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    Recruits snap in on Marine Corps marksmanship

    Recruits snap into Marine Corps marksmanship

    Photo By Sgt. Tyler Viglione | Recruits of Alpha Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, snap in on barrels with...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Tyler Viglione 

    Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego

    SAN DIEGO - Following the Battle of Belleau Wood, General John J. Pershing said he believed the deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle. For that belief to stay true, recruits’ aspiring to be a part of the world’s finest fighting force, begin weapons familiarization early in training.

    After four weeks of introduction to the weapon, recruits with Charlie Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, began learning the fundamentals of marksmanship during Grass Week at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Dec. 2.

    The purpose of grass week is to familiarize the recruits with their issued M16A4 Service Rifle and also teach them the firing techniques they will utilize the following week when they conduct their first live fire qualification.

    “A majority of these recruits have never shot a weapon before,” said Sgt. Antonio Cruz, drill instructor, Charlie Company. “We use this week to get them comfortable with the weapon and also introduce them to the course of fire as well as the range setting.”

    Recruits are given weapons during the first week of training. The drill instructors spend time teaching them how to carry it, assemble and dissemble it for cleaning and maintenance purposes as well as instilling the four weapons safety rules.

    “I think a key asset to making these recruits accurate and effective riflemen is ensuring they know the ins and outs of the weapon and also the importance of it,” said Cruz.

    Each platoon within the company was assigned a primary marksmanship instructor and given instruction on proper usage and operation of the weapon before the recruits qualify at Edson Range the following week.

    Throughout Grass Week, PMIs teach recruits trigger control, sight picture, breathing control, sight alignment and natural point of aim. These basic fundamentals pave the way for recruits to become proficient and leave the range as either marksmen, sharpshooters or experts.

    The platoons spend much of their day conducting practical application, which consists of dry firing with weapon and getting comfortable with the four shooting positions: prone, sitting, kneeling and standing.

    This practical application is called snapping in. During this time, the recruits sight in on barrels painted with targets that simulate what they will see at each of the three firing point yard lines.

    “Getting comfortable in the sitting positions was the most difficult part of Grass Week for me,” said Recruit Alex J. Aberle, Charlie Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion. “It’s difficult to get your body to get into the perfect position to stabilize the weapon.”

    Many of these positions can be uncomfortable, so the recruits have five training days to let their bodies become used to them. Snapping in develops muscle memory and confidence and helps the shooter relax while firing. A solid firing position helps stabilize the weapon for a more accurate shot.

    Lastly, like any equipment, there is a possibility that a weapon could malfunction while firing. The PMIs also taught recruits how to conduct remedial action, which is the method used to get the rifle to fire properly.

    After recruits qualify on the range, they will have a basic understanding of firing a weapon but will advance their knowledge and skill throughout their Marine Corps careers.

    “This week is important for these recruits,” said Cruz. “What they learn here is what they will be able to build off for the rest of their careers.”



    Date Taken: 12.02.2015
    Date Posted: 12.04.2015 19:41
    Story ID: 183547
    Location: SAN DIEGO , CA, US 

    Web Views: 645
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    Recruits snap in on Marine Corps marksmanship