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    MCIPAC Marines maintain rifle proficiency

    MCIPAC Marines maintain rifle proficiency

    Photo By Cpl. Karis Mattingly | U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Justin Rivera, a food service specialist, an inventory...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Karis Mattingly 

    Marine Corps Installations Pacific

    CAMP SCHWAB, OKINAWA, Japan -- Once a year, Marines are required to shoot on the known distance course of fire, tables one and two. Upon completion, Marines are awarded a score of marksmanship, sharpshooter or expert. Since the founding of the Marine Corps in 1775, the phrase “every Marine, a rifleman” continues to be reinforced and maintained every year through rifle qualification.

    “First and foremost, as United States Marines, we are the first to fight,” said Cpl. Michael Mullen, a combat marksmanship trainer, with Headquarters and Support Battalion, and a native of St. Louis, Missouri. “Every Marine was born to train, so we have to continue practicing our marksmanship and everything else that Marines are built to do.”

    The annual rifle qualification is held on Camp Hansen and Camp Schwab, operated by base personnel.

    The initial range brief is just step one of the several events that led up to rifle qualification. The brief discussed expectations of the Marines, their place of duty, safety rules, and the responsibilities of handling weapons while on the range.

    “By every Marine knowing how to use a weapon, it makes us a stronger fighting force,” said Mullen. “There is no single point of failure because we can rely on any Marine to maintain the fundamentals of what it is to be a rifleman.”

    Following the brief, grass week was in motion. The Marines received classes reviewing perishable skills like controlled breathing and trigger control. After receiving the classes, they test all the knowledge received, as they snap-in during practical application. ‘Snapping-in’ is a term referred to Marines sighting into a barrel while transitioning between the prone, sitting, kneeling and standing positions of fire. Marines are allowed to shoot with an M16-A1, M4 and M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle.

    “Marksmanship training keeps us in that combat mindset regardless of a Marines military occupational specialty,” said Mullen. “Every year we still have the opportunity to get behind a weapon and remember why we're here in the Marine Corps.”

    On the first day of the range, Marines battle sight zeroed, accommodating their weapon, by firing three well aimed shots at a target 200 yards away. A rifle’s BZO will determine the elevation and windage setting needed for an accurate engagement of point targets from zero to 300 yards.

    The next range day began preparation for table one qualification, consisting of slow and rapid fire exercises from the 200, 300 and 500 yard positions. At 200 yards, Marines shoot slow-fire at the sitting, kneeling and standing positions, and then execute a rapid-fire while sitting.

    The 300 yard is slow-fire while sitting and a rapid fire in the prone. At the 500 yard line, all shots are slow-fire while in the prone.

    “Today went pretty well, it was the best I have shot since being on island,” said Lance Cpl. Jazlynn Newcomb, a commercial clerk with the Distribution Management Office, and a native of South Paris, Maine. “The coaches were right there with me, on the ground, helping me.”

    After shooting rounds down range on table one, the Marines gather their targets and form a line in front of the coaches. Here, the shots are counted and added to each individual's score. Following the last count, the Marines return to their respective firing point and prepare for table two.

    Table two is an integration of the kneeling and standing stances with a series of rapid-fires located at the 25 yard line. They fire controlled pairs, failure to stop and a single pelvic shot. Additionally, they shoot at a distance of 100 yards aiming at moving targets.

    “The coaches want to see us succeed, and they want to know that they helped us,” said Newcomb. “I felt like they cared to see us shoot well. As soon as they saw us not shoot very well, even once, they would come right over and ask us what happened and teach us how to fix it.”

    According to Newcomb, no matter a Marines past shooting score, the coaches taught in a way so that everyone could understand. They helped every Marine learn and maintain the fundamentals taught throughout the weeks. That was then carried over and applied while firing on the range.

    “It is extremely fulfilling being a marksmanship coach because it allows me to meet, train, mentor and influence Marines across Okinawa,” said Mullen. “It is a good feeling to know that we have the ability to help Marines become better riflemen and ultimately strengthen our Corps.”



    Date Taken: 02.04.2021
    Date Posted: 02.04.2021 01:04
    Story ID: 388319
    Hometown: SOUTH PARIS, ME, US
    Hometown: ST. LOUIS, MO, US

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