Revision of career marksmanship training requirements for the United States Marine Corps
Martin, Travis R.
Seagren, Chad W.
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Current Marine Corps policy requires that all Marines below the rank of Gunnery Sergeant and with fewer than 13 years of service undergo annual rifle qualification. Annual marksmanship training is repetitive and only addresses the fundamentals of marksmanship, which Marines typically master in their first few years. Key features of marksmanship training are instilled at initial training for officers and enlisted Marines, but advanced training is seldom received outside infantry and select occupational fields. Operational tempo or limited range availability may also make it impossible for some Marines (or entire units) to attend. Analysis of all recorded marksmanship scores from the past 20 years shows no significant changes in proficiency for Marines continuing to conduct sustainment under the current or previous policy. The current Marine Corps policy can be adjusted to increase the overall lethality of the force by recognizing earlier proficiencies with marksmanship skills and allowing Marines who have shown proficiency to advance to intermediate and advanced combat marksmanship training. The Marine Corps can refocus resources by conducting fewer sustainment-level rifle qualifications, allowing units to more efficiently schedule marksmanship training commensurate with the Marine’s level of proficiency.
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