically an NM course with silhouette targets, hence meeting this criteria.

As noted above, tradition plays a strong role in the Marine Corps’ approach to warfare, an institutional attribute that has both pros and cons. The KD course is a prime example of the negative aspects of this phenomenon. The course represents 100 years of tradition essentially unhampered by progress. Developed during the era of trench warfare, NM-type courses (even in modified form) are ideal neither for training recruits nor for development and sustainment of field firing skills. In short, while tactics have evolved several times, this particular aspect of Marine Corps rifle training has not.

One common misconception seems to be that without the KD course per se, aimed fire fundamentals will not be stressed and will be replaced with a “spray and pray” mentality. Any chance of change is viewed with a distinct dread that it offers an opportunity for a hose and hope philosophy to infiltrate the program.

Let me assure readers that this need not be an either/or proposition. Successful field firing requires a solid understanding and application of time-tested marksmanship concepts. These in turn are best taught in a logical, building block, walk before you run fashion. However, KD training does not necessarily (or even ideally) involve an NM-type course. The private sector has proven this for more than two decades, though it must be said that these efforts have been largely unfettered by bureaucratic red tape, political considerations, or dogmatic doctrine.

500-Meter Stare
One particularly egregious element of the KD course is the almost religious attachment the Marine Corps marksmanship community has to the strings fired from the 500 meter line. Marines often declaim with pride that the Corps is the only Service to still shoot at this distance. True, but largely irrelevant in the context of point target field firing applications. In short, KD firing at 500 meters is a largely artificial exercise that traces its origins to a bygone era and now obsolete tactical doctrine.

Hitting a man-sized target in the real world at beyond battle sight zero distances with an issue Service rifle is a much different proposition than doing so on a target range. Yes, under ideal conditions (KD, distinct target, wind flags, loop slings, etc.) a Marine with an M16A2 can hit point targets at ranges out to half a kilometer. However, doing so in the field, beyond the pointblank range of a given cartridge (i.e., the distance at which you can hold point of aim, point of impact, and make a decent hit), is a low probability event.

If you don’t believe me, set up several “E” silhouettes on typical terrain at distances between 450 and 550 meters (allowing for a 10 percent range estimation error, quite good under field conditions.) Let a random selection of infantry Marines with KD expert ratings fire at these targets from improvised field positions and note the results. I guarantee that the scores will be far different than those that occur in the target range environment of loop slings and dope books.

The bottom line, Marines spend an inordinate amount of time shooting at “E” silhouettes at 500 yards on the target range. In particular, the effort expended on teaching and practicing this esoteric skill during recruit training could be put to much better use as it requires an excessive amount of time for the benefits attained, complicates the teaching of marksmanship fundamentals, and contributes unnecessarily to the stress on the aspiring Marine.

I suggest firing the 10 rounds currently expended at this distance at 100 yards instead. Statistically, this is a more likely shooting problem, and the techniques required to make quick hits at this distance are different than those required on an NM-type course. A paradigm shift? You bet! But it is one in tune with real-world urban applications.

Field Firing First
As noted above, the relatively new requirement for annual field firing is a great leap forward. With the exception of the short-lived “C” course, Marines were never required to shoot on anything but an NM-type course. However, since only KD performance counts toward promotions, etc., guess which phase of marksmanship training gets the lion’s share of attention?

Truth be told, many units simply go through the motions, not surprising given that the perception is that field firing “doesn’t really count,” as noted in the following excerpt from the 2 June 2003 issue of the Marine Corps Times:

       Many think [field firing is] one of the most important live-fire sessions Marines conduct. But others would like to see it eliminated, saying that because the event isn’t scored, some Marines don’t see it as worthwhile.

       ‘It would save a lot of rounds, said one staff sergeant, a range safety officer. ‘That’s basically what I consider it—a waste of rounds. It doesn’t really count for anything.’

       Another coach agreed.

       ‘They should get rid of it,” he said. ‘They don’t take it as seriously, not like qualifying.’

Where field firing does “count” is as preparation for actual combat, though apparently this fact sometimes gets lost in the workaday world of bureaucratic requirements. The ultimate marksmanship goal of any military rifleman is to shoot the enemy in combat. Task-specific field firing practice that builds on a firm foundation of marksmanship fundamentals is the best way to develop the ability to do so.

The solution to this dilemma is to use the field firing course for requalification, after a short review and practice session on marksmanship fundamentals. If these fundamentals are well and truly taught in basic training, a tuneup will be all that is necessary. Currently, Marines are stuck in an endless emphasis of Phase II (KD firing) with Phase III (field firing) relegated to second class status. It should come as no surprise that many Marines don’t take the latter seriously.

The Marine Corps Martial Arts Program provides one possible model for continual improvement. With each belt ranking, Marines are required to demonstrate proficiency at increasingly advanced facets of the discipline in question, as opposed to reaching a given level and then endlessly revisiting the associated skills.

Rifle training for military operations on urbanized terrain (MOUT) comprises a particularly relevant yet neglected subset of field firing. In both CQB and operations other than war, engagement distances will likely be short. The skills required to prevail in these scenarios are much different than those practiced on the KD course. The best current Marine Corps rifle training in these techniques for the average Marine are the limited number of presentation exercises fired from 25 meters in the field firing course, which barely scratches the surface.

Since actual field firing on a real-world battlefield is the goal, the field firing course should be emphasized as a superior vehicle for task-specific practice. Unfortunately, today’s trend may be in the opposite direction. Marine Administrative Message 229/03 (MarAdmin 229/03) (12 May 2003) directs a number of changes to current training, including “decoupling” Phase III from annual requalification, making the former the responsibility of individual unit commanders. You ask me, is this more likely to increase or to decrease the status and conscientious conduct of annual field firing?

Be clear on one thing—degrading, reducing, or eliminating annual field firing will be a definite step backward. Likewise, I should note that significantly decreasing the number of rounds Marines fire in any marksmanship activity—KD or field firing—will result in a concomitant decrease in proficiency at same. Less is not more when it comes to rifle marksmanship training, and dollars saved in ammunition costs will have to be repaid later in blood during battle.

The MarAdmin revisions are a result of a “marksmanship summit” held at Quantico in November 2002. Attendees represented all Marine Forces, Marine expeditionary forces, bases and stations, but sources from outside the Marine Corps were—not surprisingly—absent from this in-house conference. As heretical as it may be to say so, the Marines do not hold a monopoly on rifle marksmanship training expertise. A program developed solely from Marine Corps input will never be as good as one that integrates the innovations and contributions of the other Services and private sector instructors, such as those in the accompanying reading list.

Several Specific Suggestions
Having examined this issue for over 13 years, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that the required changes will not come easily, if at all. The current structure of the program and the role of the Marine Corps’ rifle marksmanship training community comprise a formidable bulwark against any departure from an NM-type qualification course, for the reasons stated above.

Nonetheless, revolutionary change will be necessary to achieve better results on the battlefield. However quixotic they may sound in the current environment, key improvements that should be implemented immediately include the following:

   • First and foremost, the current field firing course should replace the KD course as the primary course of record for sustainment firing with shooters graded as unqualified, marksman, sharpshooter, and expert, just like the KD course. Only then can the Marine Corps create a corporate culture conducive to continual improvement in this area. The field firing course should be modified to include more shooting at under 200 yards. To facilitate this change, a 100-yard firing point should be constructed on all KD ranges that require it (e.g., Twentynine Palms). An X-ring should be added to the upper chest of all of the silhouette targets used—to encourage anatomical aiming and promote precision. Note that some urban rifle training for MOUT can be conducted on pistol ranges.

   • In support of this change, a “field firing coach” secondary military occupational speciality (MOS) should be created, superceding the recently created basic KD coach secondary MOS (8529). The good news is that Marines who excel at NM-type rifle competition (to include the current KD course) have mastered the execution of the skills required in Phase II. The bad news is that there is no similar institutional mastery of Phase III that relates much more closely to what will actually be required in combat. There is no shortcut to this esoteric expertise; it will only be developed by a committed focus on field firing.

   • Engaging targets at beyond 300 meters should be conducted at unknown distances as part of field firing. As an aside, I should note that the best rationale that I’ve heard for the 500-yard KD course strings is that these provide experience to current and future squad automatic weapon gunners at gauging the effects of wind and distance. Of course, the logical solution to this need is a short course for those equipped with the M249, a course that involves firing with feedback on a KD range.

   • Recruit training should be optimized for entry-level shooters and revolve primarily around shooting groups of shots from field firing positions (first slow fire, then rapid fire with reloading) at distances not more than 300 meters. Initial instruction should include plenty of close range firing with support. The goals of such training should be: (1) a rock-solid understanding of marksmanship fundamentals—specifically zeroing, aiming, trigger control, follow through, and breath control—facilitated by a stable shooting position and natural point of aim
   and (2) safe and tactically efficient weapons handling.

   • The loop sling should be abandoned as the target range artifact that it is and replaced with a more combat relevant technique, such as firing over artificial field support; e.g., sandbags or a parapet. Likewise, the use of the data book (another competition shooter’s accessory) should be discontinued. Along with the loop sling and 500-yard strings of fire, the data book unnecessarily complicates the task of teaching of marksmanship fundamentals to those who may never have fired a gun before, and requires time and energy that could be better spent on other tasks.

   • All Marines should be required to execute a weekly 10-minute dry fire regimen structured around common field firing skills. Specifically, Marines should be required to perform three repetitions each from the standard carry positions to standing, kneeling, and prone, aiming at a simulated target and pressing the trigger in a manner that does not disturb the sight picture (per grass week). This should be done while wearing flak jacket, helmet, and 782 gear. Just 10 minutes per week will add up to more than 8 hours of relevant and recent repetition of critical marksmanship skills per year, and it would cost nothing.

Without a doubt, the above will likely be viewed as extreme by many within the mainstream of the Corps marksmanship training community and, therefore, unlikely to be advocated or implemented by those currently tasked with this mission. Hence, I believe that due to institutional inertia, the only hope of success in this matter in the near term lies with the direct intervention by a senior general officer, perhaps even the Commandant himself. This should come as no surprise, considering who has a “vote” in the matter—and their primary concerns—unit commanders juggling myriad requirements in addition to marksmanship training and annual requalification, competitors who prefer a course of fire that has crossover application to their shooting sport of choice, range officers seeking an efficient means of achieving acceptable throughput on existing facilities, and the occasional champion for change, inevitably outnumbered by the aforementioned forces—including that 500-pound gorilla, “tradition”—that favor the status quo.

Make no mistake, a suitably revised program will markedly enhance combat effectiveness and save Marine lives in the process. For this reason, the above should be done sooner rather than later. However, making such changes a reality will require visionary thinking that recognizes that the true tradition in Marine rifle marksmanship is not any specific type of qualification course but rather maximum prowess at combat riflecraft for every Marine.

>Mr. Stanford is the Director, Options for Personal Security, a private sector company that provides firearms, self-defense, and tactical training. He recently gave a professional military education lecture at Quantico on the topic of this article.


Link Posted: 10/10/2005 12:10:03 PM EDT
I bet that's raising some eyebrows!

I hate to say it but even if you get a hit at 500 meters with a 20" M16 an M855 ammo ... you're pretty much just poking .22 caliber holes in stuff...
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 12:16:39 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 12:17:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 12:20:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By macman37:
I bet that's raising some eyebrows!

I hate to say it but even if you get a hit at 500 meters with a 20" M16 an M855 ammo ... you're pretty much just poking .22 caliber holes in stuff...




True, but I see it as being the "practice harder than you fight" principle. The author is probably correct about the 500 meter battle shots, but if they train to shoot all the way to 500 meters, then they have an idea of what to do. What if they wind up with 500-600 meter shots and they're trained all the way out to 300? They fundamentals have not changed, but the edge still goes to those who have done it beforehand and trained to do it.
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 12:20:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vanilla_gorilla:

Originally Posted By macman37:
I bet that's raising some eyebrows!

I hate to say it but even if you get a hit at 500 meters with a 20" M16 an M855 ammo ... you're pretty much just poking .22 caliber holes in stuff...




True, but I see it as being the "practice harder than you fight" principle. The author is probably correct about the 500 meter battle shots, but if they train to shoot all the way to 500 meters, then they have an idea of what to do. What if they wind up with 500-600 meter shots and they're trained all the way out to 300? They fundamentals have not changed, but the edge still goes to those who have done it beforehand and trained to do it.



True, and very good points...
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 12:21:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sylvan:
His recommendations seem to have a lot of similarities to the Army's rifle marksmanship course.



That's where I read this before... A few years back I read something very similar to this...
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 12:59:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/10/2005 12:59:50 PM EDT by Dave_A]

Originally Posted By Sylvan:
His recommendations seem to have a lot of similarities to the Army's rifle marksmanship course.



Where they (used to) spend an inordinate amount of time teaching you how to stack sandbags...

Fortunately, the 'fighting position supported' seems to be on it's way out...

Link Posted: 10/10/2005 1:08:52 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 1:16:55 PM EDT
tagged for later
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 1:23:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/10/2005 1:24:40 PM EDT by FightingHellfish]

Originally Posted By macman37:
I bet that's raising some eyebrows!

I hate to say it but even if you get a hit at 500 meters with a 20" M16 an M855 ammo ... you're pretty much just poking .22 caliber holes in stuff...



.22 caliber holes hurt.

For most people it's best to avoid any additional holes not emplaced by the OEW manufacturer, even small caliber ones.
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 1:37:29 PM EDT
STLRN,
Thanks for posting this.  I'll bet it's causing some heartache in your community.
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 1:42:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FightingHellfish:

Originally Posted By macman37:
I bet that's raising some eyebrows!

I hate to say it but even if you get a hit at 500 meters with a 20" M16 an M855 ammo ... you're pretty much just poking .22 caliber holes in stuff...



.22 caliber holes hurt.

For most people it's best to avoid any additional holes not emplaced by the OEW manufacturer, even small caliber ones.



You're absolutely right...

I guess it comes down to philosophy (macro- and micro- in this case)... We all know you're wounding people at that range. Sure they're wounded and it reduces their effectiveness but at the same time it's not as effective as a 20" A2 is at, say, 250 meters (or whatever fragmentation range is with the chosen ammo) when you count in fragmentation.

I've read about some long range kills with the Mk. 262 ammo but even those have to be the exception, not the rule...
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 1:49:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By macman37:
I bet that's raising some eyebrows!

I hate to say it but even if you get a hit at 500 meters with a 20" M16 an M855 ammo ... you're pretty much just poking .22 caliber holes in stuff...



Not true.  A .22 hole at 500 meters is no less lethal than a 7.62 mm one.  Might take a few minutes longer to die but it still removes the fight from an enemy.  Non-lethal hits are also similar.

Now in close quarters combat, such a wound might not immediately dispatch an enemy but at these ranges, the lethality of the 5.56 is superior to the 7.62.


The problem with KD range is the targets are much easier aiming points than they typical enemy soldier.  One might be able to keep within 2.5 MOA all the way to 550 meters but only with a 6 MOA black on white aiming point.  

KD represents repeatability with changing range, wind and mirage, all great elements to long range shooting.  
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 1:54:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Forest:
STLRN,
Thanks for posting this.  I'll bet it's causing some heartache in your community.



Well the shooting community in the Marine Corps disagree, and when I say shooting community I refer to the WTBNs and shooting teams not the operational forces that shoot at other people for a living.  The few others I know who disagree the author are normally those career has yet to put them on a two way range.
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 1:56:16 PM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 1:59:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Keith_J:

Originally Posted By macman37:
I bet that's raising some eyebrows!

I hate to say it but even if you get a hit at 500 meters with a 20" M16 an M855 ammo ... you're pretty much just poking .22 caliber holes in stuff...



Not true.  A .22 hole at 500 meters is no less lethal than a 7.62 mm one.  Might take a few minutes longer to die but it still removes the fight from an enemy.  Non-lethal hits are also similar.

Now in close quarters combat, such a wound might not immediately dispatch an enemy but at these ranges, the lethality of the 5.56 is superior to the 7.62.


The problem with KD range is the targets are much easier aiming points than they typical enemy soldier.  One might be able to keep within 2.5 MOA all the way to 550 meters but only with a 6 MOA black on white aiming point.  

KD represents repeatability with changing range, wind and mirage, all great elements to long range shooting.  



Where did I say anything about lethality? I stated a verifiably obvious fact: Outside of fragmentation range, a .223 cal. bullet will put .22 caliber holes in stuff. Of course a .308 will put a slightly bigger hole in stuff. It will also have more retained energy than the lighter weight .223 bullet. This is all basic fact.

"Might take a few minutes longer to die but it still removes the fight from an enemy.  Non-lethal hits are also similar."

Uh sure... Does "Blood out, air in" not still apply? How many stories have we read about an adversary outside of fragmentation range not[/n] going down when shot, even repeatedly? I know there is no death ray and I know all that about the 5.56mm being more effective at close range than 7.62mm...  I simply want the best ammo for the troops at as many ranges as possible. The 5.56mm was developed at a time when philosophies were changing: Past 300 yards or so, they'd call in arty or air strike or have the tanks lob some rounds at the bad guys.

If you posted all that so you could wrap it up with the KD range... I'm not going to argue that point! I think the KD range is a great idea! Start 'em there and then move to an action type range. Regularly have them do both. I can see no harm.

For what it's worth... We have an excellent ammo forum I read regularly here, and I also visit the Terminal Effects forum elsewhere. Both (to varying degrees) dedicated to finding the most effective ammo for certain uses. I have learned much there and at the Ammo Oracle.
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 2:08:31 PM EDT
Macman37

One of the problems we see when teaching the close shooting course to outbound forces is that the Marines have an extent be deprogrammed from what they are taught on the KD course.  The skill sets taught are less than applicable and in some cases counterproductive for combat shooting.  Also what is seen with troops who have shot either course (EMP or KD/SLR)  in close proximity to the other is that post EMP rifle range scores are lower and post KD/SLR troops have to be retrained (deprogrammed) on the skill sets.    
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 2:14:35 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 2:28:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SGB:
Some things just shouldn't be messed with.......... it ain't broke so why try to fix it?




That's the problem it IS broken.
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 2:31:50 PM EDT
Yeah, I remember the KD course and the field course. I've only been out of the Corps for about 4 years but I still remember the field firing course was considered a joke. Most of the Marines just fired rounds randomly all over the field just to screw around. I actually tried hitting those targets at unknown distances from a supported position. It's not bragging either. I qualified Expert on the KD course but I had a hell of a time trying to hit those static targets without knowing the range and wind. I'd say I missed 90% of the time, the hits coming when I walked my rounds on to targets that others weren't shooting at. I'm not sure why I tried so hard either. I can't remember if it was my NCO's or one of my friends or even myself that said "Hey, this might be important." But I know it was me that said, "If those targets were firing back, I'd be dead."
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 2:34:49 PM EDT
Hey a sharp stick is not broken as a weapon, but its sub-optimal.
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 2:36:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Fire_for_Effect:
Yeah, I remember the KD course and the field course. I've only been out of the Corps for about 4 years but I still remember the field firing course was considered a joke. Most of the Marines just fired rounds randomly all over the field just to screw around. I actually tried hitting those targets at unknown distances from a supported position. It's not bragging either. I qualified Expert on the KD course but I had a hell of a time trying to hit those static targets without knowing the range and wind. I'd say I missed 90% of the time, the hits coming when I walked my rounds on to targets that others weren't shooting at. I'm not sure why I tried so hard either. I can't remember if it was my NCO's or one of my friends or even myself that said "Hey, this might be important." But I know it was me that said, "If those targets were firing back, I'd be dead."



FFE, 10th, 11th or 12th Marines?
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 2:36:58 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 2:40:31 PM EDT
All professionals  first master the fundamentals. As long as the individual Marine is fully indoctrinated in the fundamentals of marksmanship, the details should not be all that important.
It is understood that the Corps trains the worlds finest marksmen. To suggest changing the program must be causing quite a stir.
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 2:41:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/10/2005 2:41:57 PM EDT by STLRN]

Originally Posted By SGB:

That's the problem it IS broken.

I went thru in boot in 77 and had no problem, judging distance isn't that hard with practice and if you know your rifle you'll hit your target.

I'm not saying that it shouldn't be supplimented but it shouldn't be neutered either.



Having seen the results of that training a couple of times, I would have to argue the opposite.  As a CO seeing allot of young devil dogs miss allot of targets on a two way range because beyond a few goes on a course like the Iron Man Lee, they only had very, very limited gun fighter training.  Really the only thing we have going for us, is we are fighting people who suck.
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 2:47:11 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 2:53:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Aimless:
The Marines don't teach how to shoot while moving forward, or how to move backwards without falling, shooting while running sideways to a target, shooting quickly at close range targets, how to fire from behind cover etc? Some Marines only get CMP style fixed distance range training?



There is a course of fire required for deploying divisional Marines called the EMP that requires that type of training.  What has been observed following the training though is troops KD scores decrease and normally the first couple of days of the course involve breaking the troops of the habits they learned on the KD.  
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 2:55:34 PM EDT
EMP was great.  I think it was the 4th MEB guys teaching us at Lejeune prior to deployment.  While on deployment we shot EMP 1, 2 & 3 once a month.  I'm a 3rd award on KD, but in the beginning, had a real hard time shooting failure drills and the like.  It just took some getting used to...
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 2:59:15 PM EDT
What occurs when you send troops with only KD training to unknown distance course



Training to kill the enemy with rifles
Paul F Bertholf. Marine Corps Gazette. Quantico: Nov 2003.Vol. 87, Iss. 11;  pg. 59    



'My rifle and myself know that what counts in this war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit.'

-MajGen William H. Rupertus, 'My Rifle'

On a hot and humid August morning aboard Fort Stewart, GA, the Marines of Combat Service Support Detachment 23 (CSSD-23) prepared for a day of live fire training with the M16A2 rifle on the U.S. Army Automated Qualification Range. As Marines we have the reputation as being the world's finest combat marksmen due to the significant investment of time and resources we dedicate to rifle marksmanship. Naturally, the Marines spoke to the few soldiers, who were observing, in bold terms of how we would easily achieve superior results on this simple test of marksmanship. Marines shoot from multiple positions out to ranges of 500 yards. We utilize unsupported shooting positions, and we are well-versed in the mechanics of wind values, sight adjustments, and record-book keeping. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, the Marines of CSSD-23 were humbled, and rather than a return trip filled with loud revelry and storytelling, our long bus ride home to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort was an opportunity to evaluate a few things that we, as a Corps, may want to consider pertaining to rifle marksmanship.

Purpose

"Every Marine a rifleman!" This phrase is one of the hallmarks of our Corps. Is it just a bumper sticker, or does this catchy phrase actually manifest itself on the battlefield? What does it mean to be a rifleman? Part of the definition must be "a  Marine who can hit the enemy with aimed rifle fire." The purpose of this article is to cause all Marines to consider what this author believes to be a considerable challenge for our Corps. Our execution of the Marine Corps marksmanship training program as articulated in Marine Corps Order 5574.2J (MCO 3574.2J) w/Ch 1, Entry Level and Sustainment Level Marksmanship Training With the M16A2 Service Rifle and the M9 Service Pistol, does not consistently produce a Marine rifleman who can hit enemy personnel with aimed rifle fire.

Table 1.






Current Marine Corps Requirements

Entry-level rifle (ELR) marksmanship training and sustainment-level rifle (SLR) marksmanship training are divided into three phases: Phase I, preparatory training; Phase II, known distance (KD) firing; and Phase III, field firing.

ELR marksmanship training Phases I, II, and III are conducted at our recruit depots. The unit commander is responsible for ensuring that SLR Phase I training, which includes classroom and dry fire training, has taken place prior to proceeding to Phase II SLR training on the KD range. During Phase II the individual Marine is required to demonstrate a basic knowledge of marksmanship fundamentals that are tested on the KD range. Phase III of SLR marksmanship training is field firing and is the unit commander's responsibility. SLR Phase III training is supposed to be that final phase that enables the Marine to take what was taught in Phase I and Phase II training and develop the skills required for combat marksmanship. The KD range was never intended to be the only means of rifle marksmanship training. However, for most Marines this is where rifle marksmanship training with feedback; i.e., scoring, ends.

The Problem

The current Marine Corps SLR marksmanship training Phase I and Phase II adequately prepare a Marine to engage stationary targets at a KD range in a controlled environment. The individual Marine applies the fundamentals of marksmanship, receives feedback, and is required to demonstrate a level of proficiency in the tasks he is required to perform. The building block approach to training asserts that Phase I and Phase II entry-level and sustainment-level training prepares a Marine for Phase III field firing training. This is true if unit commanders are willing to expend time and resources in field marksmanship training. Without significant classroom instruction regarding points of aim and trajectory of the M16A2 rifle bullet, Marines are not able to succeed in field firing on scored ranges.

Why do I think that our Corps has a problem with rifle marksmanship? The U.S. Army uses a qualification range that, although it has several flaws, is a great deal more like firing at human targets in combat conditions than our venerated KD course of fire. When Marines fire on the Army range after receiving considerable Phase I and Phase II training from our Marine Corps marksmanship program, they do poorly. I am not advocating the demise of the KD range; however, perhaps its utility post recruit training is overrated, and our Corps should expend resources on Phase III field firing training with feedback that will ensure that our Marines can kill the enemy with aimed rifle fire. Currently, Phase III training is the responsibility of unit commanders. This is a considerable challenge when you assess the quantity of good field fire ranges available at our larger bases and how few of these ranges have any means of feedback or scoring unless that commander provides an expedient such as balloons or bowling pins. The other challenge is the ever-increasing annual training requirements placed on both our unit commanders and their Marines. These requirements compete with Phase III marksmanship training. As long as Phase HI rifle marksmanship training is not a component of the cutting score computation or mentioned in the fitness report, it will continue to be placed lower on the list of higher priority training and administrative evolutions that are required by our Corps.

To say that our venerated marksmanship program does not produce the desired end result is a bold statement. How do I know that the normal execution of MCO 3574.2J misses the mark? On five occasions CSSD-23 conducted training with the M16A2 rifle on the U.S. Army Automated Qualification Range. The range is designed to present targets similar to those that will be encountered on the battlefield in a defensive scenario. The Marines, all of whom had successfully conducted Phase II KD annual requalification, performed poorly on this range. Despite performing battle sight zero and several practice live fire runs for all shooters prior to record fire each time CSSD-23 went to the range, it performed below average until significant corrective action was taken. We conducted five training evolutions on this range within the last 20 months. The average scores recorded are shown in Table 1.

There are three reasons why our Marines shot poorly:

(1) The KD range conditions Marines to single-distance engagements.

(2) The KD range conditions Marines not to use points of aim as in field firing but to use center of mass for all targets regardless of range.

(3) The KD range does not prepare Marines to search, acquire, and hit targets rapidly.

The Army Qualification Range

Currently, the U.S. Army uses an M16A2 qualification range that simulates combat-type human targets and requires shooters to engage reactive, semiexposed, man-sized targets with limited time, at varying unknown distances, and from a fighting position and the prone position as encountered in a defensive combat scenario. This range demands the application of all basic marksmanship skills taught in our current program and requires the individual shooter to acquire the target, estimate the range, decide on an elevation offset based on that range estimation, and quickly engage.

On the Army qualification range:

* Reactive targets are located in each lane at 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, and 300 meters from the firing line.

* This range consists of 4 to 16 lanes. Each lane is 20 meters wide.

* The record fire course provides 40 rounds for the engagement of two 20-round exercises. Twenty single or multiple targets are engaged from the supported fighting position/fighting hole with sandbags. Twenty targets are then engaged from the prone, unsupported position. (Targets may appear singly or in pairs.)

* Targets appear lor 4 to 6 seconds. Targets fall if struck by a bullet, or at the end of the time limit. Only hits count toward the score.

* There is a short preparation time for shooters to transition from the supported fighting position to the unsupported prone position string of fire.

* The targets and scoring are fully automated and result in a computer printout of the scores for each shooter.

Key points of the Army qualification range are that it:

* Provides a challenging test of marksmanship.

* Provides a close approximation to shooting human targets from defensive positions.

* Teaches/Tests range estimation and field marksmanship.

* Takes the skills learned at the KD Marine Corps requalification range and hones them for combat employment.

* Provides instant feedback from target falls and detailed automated scoring.

* Constitutes great training with minimal rounds expended. (Every round is meaningful.)

Recommendation and Conclusion

After the five iterations of field fire training, CSSD-23 assembled all of its noncommissioned officers (NCOs) and staff NCOs and developed a class to teach those field fire skills required to succeed on the Army test of field marksmanship. The focus was on points of aim, trajectory of the 5.56mm bullet fired from the M16A2, field firing positions, and multiple target engagements. Extensive classes were conducted prior to the November 2002 and April 2003 live fire exercises with significant improvement in average score and percentage qualified. The point is that without significant investment in field fire classroom instruction, our Marines perform poorly in field fire events. Few Marines are afforded field fire training on ranges with feedback, and commanders, when challenged to fulfill annual requirements, will tend to focus more on those that are quantified and reported.

Basic marksmanship fundamentals are critical and cannot be discarded. The KD course is excellent for training recruits and sustaining our Marines' marksmanship fundamentals. However, Marines should be trained, evaluated, qualified, and promoted based on their ability to apply those fundamentals in a combat environment with targets presented in a way that more closely simulates combat shooting using multiple distances and locations. To meet this requirement the Marine Corps must develop an appropriate training and evaluation program that provides feedback and scoring and ensures that Marines are motivated to develop marksmanship skills that build on those learned in Phase I and Phase II training at our recruit depots. As a Corps, like our Marines on the Army qualification range, we currently miss the mark despite the large amount of resources committed to marksmanship training and requalification. The KD range is a valuable marksmanship training tool; however, just because you are an expert on the Marine Corps KD range there is no guarantee that you can hit the enemy in battle. Our rifle qualification should be focused on developing skills required for the battlefield.

Our marksmanship training should change so that Phase I and Phase II training is conducted at the Marine Corps recruit depots, and the initial exposure to Phase III training is introduced at Marine Corps combat training. The results of Phase III should then be plugged into the cutting score. Annual requalification in the Operating Forces should consist of 1 day of Phase I and Phase II classes followed by live fire and Phase III training, practice, and requalification on a combat-like field fire range with scoring. This is a bold assertion, but my aim is to cause review and discussion of our current practice, which does not consistently and efficiently produce riflemen who can kill the enemy.

[Sidebar]

"I am not advocating the demise of the KD range; however, perhaps its utility post recruit training is overrated, and our Corps should expend resources on Phase III field firing training with feedback that will ensure that our Marines can kill the enemy with aimed rifle fire."




The problem is that many in the Corps believe the KD is all that is required and most of those are the proponents for Marine Corps shooting.
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 3:08:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/10/2005 3:12:33 PM EDT by Yojimbo]
Excellent reading, thanks for posting those artilcles!

Those articles pretty much sum up the difference between target shooting and gunfighting...
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 3:09:47 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 3:10:05 PM EDT
I believe the 500m KD course serves a very critical step in teaching the fundamentals of marksmanship.  Every aspect to include the data book and loop sling are worth keeping.  I also agree with the author that a graded "field firing" course should be added for all Marines regardless of MOS.  I also believe that once a Marine has mastered (shot Expert X number of times) the KD range, they should not have to qualify on the KD range on an annual basis.  When I left the Corps in '99 GySgt's did not have to qual due to their "experience", never mind if they were still sporting a pizza box on their rifle badge, but we still had to send that Sgt who was a 6th award Expert to the range every year.  That just didn't make sense to me since that Sgt has obviously mastered that portion of the training syllabus, and all further training SNM receives should be of a higher and more complex order.

I remember back in '86 when General Al Grey wanted to combine the rifle qual, PFT, and BST, all into one intensive no slack event that would have been completed semi-annually.  Run, shoot, demonstrate first aid, perform land nav, call for fire, etc... all rolled into one.  I liked that idea then, and I still think the idea has a lot of merit now.
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 3:14:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Aimless:
But that's like going to Hipower rifle matches and thinking that's all you need to know to win a gunfight.  You're not practicing the way you are really going to use the rifle in a fight and under pressure you're going to revert to what you practice.


That is what you get when your proponent for training is competition team (both past and present).  The requirement to get on the teams is you are an exceptional shooter, you don't have to be a gunfighter or know anything about it.  Hence you have guys who are awesome shooters but never served one day in the division or been a fire fight determining training requirements for those going into harms way.
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 4:00:07 PM EDT
Pat Rogers expressed much the same opinion of the article quoted on the OP when I took Gunsite 223 with him. The high-power team has set doctrine in the Marine Coprs for years, and shooting high-power is not the same as fighting with your rifle.
This is changing, but slowly.
I got the opportunity to do the KD range, once, and it was fun. Looking back, it was just an excercise in target shooting.
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 4:18:04 PM EDT

I got the opportunity to do the KD range, once, and it was fun. Looking back, it was just an excercise in target shooting.


I wonder why then the Army (since that seems to be the model) is going BACK to the KD course and using skilled civilian HP shooters to train its SDMs..............

Those who think tactical rifle training is unecessary are wrong, just as those who think KD training is unecessary are wrong.

You need both.
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 4:23:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SWO_daddy:

I got the opportunity to do the KD range, once, and it was fun. Looking back, it was just an excercise in target shooting.


I wonder why then the Army (since that seems to be the model) is going BACK to the KD course and using skilled civilian HP shooters to train its SDMs..............

Those who think tactical rifle training is unecessary are wrong, just as those who think KD training is unecessary are wrong.

You need both.



The head of AMU wanted to do that, he being a HP shooter thinks it is important.  However as has been seen in theatre their current rifle training has not shown to be wanting.  And more interesting in a search for relevance the AMU has sent teams to units to train them in shooting, however they had to go to the SF to have them give them training in CQB/close shooting  Goes back to why you don't let peoples' hobbies influence work.
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 4:24:42 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 4:33:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SWO_daddy:

I got the opportunity to do the KD range, once, and it was fun. Looking back, it was just an excercise in target shooting.


I wonder why then the Army (since that seems to be the model) is going BACK to the KD course and using skilled civilian HP shooters to train its SDMs..............

Those who think tactical rifle training is unecessary are wrong, just as those who think KD training is unecessary are wrong.

You need both.



Trainers I trust have commented on that. They think it's a terrible idea.

The KD range is great for basic marksmanship training, and should be used as such. Doctrine should be adjusted to reflect that fact.
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 4:41:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/10/2005 4:43:47 PM EDT by Old_Painless]
Excellent article, STLRN.



Originally Posted By Aimless:
You're not practicing the way you are really going to use the rifle in a fight and under pressure you're going to revert to what you practice.




An old shoot-out by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS, or Highway Patrol) was a great example.

Police officers used to be trained to load from their belts and dump spent brass in their right pants pocket for ease of brass retrieval.

A couple of DPS officers had a fatal shoot-out with some bad guys.  The shoot-out involved running around cars and shooting by all concerned.  The dead officers were found to have empty brass in their right pants pockets.

You will perform as you train.

Sad, but true.
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 4:53:06 PM EDT
Excellent article, STLRN.  Thanks a bunch for posting.  As an officer in the Corps and someone who has spent plenty of time on the "two-way" range, I would be interested in how  you would approach training for your Marines if it were in your power to change?
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 5:05:49 PM EDT
Well now, having had experience at close in IPSC style shooting and far at the US National Matches, I can speak with SOME authority on this topic.

I think the known distance range should actually stay. It teaches the Marines about basic firing positions, trigger control and discipline, proper sight alignment, etc., all fundamentals to shooting at ANY range. It also teaches about wind conditions, weather, etc., which may have a hamper on combat effectiveness at times.

I DO believe that there needs to be stronger emphasis put on pup-up style targets inside of 300 meters, kind of like what the Army has with hasty improvised slings, improvised positions, etc.

I have heard more than a few stories of how Marines outside of Fallujah have had to take shots up to 500-600 meters using the ACOG scope on the M-16A4, Army SF and Rangers have to take shots at up to 600 meters in Afganistan. Having the CAPABILITY to shoot at that distance is huge - additionally it insipres something called confidence. In wartime, the one thing a soldier or Marine cannot lose faith in is his rifle - having the knowledge that he can kill that man out to that range 80% of the time must give some sense of relief.

I think the Corps needs to focus on the KD range first, to teach basic fundamentals, and then focus on close range tactical shooting. This will give the Marines a plethora of skills that can be used at any range.

He who has the most tools and knows how to use them will be the best craftsman. Even if you are profecient in the craft of death.

Anyone with me on this?
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 5:11:58 PM EDT
That was interesting STLRN, and I do agree with much of it.
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 5:30:04 PM EDT
Just to start, I'd like to qualify myself.  I was in the USMC from '88 to 94.  I was in the Air Wing and only shot the KD course 4 times in the 5 1/2 years I was on active duty.  I shot the KD course at Recruit Depot, Parris Island.  Qualified expert and couldn't wait to get to the 500meter line.  EASY Points.  I got out and joined the MN National Guard.  I shot the Army pop-up qualification course at Camp Riply and also qualified expert.  Shooting there was done from a fighting hole with sandbag support and prone from an unsupported postion at targets that popped up from 50-300meters.  All I have to say is the fundamentals that the KD course taught me were paramount in qualifying expert on the Army range.  The sight aligment/sight picture, breathing, trigger squeeze all made the Army course of fire just as easy (if not more so) as the USMC range.  So, I feel if the USMC gets away from the KD shooting completely it will be a mistake.  The concentration required to make hits at the 500M makes a difference at closer "combat" ranges I shot at Camp Ripley.  My $.02.
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 5:49:15 PM EDT
I think the Marine Corps is getting closer with the new course of fire, however they need to make all the tables (1-4) mandatory for all Marines and they should all go while at the range, vice the current plan to have table 3 and 4 shot at the units.  The idea that table 3, intermediate combat shooting, should be unit type specific doesn’t make sense in the current non-linear war where anyone outside of a base could be expect to use their weapon.  Table 4, advance combat shooting currently only is a requirement for 03s (infantry), it should also be shot by everyone for the same reason table 3 should be standardized, everyone who leaves a base may need to shoot.

Also we need to add the Iron Man Lee course (The IML is an unknown distance, limited exposure, moving target range fire from a fighting hole, a roof top, through window and behind a barricade) as an intermediate qualification course and be labeled table 2.  The current plan for Table 2 should be moved to table 3, which would be the SRC (short range course) in which quick shooting and weapons manipulation is emphasized.  Table 4 would concentrate on moving and shooting, with addition of dynamic entry and shoot-no shoot targets.  We should add a table 5 which would be firing from a moving platform.

I would also change the scoring, since we are emphasizing practical shooting and not so much fundamentals we would reverse the current plan that the KD part (table 1) of the range determining rifle scores.  The rifle qualification level at a minimum should take into account all part of shooting not just the KD portion.  

There should be at a minimum an additional quarterly sustainment requirements, but preferably a monthly requirement.  
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 5:55:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By STLRN:
I think the Marine Corps is getting closer with the new course of fire, however they need to make all the tables (1-4) mandatory for all Marines and they should all go while at the range, vice the current plan to have table 3 and 4 shot at the units.  The idea that table 3, intermediate combat shooting, should be unit type specific doesn’t make sense in the current non-linear war where anyone outside of a base could be expect to use their weapon.  Table 4, advance combat shooting currently only is a requirement for 03s (infantry), it should also be shot by everyone for the same reason table 3 should be standardized, everyone who leaves a base may need to shoot.

Also we need to add the Iron Man Lee course (The IML is an unknown distance, limited exposure, moving target range fire from a fighting hole, a roof top, through window and behind a barricade) as an intermediate qualification course and be labeled table 2.  The current plan for Table 2 should be moved to table 3, which would be the SRC (short range course) in which quick shooting and weapons manipulation is emphasized.  Table 4 would concentrate on moving and shooting, with addition of dynamic entry and shoot-no shoot targets.  We should add a table 5 which would be firing from a moving platform.

I would also change the scoring, since we are emphasizing practical shooting and not so much fundamentals we would reverse the current plan that the KD part (table 1) of the range determining rifle scores.  The rifle qualification level at a minimum should take into account all part of shooting not just the KD portion.  

There should be at a minimum an additional quarterly sustainment requirements, but preferably a monthly requirement.  



The problem with that has always been funding.  Is there money for all of that shooting?
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 6:00:32 PM EDT
Peace time that would be a real big issue, but as long as we have this war going it won't be.   I remember being told on a BN predeployment ammo request by the I MEF ammo officer that as long as it was less than 10 million rounds no one would really blink an eye at it.
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 6:01:04 PM EDT
Not with the Corps. I heard from a Sgt. Johnson at MCB Quantico that they had to split their shot hole pasters into four pieces to save as many as possible.

I believed him when I saw every Marine there doing it.
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 6:02:23 PM EDT
My suggestions are based on what I experienced while doing the KD range and the pistol qual, and the training I have recieved since:

1. Stop running the ranges cold. Those serving in Iraq certainly aren't going around with empty firearms. Train Marines how to act around loaded weapons, for they will be doing so in Iraq. This will take an attitude change in the leadership, for the belief is that loaded weapons off the line is an accident waiting to happen.

2. More emphesis on time sensitive off-hand shooting, with both pistols and rifles.

3. Allow for dry-fire as often as possible. Even encourage it. Encourage immediate action and remedial action practice.
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 6:05:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Blackjack272:
I have heard more than a few stories of how Marines outside of Fallujah have had to take shots up to 500-600 meters using the ACOG scope on the M-16A4, Army SF and Rangers have to take shots at up to 600 meters in Afganistan. Having the CAPABILITY to shoot at that distance is huge - additionally it insipres something called confidence. In wartime, the one thing a soldier or Marine cannot lose faith in is his rifle - having the knowledge that he can kill that man out to that range 80% of the time must give some sense of relief.



I have seen quite a few of the classified AARs on SIPR and they all categories shots at "extended ranges" as extremely rare.

The 3 Marine Battalions in Fallujah reported the average distance in Fallujah at something like 15 meters with almost none beyond 30 (Snipers excluded).  
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 6:07:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/10/2005 6:11:09 PM EDT by SWO_daddy]

Originally Posted By STLRN:

Originally Posted By SWO_daddy:

I got the opportunity to do the KD range, once, and it was fun. Looking back, it was just an excercise in target shooting.


I wonder why then the Army (since that seems to be the model) is going BACK to the KD course and using skilled civilian HP shooters to train its SDMs..............

Those who think tactical rifle training is unecessary are wrong, just as those who think KD training is unecessary are wrong.

You need both.



The head of AMU wanted to do that, he being a HP shooter thinks it is important.  However as has been seen in theatre their current rifle training has not shown to be wanting.  And more interesting in a search for relevance the AMU has sent teams to units to train them in shooting, however they had to go to the SF to have them give them training in CQB/close shooting  Goes back to why you don't let peoples' hobbies influence work.



Newsflash: the AMU did not order the creation of SDMs, they got tasked with training them.

The Army thinks the performance of their soldiers' marksmanship has been lacking enough to create an SDM billet and curriculum.  You think otherwise.  Guess who I'll believe.....

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