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    1st Battalion, 173rd Infantry Regiment prepares for new era of combat-focused marksmanship



    Story by Sgt. Eric Roberts 

    131st Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    (Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.) – Members of the Alabama National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 173rd Infantry Regiment marked the beginning of a new era in Army marksmanship while at annual training at Eglin Force Base, August 3-6, 2020. Released in July 2019, “TC 3-20.40 Training and Qualification-Individual Weapons,” or “Dot-40” overhauls marksmanship qualification in order to simulate a more accurate live fire situation.

    The new scenario, which is scheduled to become the qualification of record in October 2020, cuts the time needed from about 20 minutes per shooter down to approximately 4 minutes per shooter.

    Pfc. Marshall Cornelius said the course was more challenging but a welcome change.

    “The course is a little more difficult. It made me a little more nervous at first,” said Cornelius.

    “But transitioning to the new course was easier than I expected, we trained in the new scenario as if we have never had fired before. I like it, I was able to still shoot expert.”

    In the current course, Soldiers take commands from a tower and fire 20 rounds in a prone supported position, 10 rounds in a prone unsupported position, and 10 from a kneeling position.

    While in the new course, Soldiers will not receive commands from the tower, and will start in the standing position, then go to the prone unsupported, then prone supported, kneeling supported and finally the standing supported position. Soldiers will use a barricade and have 8-10 seconds for position movement and magazine changes.

    “This course, in my opinion, will give us a more accurate picture of a Soldier,” said Sgt. Jarrod Bryant.

    In combat no one tells you when to “change magazines, or when to reload”, said Bryant.

    Staff Sgt. Jason Kirkley said he was most excited about the opportunity new Soldiers will have to train as they will fight.

    “This is definitely better training,” said Kirkley. “No one in their right mind is going to shoot without cover in a prone position unless they absolutely have to.” Kirkley said that this is the scenario presented in the old test.

    The new scenario forces Soldiers to learn to shoot from behind cover. It forces Soldiers to be comfortable with real life scenarios.

    While the new test has not become the official test until October 2020, members of the 173rd Infantry Regiment are always up to a new challenge.

    “The concealment definitely makes it more challenging,” said Cornelius. “But with all training, ‘slow is smooth and smooth is fast.’”




    Date Taken: 08.15.2020
    Date Posted: 08.15.2020 11:36
    Story ID: 376076

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