Words of wisdom from John Tate
- Get competition instilled at the unit level – then post level, etc. I put this first – because it is the most important factor. Getting leadership interested in crucial. Get awards and/or commendations for commanding officers of small units when their people shoot well. If the brass appears to care about something, their minions will too.
- Instill competition. Just like PT should be, consider every qual session to be competitive. Post scored and give some sort of prize/praise to the top shooters. Castigate those at the bottom.
- Promote self-training. Use on-duty time to show proper techniques (especially dry fire techniques), and have troops practice on their own time. Don’t soldiers work on PT on their own time? Also, don’t you still own boots 24/7? In my day (1960s, 1/2 a century ago) not only boots, but regulars were yours 24/7.
- Publish the comparative costs of shooting against other activities that require consumables … like jet fuel for aircraft, guided missiles, projectiles for armor and artillery. I think you can make the case that small arms ammo is cheap. And, if you can copy some of the laser simulation systems, you don’t even need ammo, no worry about lead poison, and no worry about negligent discharges.
- Consider a practice from WWI through the VietNam era: Use .22 LR and airguns.
- Use reduced size ranges & targets. For rifle, long ranges are hard to use. They take up lots of space and preparation/mainatenance. They require target pullers. They require time just walking back and forth from line to pits. Consider reduced range work. Putting bullets in the same hole at 1,000 inches equates to holding the 10-ring at 600 yds.
Hang Tough – Keep the Faith – Watch your 6.