New Training Circular Walkthrough

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New Army Training Circulars

New Army Training Circulars

The Army Publishing Directorate has released a number of new manuals that completely revise and update small arms training for all Soldiers. For Soldiers to be expert and professional and able to maintain arms requires knowing how best to use them. For leadership to remain technically and tactically proficient, seeking continually to improve knowledge and practice of their profession requires learning current doctrine as it evolves.

The Evolution

Back in the early 1980s, Army publication Field Circular 23-11, Unit Rifle Marksmanship Training Guide was designed to provide useful marksmanship guidance to combat, combat support, and combat service support units. It covered a wide range of topics from the basics, such as zeroing and shot-group analysis, to advanced information, such as night firing, automatic firing, and using the then-new Multi-integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES).

The information was specific to guide trainers in providing a sound unit marksmanship program without bogging them down in needless detail. Its intent was to provide deeper understanding behind the how and why of the then-current small arms Field Manuals, such as FM 23-9.

The most current Training Circulars are very new and are complete rewrites that establish new procedures and doctrine. Many units have not yet implemented this and many leaders remain unaware of these changes. Like the FC 23-11 did in the eighties, this article provides an up-to-date overview of implementing current Army small arms training doctrine into a sound unit marksmanship program without bogging down into needless detail.

Training Circular 3-22.9, Rifle and Carbine was officially released May 2016 with Change One in January 2017, superseding FM 3-22.9 dated August 2008. Since then, all of the Army’s small arms manuals have been completely rewritten from scratch throughout Fiscal Year 2017. If you haven’t downloaded the most current versions since before then, you’re completely behind on current training procedures.

The new manuals include:

Rifle and Carbine: TC 3-22.9
Pistol: TC 3-23×35
Light Machine Gun M249 series: TC 3-22.249
(covers Automatic Rifle and Light Machine Gun use)
Medium Machine Gun: TC 3-22.240
Heavy Machine Gun M2 series: TC 3-22.50
Grenade Machine Gun Mk19 MOD 3: TC 3-22.19

Note these are listed as Training Circulars, not Field Manuals. Previously-released small arms doctrine were released as Field Manuals. The current manuals have been released as Training Circulars.

Doctrine changes don’t replace fundamental principles for the same reason that doctrine changes don’t supplant known laws of physics. What does change is how the official approach organizes and describes those principles.

These new manuals are well over a thousand pages of new training and technical information. Unless they’re gun nerds like us, most Soldiers won’t read all this. My purpose here is to distill the new information in these Training Circulars into something more manageable.


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