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    Making a Riflemen



    Story by Lance Cpl. Ryan Hageali 

    Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island           

    Drill instructors are the tip of the spear when it comes to making basic Marines. However, when it comes to making riflemen, that’s where the Primary Marksmanship Instructors come in.
    During weeks six and seven of recruit training, recruits learn the fundamentals of marksmanship, which entails a week of practicing shooting techniques and positions followed by four day of live-fire qualification. These training periods are conducted and overseen by the PMIs, who are considered subject matter experts for marksmanship.
    “To become a PMI we have to go through Combat Marksmanship Coaches course and Combat Marksmanship Trainers Course,” said Primary Marksmanship Instructor Sgt. Nickolas Coup. “Once we are qualified to become a PMI we are selected and then we teach a class to all the current PMI who then grade us on things such as material taught, conduct, and confidence.”
    During CMC aspiring PMIs learn marksmanship, range operations and teaching techniques. During the final evolution of the course, the students are required to give a lesson to their classmates and are evaluated on their teaching abilities.
    Aside from teaching marksmanship techniques, PMIs also stress to recruits the importance the Marine Corps places on marksmanship.
    “Understanding the severity of knowing the fundamentals of marksmanship can cost someone’s life,” said Primary Marksmanship Instructor Sgt. Jonathan Gilbert. “These recruits need someone who has the experience and knowledge to be able to put that in their heads so they can realize what's on the table if they don't pay attention.”
    Coup, who has been on multiple deployments, said he uses his experiences to help the recruits with understanding the knowledge.
    “We use personal experiences to teach the recruits,” said Coup. “The recruits ask me what I have seen or what I have done and it makes them look up to me because they understand this knowledge comes from experience.”
    Coup said PMIs ensure every single recruit who graduates is a rifleman.
    “Drill instructors cover the discipline aspect, we cover the lethal aspect,” said Coup. “If we don't train them well enough, or even better then what we expect out of ourselves, then we basically signed their death warrant. We are training recruits to go to war at any given time, and at our level, shooting is how we win and save our buddies.”



    Date Taken: 03.06.2020
    Date Posted: 03.13.2020 09:01
    Story ID: 365126
    Location: PARRIS ISLAND, SC, US 

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