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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 12/13/2003 2:38:24 AM EDT
An interesting post at the infantry.army.mil forum...

The author below, posted his article there.


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


This article was pubished in the Marine Corps Gazette.


On a hot and humid August morning aboard Fort Stewart, Georgia, the Marines of Combat Service Support Detachment-23 (CSSD-23) prepared for a day of live fire training with the M-16A2 rifle on the US Army Automated Qualification Range. As Marines we have the reputation as being the worlds finest combat marksman due to the significant investment of time and resources we dedicate to rifle marksmanship. Naturally, the Marines spoke to the few soldiers that 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 story telling our long bus ride home to MCAS Beaufort was an opportunity to evaluate a few things that we as a Corps may want to consider as it pertains to rifle marksmanship.
" 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... "
Maj Gen Rupertus
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 MCO 3574.2J w/Ch1 Entry Level and Sustainment Level Marksmanship Training With the M16A2 Service Rifle and The M9 Service Pistol does not consistently produce Marine Rifleman who can hit enemy personnel with aimed rifle fire.

CURRENT MARINE CORPS REQUIREMENTS

Entry-level rifle (ELR) marksmanship training and sustainment level rifle (SLR) marksmanship training is divided into three phases:

Phase I Preparatory training

Phase II Known Distance (KD) Firing

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 SLR Phase I sustainment 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, which are tested on the KD range. Phase III of SLR marksmanship training is field firing and is the unit commanders responsibility. SLR phase III training is supposed to be that final phase which enables the Marine to take what was taught in Phase I and 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 II adequately prepares a Marine to engage stationary targets at a known distance 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 II entry level and sustainment 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 M-16A2 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 US 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 II training from our Marine Corps marksmanship program, they do poorly. I am not advocating the demise of the KD range however, perhaps it's utility post recruit training is over rated and our Corps should expend resources on phase III field firing training with feed back that will ensure 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 feed back 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, which competes with Phase III marksmanship training. As long as Phase III 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 M-16A2 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 which had successfully conducted Phase II KD annual requalification, performed poorly on this range. Despite performing BZO 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 were:

DATE AVERAGE SCORE PERCENT QUALIFIED
August 2001 13 19%.
January 2002 10 07%
August 2002 13 10%
November 2002 23 51%
April 2003 24 63%

Expert: Hits 36 to 40 targets.
Sharpshooter: Hits 30 to 35 targets.
Marksman: Hits 23 to 29 targets

WHY OUR MARINES SHOT POORLY?

1. KD range conditions Marines to single distance engagements.
2. 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. KD range does not prepare Marines to search, acquire and hit targets rapidly.



Link Posted: 12/13/2003 2:38:58 AM EDT
THE ARMY QUALIFICATION RANGE: Currently the United States Army uses a M-16A2 qualification range, which simulates: 1) combat type human targets, 2) requires shooters to engage reactive, semi-exposed man-sized targets, 3) with limited time, 4) at varying unknown distances and 5) from a fighting position and from the prone as encountered in a defensive combat scenario. This range demands the application of all basic marksmanship skills taught in our current program but also requires the individual shooter to acquire the target, estimate the range, decide on an elevation off-set based on that range estimation and quickly engage: •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 sand bags. Twenty targets are then engaged from the prone unsupported position. (TARGETS MAY APPEAR SINGLY OR IN PAIRS) •Targets appear for 4-6 seconds. Targets fall if struck by a bullet or at the end of the time limit. Only hits count towards the score. •There is a short prep 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 print out of the scores for each shooter. KEY POINTS OF THE ARMY QUALIFICATION RANGE: •A CHALLENGING TEST OF MARKSMANSHIP. •A CLOSE APPROXIMATION TO SHOOTING HUMAN TARGETS FROM DEFENSIVE POSITIONS. •TEACHES/TESTS RANGE ESTIMATION AND FIELD MARKSMANSHIP •TAKES THE SKILLS LEARNED AT THE KNOWN DISTANCE USMC REQUALIFICATION RANGE AND HONES THEM FOR COMBAT EMPLOYMENT. •INSTANT FEEDBACK FROM TARGET FALLS AND DETAILED AUTOMATED SCORING. •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 it's NCO's and SNCO's 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 M-16A2, 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 Known Distance 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 feed back and scoring and ensures Marines are motivated to develop marksmanship skills that build on those learned in Phase I and 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 re-qualification. 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 II training is conducted at the Marine Corps Recruit Depots and the initial exposure to Phase III training be introduced at Marine Corps Combat Training. The results of Phase III should then be plugged into the cutting score. Annual re-qualification in the operating forces should consist of a day of Phase I and II classes and live fire followed by Phase III training, practice and re-qualification 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. Semper Fi, Maj Bertholf ----------------------------------- [url]http://www.infantry.army.mil/infforum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=687[/url]
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 2:57:18 AM EDT
This is going to get ugly.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 3:15:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/13/2003 3:16:16 AM EDT by Wildweasel]
Got my popcorn and a coffee. Let the fireworks begin! But really the popup targets at varied ranges is alot differnt than bullseye. And it also conditions troops to willingly fire at man shaped targets. But I think ANY troop (whatever branch) should be given unlimited range time and ammo to fire thier primary weapon. On weekends etc.. when the troop is off duty. That is a surefire way to enhance the marksmanship.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 4:14:24 AM EDT
I think he's on target. It is consistent with Gen. Gray's Basic Warrior Training initiative. It's too bad that it, too, can't realistically be executed, due to current op tempo, budget constraints and manpower. From my perspective as an active duty SNCO assigned to a reserve airwing unit, what is often referred to as "Training", seems more like an impromptu evaluation. Those who already possess the necessary skills succeed, while those who need help get remedial training. My ideal would require octupling ($$$) the annual ammo allotment for each unit, with everyone going to the range each quarter (flight schedule, etc. be damned!), vice once a year. During those four training periods, 25% of the Marines would be evaluated on the KD course for MOA precision, while a later quarter would be used for eval'ing their practical field firing ability. The two remaining quarters that the Marine is required to be on the range are strictly for skill development and the scores generated aren't used for promotion points. Physical conditioning and martial arts training (neither of which cost much money, injuries and lost productivity not withstanding) are considerably easier to incorporate into the daily schedule. I can imagine the screaminig from higher headquarters if we start dropping missions to go to the range.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 4:27:27 AM EDT
Ladies and gentlemen, that POP you just heard was the USMC's head coming out of its..... well, you know.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 4:51:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/13/2003 5:19:16 AM EDT by GunnyG]
Originally Posted By Wildweasel: Got my popcorn and a coffee. Let the fireworks begin! But really the popup targets at varied ranges is alot differnt than bullseye. And it also conditions troops to willingly fire at man shaped targets. But I think ANY troop (whatever branch) should be given unlimited range time and ammo to fire thier primary weapon. On weekends etc.. when the troop is off duty. That is a surefire way to enhance the marksmanship.
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I agree with you on both assertions! Actually, beyond recruit training, we shoot on human silhouettes. 200 & 300 yds use a 26" wide x 18.5" tall target for rapid and slow fire. 200 yd slow fire sitting kneeling and offhand (5 shots in each position, 1 pt if in the black, 2 pts if inside the 12" circle (face to thorax region)and a miss otherwise. Everything else is 1 pt hit or miss. There's no chance that a bullet strike in the ground just in front of the target will throw enough debris up to register as a hit. 500 yds uses a 26" wide by 30" tall (IIRC!) human silhouette 1 pt for each hit in the black, or a miss. Keep in mind that the target is about half a front sight blade wide as you see it throught the sights. Success relies on proper application of the fundamental elements of marksmanship. And I do need, as well as see a need for, more practical experience. A well rounded combat marksman shouldn't be specializing in just bullseye competition, or just IPSC pepper poppers.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 5:00:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/13/2003 5:03:03 AM EDT by ABNAK]
Being a former Airborne Infantry grunt I might have just a BIT of bias. But in all seriousness, the USMC's KD range qualifications build excellent marksmanship basics. However, the Army's pop-up qualification is a more realistic scenario. It could actually be made more so by incorporating an offensive shoot-and-move portion to it. So instead of all "defensive" firing scenarios a lane in which you ADVANCE and engage targets should be developed and worked into the overall qualification. Kinda like an IDPA or IPSC type thing with cover, etc.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 5:08:08 AM EDT
I'd agree with the Major and with GunnyG. Gen. Gray had the right ideas as well. The importance of the KD range can not be underestimated. But the addition of of the Army qual course will provide a another layer of experience to draw from. [b]QS[/b], that loud pop is the head of the big green weenie coming out of your...well. YOU know!!! Are you full now? [:D]
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 5:23:07 AM EDT
Originally Posted By GunnyG: I agree with you on both assertions! Actually, beyond recruit training, we shoot on human silhouettes. 200 & 300 yds use a 26" wide x 18.5" tall target for rapid and slow fire. 200 yd slow fire sitting kneeling and offhand (5 shots in each position, 1 pt if in the black, 2 pts if inside the 12" circle (face to thorax region)and a miss otherwise. Everything else is 1 pt hit or miss. [red]There's no chance that a bullet strike in the ground just in front of the target will throw enough debris up to register as a hit.[/red] 500 yds uses a 26" wide by 30" tall (IIRC!) human silhouette 1 pt for each hit in the black, or a miss. Keep in mind that the target is about half a front sight blade wide as you see it throught the sights. Success relies on proper application of the fundamental elements of marksmanship. And I do need, as well as see a need for, more practical experience. A well rounded combat marksman shouldn't be specializing in just bullseye competition, or just IPSC pepper poppers.
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Now, How did I know that was coming! You danged Jarheads can't admit us Green Doggies can shot too! [:D] I'd say it's probably only about 60 to 70 percent of the time that we shoot the ground in front of our target to be sure and get a hit scored.[:D] Just Kidding, I think they should incorporate both shooting styles together. I would like to have had the training the Marines teach. The two types together would be leathal to the enemy! COZ (The Proud Green Doggie MP)
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 5:52:40 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ABNAK: Being a former Airborne Infantry grunt I might have just a BIT of bias. But in all seriousness, the USMC's KD range qualifications build excellent marksmanship basics. However, the Army's pop-up qualification is a more realistic scenario. It could actually be made more so by incorporating an offensive shoot-and-move portion to it. So instead of all "defensive" firing scenarios a lane in which you ADVANCE and engage targets should be developed and worked into the overall qualification. Kinda like an IDPA or IPSC type thing with cover, etc.
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So true, and this is done, just not in basic training.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 5:56:13 AM EDT
The problem is the Marines that went shooting there didn't have any real weapons training. They shot for a week at bootcamp and that's it. You can't expect them to be gunfighters just because they are Marines. They have a basic understanding of marksmanship. You need to constantly train to be good. The KD course is an excellent start for someone who has never shot a weapon before. But I agree after someone has mastered the KD course they need follow up training with combat shooting. My unit just spent the last month shooting with SOTG and without a doubt we have enhanced our skill 300%.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 5:57:06 AM EDT
Parris Island, San Diego, and Quantico only stress fundamentals. Fieldcraft, target dectection, and probably the most important range estimation IMHO are developed over time. True the USMC fires center mass but it is the hold and the lead that counts out in the real world. Every Marine knows out in the real world your target is not gonna sit out there with a range marker.....Just my 2 cents....
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 6:23:27 AM EDT
In refrence to this: "There's no chance that a bullet strike in the ground just in front of the target will throw enough debris up to register as a hit." I'd just like to say that at all the (Army)ranges I've qualified at, the've added steel plates that make it impossable to skip rounds low into a target. -They form a bullet trap just below the target. -Justin
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 6:25:41 AM EDT
as a former marine 89-93, i dont see this evaluation off course. we did qual at 200,300, & 500 yrds, no matter what, its still a bitch to hit a target at 500yards with ironsites. The USMC taught all the fundamentals and it still makes for excellant shooters. But it is true ya need real time practice. I know that i have learned alot jus from competing in Tactical rifle matches, in those you are running and gunning. And like someone stated, ya only at the range 1 week a year, alot of marines would love to shoot more and do some CQB training and doin popup targets, etc. but it jus doesnt work that way.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 6:37:13 AM EDT
I think the point of the article is that the marines are focusing on developing a corps of people to go out and shoot camp perry. Knowing the exact range of a target that doesn't drop after 3-7 seconds simply isn't combat training, it is marksmanship training. A combination of the two would be ideal. But for training for combat, the Army's qualification is much better. Another key aspect of the Army qualification is target scanning. You are continually scanning the lane to look for targets. Transitioning from scanning to firing is a critical combat skill that the marines ignore. You also must make decisions. Do you re-engage a miss at 150 and ignore the next 300M target? You make that decision in less than one second. Also key is engaging targets simultaniously. One at 50M and one at 250M. The targets are also at what can be extreme angles. Adjusting your shooting position quickly is a difficult skill. My biggest beef with the Army qualification is that it doesn't teach you to reengage targets. 40 targets, 40 rounds. Most soldiers are trained to allow a missed target to go unengaged. That is a bad instinct. Also bad is that we only train prone supported and unsupported. The offhand and sitting are pretty much useless in conflict but kneeling is a critical position to use that goes ignored. Offhand is a good skill out to about 50M or offhand with support (against a tree) of course, if an army guy wrote this article, the marines would be having a shit fit. Since a marine wrote it, however, it must be of value.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 7:02:32 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Sylvan: ...of course, if an army guy wrote this article, the marines would be having a shit fit. Since a marine wrote it, however, it must be of value.
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Actualy, since it involved the direct comparison of the two systems and used Marines as the test subjects, it could have been written by the man in the moon, and I would still have agreed with it. The only thing the Major left out for comparison was the units qualification percentages at their last KD qual. An even better comparison would be to take a similar Army unit and plop them down on a USMC KD course with their current level of training and see how they perform over the course of 5 trips to the range and their NCO's and SNCO's providing additional training as time goes on.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 7:35:15 AM EDT
First off, I am neither a Marine or soldier. I'm retired Navy. Now before you go saying what is a low-life squid doing offering ANY advice on rifle shooting, let me say that I did tote an M-16 for five years back in the mid-70s and I own an AR-15 20HBAR now that I have used for years in VERY difficult competition shooting at several types of ranges. IMHO, the most challenging range I have EVER used is the popper-mover 10-500 meter fully automated combat range at Quantico. Since the start of the war, its use has been restricted to active duty (Which is as it should be.) so we haven't been able to use it. While we did, it was clearly the best rifle training I ever had. Now...I have to admit, that range is NOT for the untrained...rather for the journeyman rifleman with a certain level of experience in the operation of his weapon. The computer program that runs the range succeeds very well in offering the shooters multiple man sized targets at different ranges at the same time, that pop up and maneuver quickly, offering the shooter very difficult scenarios. It was very good training. I agree with the previous posters that both types of rifle training are needed: Basic target shooting for the newbies and extensive follow-on training at one of the fine automated pup-up combat ranges around the country.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 7:40:32 AM EDT
That's pretty much the result I would have predicted. Marksmanship training in bootcamp teaches a recruit to hit targets at a known distance(200,300,500) by adjusting his rear sight accordingly. Beyond that, the recruit generally has no clue how to hit targets at unknown distances. The fundamentals taught by the USMC Marksmanship Program are still the best in the country... but that's all they are [i]fundamentals[/i]. The unknown distance firing we did in bootcamp was a joke. The system they had that was supposed to record hits for each recruit was not working (it probably still doesn't) so we just fired at the targets and had no clue whether we hit them or not. Basically the only good that did was to let us fire off some more ammunition just for fun. If you teach a new shooter who has never held a firearm in his life how to hit a target at 200, 300, and 500 yds. then ask him to hit targets at 75, 150, and 400 yds, he will miss 90% of the time.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 7:49:35 AM EDT
As a former Marine, I'm not suprised. The USMC teaches every Marine the finest fundamental marksmanship skills. Head and shoulders above any other U.S. military service. Combat shooting skills however, are taught only to Marines with a combat MOS. I won't say this was unfair test since the USMC boasts "every Marine a rifleman" but realisticly, these were "Airwingers" which I proudly am as well. That simply means, they really only have fundamental shooting skills. Just for fun, lets take some CSS MOS soldiers and put them side by side on a USMC KD course with those Airwingers and see what happens. I can guess the outcome. I'm sure everyone else can as well.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 8:09:51 AM EDT
Wow, a couple Marine friends of mine are gonna kick my ass when I tell them about this. Ever try and reason with a marine after telling him something about the Corps might not be sat? I'll put some ice in the freezer just in case. Maybe I'll bring my gun just in case.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 8:28:35 AM EDT
[:D]
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 9:48:25 AM EDT
While not familiar with the Marine qualification, I have EXTENSIVE experience with the Army's. In 4 yrs active duty, and years (now) 4 years MIARNG. I have always volunteered for range duty so I could shoot, even if it didnt count. I have qualified "expert" every time on the "popup range". In the MIARNG in 2001 we did a "simulated" target once(different SIZE targets) at a fixed range. I got excellent groups, just slightly below the "hit area". The "simulated close range" targets were a profile of head and shoulders,which were misses; the smaller long range targets were a torso. (which were all center mass) I "bolo'd this range, 28 out of 40 I think) I am SURE this is what the Marines did on the unfamiliar Army range. In my opinion, the best combat marksmanship training I EVER recieved was at FT. Jackson in 1983. It was the same Army Qualification range (details are spelled out well in prior posts), but at 2X speed. They called it the "combat course" I think that the Marine AND Army should use THIS as the standard. For the sake of OUR MILITARY, someone please check into this. Being a mid-level NCO in the National Guard it is hard to be taken seriously in policy such as this, but I am sure there are active duty Officers here able to at least present this theory. Of course, the numbers for various levels would have to be lowered, but I think that targets popping up at 50-300 meters for 2-3 seconds is as close to realistic as we could hope for.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 10:14:07 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Sukebe: As a former Marine, I'm not suprised. The USMC teaches every Marine the finest fundamental marksmanship skills. Head and shoulders above any other U.S. military service. Combat shooting skills however, are taught only to Marines with a combat MOS. I won't say this was unfair test since the USMC boasts "every Marine a rifleman" but realisticly, these were "Airwingers" which I proudly am as well. That simply means, they really only have fundamental shooting skills. Just for fun, lets take some CSS MOS soldiers and put them side by side on a USMC KD course with those Airwingers and see what happens. I can guess the outcome. I'm sure everyone else can as well.
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BINGO!!!! Give this Marine a CIGAR!!! What you have in that article is a Pogue zero from some news rag summarizing (The whole Marine Corp's) combat marksmanship deficiencies based off one group?? A bunch of civillians in uniform swinging with the wing at that who did poorly on the ARMY's Ivan pop up course!! That's the the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Anybody who served in the Corps in an 0300 MOS know's that the "Every Marine is a rifleman" thing is somebodys delusion of grandjeur. You can't work 300 days out of the year in CONAD fucking up service record books and giving Marines no pay dues etc.. and then get called up to dust off your rifle and be a hot shit rifleman. In essence, these people are even less skilled with a rifle than a weekend warrior. It's a joke I've shot the ARMY Ivan pop up course with the 16, and I've shot the ARMY pop up Machine Gun courses with the 60 and the 240G. Whoever says the computer won't register hits by skipping rounds off the berm in front of the target is lying or obviously has no real experience working with those ranges at all. 03 Marines receive a wide breadth of firearms training. All of that training is built upon the second to none fundamentals learned on the KD course. If you want to do a realistic combat markmanship skills comparison to see who has the best overall training. Then you have to take an infantry unit from the ARMY and a infantry unit from the Marine Corps and have them both qualify on both the ARMY and Marine Corps ranges. Most of your grandmother's with one hour of Marine Corps marksmanship training could qualify on the ARMY course. It's a fucking joke, any grunt in the ARMY will even tell you it's a joke. The Corps teaches Marines to utilize all of their weapons to their max effective range and gives them to skills to adjust their sights and shooting positions to the ever changing conditions they may encounter. I can't speak for the guys that turn wrenches on a CH46 or drive a 5 ton truck. I can say that 0300 Infantry Marines shoot all kinds of combat courses to include anything the ARMY has. CQB tirehouses, movement to contact, ambush, point man courses etc. Not to mention they do all that and excell with rifles that any civillian gunsmith would label unsafe junk. Now for all the armchair quarterbacks that agreed with Major woodies lame article. Go back to your Admin shops, Geedunk posts, Walmart etc because you have no real frame of reference and simply don't know what your talking about. This whole post is assenine. How can you say the whole is defficient by judging one of it's parts. It's like taking some desk jockeys from LA PD, sending them to the range and scrutinizing the entire LA PD based off of their horrible scores. To include the SWAT TEAM who are prob some of the best tactical marksman in the country. I hate typing and I hate arguing moot points on here, but this really pissed me off. Semper-Fi, DD out!! [sniper]
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 10:33:05 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Sylvan: I think the point of the article is that the marines are focusing on developing a corps of people to go out and shoot camp perry.
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Exactly. The match shooters and rifle teams have a lock on the marksmanship programs in the Marine Corps, and gunfighters' opinions are not sought or desired when it comes to weapons selection (M4 vs M16A3), training and doctrine.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 10:39:44 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DDMAO:
Originally Posted By Sukebe: As a former Marine, I'm not suprised. The USMC teaches every Marine the finest fundamental marksmanship skills. Head and shoulders above any other U.S. military service. Combat shooting skills however, are taught only to Marines with a combat MOS. I won't say this was unfair test since the USMC boasts "every Marine a rifleman" but realisticly, these were "Airwingers" which I proudly am as well. That simply means, they really only have fundamental shooting skills. Just for fun, lets take some CSS MOS soldiers and put them side by side on a USMC KD course with those Airwingers and see what happens. I can guess the outcome. I'm sure everyone else can as well.
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BINGO!!!! Give this Marine a CIGAR!!! What you have in that article is a Pogue zero from some news rag summarizing (The whole Marine Corp's) combat marksmanship deficiencies based off one group?? A bunch of civillians in uniform swinging with the wing at that who did poorly on the ARMY's Ivan pop up course!! That's the the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Anybody who served in the Corps in an 0300 MOS know's that the "Every Marine is a rifleman" thing is somebodys delusion of grandjeur. You can't work 300 days out of the year in CONAD fucking up service record books and giving Marines no pay dues etc.. and then get called up to dust off your rifle and be a hot shit rifleman. In essence, these people are even less skilled with a rifle than a weekend warrior. It's a joke I've shot the ARMY Ivan pop up course with the 16, and I've shot the ARMY pop up Machine Gun courses with the 60 and the 240G. Whoever says the computer won't register hits by skipping rounds off the berm in front of the target is lying or obviously has no real experience working with those ranges at all. 03 Marines receive a wide breadth of firearms training. All of that training is built upon the second to none fundamentals learned on the KD course. If you want to do a realistic combat markmanship skills comparison to see who has the best overall training. Then you have to take an infantry unit from the ARMY and a infantry unit from the Marine Corps and have them both qualify on both the ARMY and Marine Corps ranges. Most of your grandmother's with one hour of Marine Corps marksmanship training could qualify on the ARMY course. It's a fucking joke, any grunt in the ARMY will even tell you it's a joke. The Corps teaches Marines to utilize all of their weapons to their max effective range and gives them to skills to adjust their sights and shooting positions to the ever changing conditions they may encounter. I can't speak for the guys that turn wrenches on a CH46 or drive a 5 ton truck. I can say that 0300 Infantry Marines shoot all kinds of combat courses to include anything the ARMY has. CQB tirehouses, movement to contact, ambush, point man courses etc. Not to mention they do all that and excell with rifles that any civillian gunsmith would label unsafe junk. Now for all the armchair quarterbacks that agreed with Major woodies lame article. Go back to your Admin shops, Geedunk posts, Walmart etc because you have no real frame of reference and simply don't know what your talking about. This whole post is assenine. How can you say the whole is defficient by judging one of it's parts. It's like taking some desk jockeys from LA PD, sending them to the range and scrutinizing the entire LA PD based off of their horrible scores. To include the SWAT TEAM who are prob some of the best tactical marksman in the country. I hate typing and I hate arguing moot points on here, but this really pissed me off. Semper-Fi, DD out!! [sniper]
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Well now, how can anyone argue with that? [:|]
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 12:29:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By JTR: In refrence to this: "There's no chance that a bullet strike in the ground just in front of the target will throw enough debris up to register as a hit." I'd just like to say that at all the (Army)ranges I've qualified at, the've added steel plates that make it impossable to skip rounds low into a target. -They form a bullet trap just below the target. -Justin
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A ricochet to the belly will drop you as fast as a direct hit in the same spot.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 2:11:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/13/2003 5:03:37 PM EDT by HeavyMetal]
The steel shield at the bottom of the target is to protect the mechanism from damage. A ricochette is still a hit. Ever see the siluoute (sic) of a ricochete?? Usually goes thru sideways. OUCH! I am ex-Army but I can understand both programs as I shot Service Rifle(high power with service rifles only) with the NG's state rifle team.(M-14) Service Rifle is a virtually identicle course of fire except we shot bullseyes instead of silloutes and shot prone slow at 600 and not 500 yards. I loved shooting next to Marines because I could keep their brass! Marine shooting team members did not have to turn in brass! I even shot 1000 yards at Quantico. On the day I was at Quantico, a stray 9mm from the FBI range hit the roach coach guy! (I heard he lived but I hear he still did not lower his prices!) One problem with that article: You can aim center mass and still get 40-40 on the pop-ups. I would aim just a little high on the 300 and a little low on the 150 but you could still get good hits on all with a 250 zero(M16A1) firing center mass.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 3:07:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/13/2003 3:08:23 PM EDT by DSVET91]
The hardest rifle course I ever shot was the ARM at Ft. Benning during AIT. Pop-up [b]moving[/b] targets at varying ranges. That range was a cast iron bitch.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 6:39:07 AM EDT
i think DDMAO spoke for all of us.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 7:08:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/15/2003 11:44:30 AM EDT by Happyshooter]
Five years active duty Marine, I shot sharpshooter and expert (more SS ;)) Went in the national guard, and shot expert every time. The first year I just shot the normal army course of zero and then one run through for practice, followed by my first army expert. After that first year I had enough pull/favors to spend many hours at the range shooting at least every six months. I never had a problem qualing as expert on the army range. I think it was much easier then the Marine KD course. I have to call BS on the article. Edit--I never had an AR while in the guard, that came later. I did shoot M1s a lot during that time. The army course is just not that hard. There is no reason for anyone to miss any shots on the foxhole stage. The targets are up for at least 3 seconds and the gun is totally supported at all points by sand bags you place and shape yourself during unlimited prep time. The prone is slightly harder, but still is simple breathe-frontsight-squeeze as long as you plant your front elbow. Anyone who has ever done well on a Marine rapid fire stage at 300 can clean the army prone stage.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 10:23:02 AM EDT
I'm a former USMC 03 who shot Expert using M16A1's and 1911's on KD courses for the 3 years I was in. Soooo....I have to line up on the side of my Marine brothers......That having been said, what's wrong with skipping rounds into a target. At 100 meters a hit is a hit and a round traveling end over end is a very nasty thing indeed.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 10:54:44 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Sylvan: I think the point of the article is that the marines are focusing on developing a corps of people to go out and shoot camp perry. Knowing the exact range of a target that doesn't drop after 3-7 seconds simply isn't combat training, it is marksmanship training. A combination of the two would be ideal. But for training for combat, the Army's qualification is much better.
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Here is another article which expands on this notion. It is from 2/5 Marines website... ---------------- [b]Combat Marksmanship[/b] [i]by Gunner J.L Eby[/i] The original purpose of the competition in arms program was to develop marksmanship techniques and weapons that would enhance our combat ability. The techniques tried and lessons learned would transfer from the competition in arms to the combat forces by way of the annual re-qualification on known distance ranges. At one point in time, we were successful in this endeavor. That was at a time when the way we dressed for war, along with the way we fought the war were very similar to the techniques and methods fired on known distance ranges. Today, our instruction falls short of where it would really be useful. The culminating point of our marksmanship program should be with full combat gear on, firing unknown distances courses of fire, both day and night, and with the full spectrum of night optic capability both in and out of NBC environments. A course of this nature would re-focus our efforts towards fighting battles instead of winning medals in competitions. The current program is focused on putting a bullet into an X ring, without culminating with the ability to put a bullet into an enemy’s chest in combat conditions. The Competition in Arms program wins medals and brings glory to the name of [b]the Marine Corps, but turns us into great PAPER FIGHTERS, falling short of making us the PEOPLE FIGHTERS[/b] that we need to become. Marine Corps Order 3591.2J with Ch. 1, Competition in Arms Program lists as objectives “To enhance the marksmanship proficiency and combat readiness of the Marine Corps by: (a) Developing and maintaining a population base of Marines with high skills in rifle and pistol marksmanship to serve as marksmanship instructors, scout snipers, coaches and range operation personnel. (b) To establish a vehicle for the development and exchange of ideas resulting in improvements to equipment and shooting techniques. This is a great idea, but is flawed in that the marksmanship instructors, coaches and range operation personnel developed in paragraph (a) above are teaching competition style of marksmanship, with little experience in the combat style necessary to identify which improvements to equipment and shooting techniques will help us in enhancing the marksmanship proficiency and combat readiness, which is the stated purpose of the program. Marines have prided themselves for their marksmanship prowess throughout our history, yet we kid ourselves at the same time. When was the last time we were attacked by 40 inch tall black men who stood perfectly still in front of 6 foot tall white background while holding a large red wind flag? When was the last time this opponent gave us four days to practice our marksmanship before attacking us with his EXTREMELY slow movement? How dare we call ourselves “expert” rifleman following this engagement? It is well beyond the time when we quit pretending that our combat engagements match the competitions at Division matches and Intramurals and start requiring our Marines to know combat engagement techniques of fire. This instruction has to be followed with evaluation. We have to evaluate our Marines for their ability to fire in combat style courses of fire for the instruction to be worth the time. The current evaluation of known distance skills indicates very little to a Marines ability to engage opponents in combat. Even combat engagement courses of fire fail to indicate the stresses of combat. How can we possibly duplicate the fear of being run over by our own AAV’s, Tanks and HMMWV’s? How do we duplicate the constant rain of friendly fire situations, enemy fire, mortar and artillery fire, fear of our own air striking us, and worry that we’re shooting the correct targets? The slow deliberate firing of known distance is necessary to lay the foundation of marksmanship skills, yet we cannot allow ourselves to believe it is any measure of effectiveness towards fighting future battles. There are too many differences between known distance firing and combat engagements. The sitting and off-hand positions of known distance are seldom seen in combat. The kneeling, squatting, modified prone and snap shot off-hands are the most common. The prone is modified due to the helmet squashing into the collar of the interceptor vest, preventing the shooter from lifting his head. Not that it matters too much, as the shooter in the prone can’t see due to his helmet falling into his eyes as the helmet band won’t hold the helmet in place. This matter is unknown to the majority of the Marine Corps that only fires one week annually during the re-qualification week. At close range engagements, a smooth slow trigger pull is impossible. The physiological response to stress forces the body to square onto the target. Blood is centered on the vital organs, restricting blood flow to the appendages. The fingers feel like clubs and the trigger is smashed as fast as possible with enough pressure to cave in a submarine. Only time to think, distance from the target to offer a modicum of safety or cover to protect the body can over-ride these physiological responses to stress. We have to train Marines to open both eyes during engagements in order to maintain awareness of other enemy activity and pay attention to the location of friendly forces. Focusing clearly on a front sight tip is again impossible if the physiological responses to stress occur. Blood flow is lost to the outer portion of the eye, preventing near range vision, and the body will automatically focus on the threat. No amount of training can overcome this natural reaction. Only time, distance and cover from fire can prevent or eliminate this body's natural response to a life-threatening situation. The addition of a magnified scope will also over ride this natural reaction, allowing the body to focus on the enemy as it intends to, while putting a simple aimpoint onto the target. Breathing and relaxing don’t fit well at this point in time either. The body surges with adrenaline and the heart are racing at 150 beats a minute. Stock weld may well be one of the few transferable skills from known distance firing to combat engagement firing. The influence of the marksmanship-training unit on weapons design and marksmanship techniques no longer match requirements of combat Marines. These Marines are not afforded the opportunity to join the war, therefore have no baseline to form their opinions from other than rifle competitions. The techniques of competition marksmanship are not always transferred to combat firing techniques and need re-evaluated to ensure the baseline of the techniques we teach end up at an end-state engagement technique. Too many training days are lost if the skills taught are not being utilized by Marines in Combat. Marines should be taught the fundamentals of marksmanship, but be evaluated on combat style shooting courses as the end state of marksmanship.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 10:55:23 AM EDT
The Marine Corps Order on re-qualification should be re-visited once again following Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Marksmanship Training Unit should be staffed by personnel from the combat arms elements in order to provide input on how we really engage enemy with our service rifle in order to develop a course of fire representative of the skills we need during war. Personnel currently manning the marksmanship training unit should be re-titled to become the Competition Training Unit and allow them to focus on the known distance style of shooting they have perfected so well. Their influence on weapons design or qualification course design should be minimized as much as possible. I propose a complete overhaul to both the program and the marksmanship paradigm. I would maintain the five days of firing, but would qualify in several different areas relating to skills required in combat. The standard to be achieved would be a realistic first time engagement standard by “any” Marine, especially those who do not fire a weapon as a primary daily function. Our PMI’s would have to be taught in an entirely new course, getting them out of their comfort zone of competition shooting and teaching them combat skills like off-set aimpoint methods of fire (more precise than the old Kentucky windage version). Quick kill techniques, stabilization techniques, use of equipment, ground and surroundings to barricade and stabilize and use of wind reading to determine offset aimpoint. Firing positions would be modified to have off-hand shots at short ranges only, maintaining the kneeling, introducing the squatting and modifying the prone to account for the fighting load. The combat patrol sling would replace the parade sling, with instruction modified to support this change. The first day of qualification would commence with the verification of understanding the fundamentals of marksmanship, by being required to fire 3 rounds at 300 meters while holding a 7-minute of angle group. That is the same standard we require today. Those who fail this standard would be sent back to their unit to be scheduled for remedial instruction by unit primary marksmanship instructors. The second stage of fire would be to immediately fire the entry-level qualification course for score. Wind flags would be removed, as there are none on the field of battle. There are plenty of indicators of wind direction, provided Marines are taught to see them. This standard for this stage of fire would likely have to be re-done, since the current standard is based on three days of practice before being scored. Marines entering combat do not get to practice for several days before each engagement; therefore, we need a realistic measure of marksmanship capability. The combat arms personnel staffing the new Marksmanship Training Unit would determine follow on stages. The end of the week would provide an aggregate score for the purpose of composite score. Every Marine would truly be a rifleman prepared to engage enemy during war at the end of this evaluation. Today we spend three weeks minimum on the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program and only one week on marksmanship. I’d venture to guess that marksmanship skills were in higher demand over martial arts skills during Operation Iraqi Freedom, yet the disparity in mandatory training time in amazing. [url]http://www.2ndbn5thmar.com/oif/oiftoc.htm[/url] --------------------
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 11:45:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By GulDuCal: ...Today we spend three weeks minimum on the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program and only one week on marksmanship....
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Thats because Martials Arts is a very inexpensive program to run....until someone gets broken. [i]Sorry, Meat Puppet, ...didn't mean to dislocate your shoulder like that![/i]. It's always about the budget! And of course, if we had effectively dealt with the threat when it was still 500-300-200-100-Oh Shit!-75-50-25 yards out, we wouldn't need to resort to going hand to hand!
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 2:30:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DDMAO:
Originally Posted By Sukebe: As a former Marine, I'm not suprised. The USMC teaches every Marine the finest fundamental marksmanship skills. Head and shoulders above any other U.S. military service. Combat shooting skills however, are taught only to Marines with a combat MOS. I won't say this was unfair test since the USMC boasts "every Marine a rifleman" but realisticly, these were "Airwingers" which I proudly am as well. That simply means, they really only have fundamental shooting skills. Just for fun, lets take some CSS MOS soldiers and put them side by side on a USMC KD course with those Airwingers and see what happens. I can guess the outcome. I'm sure everyone else can as well.
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BINGO!!!! Give this Marine a CIGAR!!! What you have in that article is a Pogue zero from some news rag summarizing (The whole Marine Corp's) combat marksmanship deficiencies based off one group?? A bunch of civillians in uniform swinging with the wing at that who did poorly on the ARMY's Ivan pop up course!! That's the the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Anybody who served in the Corps in an 0300 MOS know's that the "Every Marine is a rifleman" thing is somebodys delusion of grandjeur. You can't work 300 days out of the year in CONAD fucking up service record books and giving Marines no pay dues etc.. and then get called up to dust off your rifle and be a hot shit rifleman. In essence, these people are even less skilled with a rifle than a weekend warrior. It's a joke Most of your grandmother's with one hour of Marine Corps marksmanship training could qualify on the ARMY course. It's a fucking joke, any grunt in the ARMY will even tell you it's a joke. The Corps teaches Marines to utilize all of their weapons to their max effective range and gives them to skills to adjust their sights and shooting positions to the ever changing conditions they may encounter.
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So Marine Corps Combat Service and Support personnel who have undergone phase 1 and 2 training at the recruiting depot are somehow less well qualified to shoot on the Army Qual Course than someone's grandmother with only 1 hour of USMC training? So by that logic, Marine Corps Marksmanship training would seem to be performance destructive...the more training you have the worse you do. I'm just funnin' yah though. You are essentially correct. You have to compare apples to apples. Put a bunch of Infantry MOS types from both services up in a direct, combat marksmanship competition on pop up and moving pop up ranges using the new bullet trap design to eliminate deflection hits. However, every Army MOS qualifies on the Army Qual range, including the wing wipers. So...If Army wing wipers can qual on the range and Marine wing wipers can't, what does that say about eh Corp's vaunted riflery training? I'd say a combination of the two methods with quals being done on a practical riflery range would be better. Also, fiddling with your sights in combat is a waste of time at normal engagement ranges. A good battlesight zero will put you on the target from 25-250, hold on the neck at 300 and you are good to go. Inside 300 meters you don't have time to screw around with elevation and windage.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 3:26:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By icemanat95: However, every Army MOS qualifies on the Army Qual range, including the wing wipers. So...If Army wing wipers can qual on the range and Marine wing wipers can't, what does that say about eh Corp's vaunted riflery training?
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Hmmm.. seems to me that part of the problem that PFC Lynch's unit had was a lack of firearms training, so that statement above just doesn't hold water. I was in the air wing in the USMC, and there were years that I didn't qual due to unit mission requirements, and poor planning by the Training guys. But I could still qual. The problem with this article has been stated by several people. The funny thing is that the Marines that qual KNOW that it isn't a realistic combat shooting course. If it were, we would be able to use artificial support, and wouldn't use the loop sling at 500 yards. I doubt that many army folks could just walk up to the KD range and score much above sharp shooter, or even qual, due to the differences it training.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 4:10:48 PM EDT
You are right, NEITHER of the qualification programs seems to support continuing combat proficiency. One of the lessons learned by the PFC Lynch debacle is that realistic training in small arms skills from maintenance to combat employments is critical for all soldiers and marines, regardless of MOS. Soldiers need to get monthly range time at a minimum and need to shoot on a course similar to the Army's Advanced Rifle Marksmanship course with pop up moving targets simulating an enemy advance on your position from 300 meters into 50 and then back out again. KD training serves it's purpose but it ain't the be-all and end-all of combat riflery training. It provides an excellent foundation, but it doesn't teach you to work with a battlesight zero, and considering that a marine could easily be shipped directly from training to a combat zone and need to have some experience scanning a defensive sector for targets, hitting targets at various ranges without fiddling with sights and other skills that the Army BRM and ARM programs emphasize right out of the box, it would be in the Marine Corps best interest to try to give them those skills. Sure the article is limited. The study group in question was not an infantry group. Killing enemy soldiers is not their primary, personal mission so maintaining those skills isn't of top priority to their commanders. But as the PFC Lynch thing showed us, being a non-combat MOS doesn't protect you when the lines of battle are not clearly dilineated. Training MUST be practical. You MUST train how you will fight or you will fight how you train. The KD range is a great tool for teaching fundamentals, but it is a lousy test of combat marksmanship proficiency. However, I am confident that your average Marine, given the right specialty training in dynamic target spotting and engagement, A la the Army BRM and ARM pop up ranges, would do better than their Army counterparts do to the more comprehensive KD foundation. So don't get your OD knickers in a twist.
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