MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO --
Marine Corps recruits qualifying with the M16-A2 service rifle now receive their qualification awards after completing two scored portions of rifle range training rather than one.
The change was implemented Oct. 1 and is designed to give recruits more combat-orientated training before moving to the School of Infantry, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.
The Marine Corps has four tables of M16-A2 training. The first two phases of training are designed for entry-level shooters in recruit training. The third is given at the School of Infantry, and the fourth is for Marines with infantry military occupational specialties.
The old system required recruits to complete one block of shooting, scoring between 190 and 209, for marksman qualification, 210 to 219 for sharpshooter, and 220 or higher for expert.
Both systems include an extensive week of rifle training before actually firing the weapon.
“Repetition is key for the recruits,” Meza said. “Physically going through the motions helps them to grasp the basics quickly.”
The new system recruits to fire a minimum of 190 on Table 1 and a minimum of 60 on Table 2, for a combined score of 250 to pass.
Table 1, Fundamental Rifle Marksmanship, focuses on basic rifle firing and remains constant with previous rifle instruction. Recruits are instructed on how to fire the M16-A2 from the standing, kneeling, sitting and prone positions at distances from 200-500 yards.
“The biggest difference I have seen in the course of fire in the FRM is changing from two magazines of five rounds in the rapid fire portion, to one magazine of 10,” said Sgt. Harold Meza, primary marksmanship instructor, Edson Range, MCB Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Table 2, Basic Combat Rifle Marksmanship, focuses on combat-efficient weapons handling and is used throughout the Fleet Marine Force.
This phase of qualification applies fundamental firing skills in combat-style shooting. Instructors focus on understanding the mind set of the enemy and combat readiness. Shooters are required to accurately fire head shots, controlled pairs of shots to the target and drills on failure to stop enemy—if the target is not subdued and more action is necessary to eliminate the threat.
“The most important focus of rifle training is to help shooters to understand how to apply fundamental rifle techniques in any given situation,” said Warrant Officer Raymond Browne, range officer in charge, Charlie Range, Edson Range.
Rifle range qualification has changed through out the Marine Corps’ history, but one thing remains constant—Every Marine is a rifleman.