Drill sergeants advance rifle skills during master marksmanship course Print E-mail
Thursday, 18 April 2013
 
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Drill sergeants engage targets on Range 14 on April 11.
Story and photo by Robert Johnson
Managing editor
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The 3rd Chemical Brigade took their rifle training skills to new levels last week as the cadre from the battalions completed a four-day advanced marksmanship training course.

“The goal of this week is to build everyone toward becoming master marksmanship instructors,” said Capt. Tyson Patrick, S-3 operations officer for 3rd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment. “The course is designed to teach drill sergeants advanced marksmanship training skills that they can then use to instruct Soldiers in Basic Combat Training.”

The four-day course consisted of instruction on basic ballistics and iron sight zero techniques on day one; 200 to 400 yard target engagement in slow fire and M68 red dot reflex sight zero on day two; firing from behind barricades on day three; and qualification and peer coaching on the last day.

“We’ll train 18 shooters on these techniques during the course,” Patrick said. “By the end, we’ll have fired approximately 14,000 rounds. During the barricade firing, each shooter will fire 120 rounds and have to make five magazine changes.”

But, the course is more than just putting lead on target, instructors pointed out.

    “A lot of us, when deployed, developed shooting styles that were comfortable to us,” said Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Davis, Co. C, 3-10th Inf. Bn. and range instructor. “But those personal styles don’t translate well to a new recruit. What we are focusing on out here is how to coach that new Soldier on how to shoot. We’re worried less about the hitting the target today than we are how to teach someone how to hit that target.”

    Staff Sgt. Jeremy Martin, Co. D, 3-10th Inf. Bn. and range instructor, echoed Davis’ points.

    “We want a drill sergeant to be able to access where a Soldier is (in terms of his Basic Rife Marksmanship skills) and know how to fine-tune that individual into an outstanding marksman. These drill sergeants can shoot, but what we want them to take away after the course is how to teach someone to shoot.”

    Since the brigade fielded the M4 rifle in January of this year, many of the drill sergeants are getting their first in-depth experience with the rifle since the initial orientation, Patrick said.

    “They (drill sergeants) have solid skill sets with the weapon, but we are building on those skills and they will come away from this a more confident shooter that excels in the standards of marksmanship. That confidence will then filter down to the Soldier as these drill sergeants are better prepared to assist that Soldier in meeting and exceeding the marksmanship standards,” Patrick said.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 May 2013 )