EIC at BWC

FORT BRAGG, N.C. —


Master Sgt. Russell Moore, combat heavy engineer, 416th Theater Engineer Command of Darien, Illinois, NCOIC USARCMP Service Conditions/Combat Team conducts a safety briefing before the Combat Pistol Excellence in Competition event at the 2018 U.S. Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, June 10, 2018. This year’s Best Warrior Competition will determine the top noncommissioned officer and junior enlisted Soldier who will represent the U.S. Army Reserve in the Department of the Army Best Warrior Competition later this year at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Sgt. Anshu Pandeya) (Released) (Photo by Sgt. Anshu Pandeya)


Sgt. 1st Class Chris Volmer, Fox Company, 3rd Battalion, 415th Infantry Regiment, 95th Training Division of Boise, Idaho and USARCMP member demonstrates weapon handling during a safety briefing before the Combat Pistol Excellence in Competition event at the 2018 U.S. Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, June 10, 2018. This year’s Best Warrior Competition will determine the top noncommissioned officer and junior enlisted Soldier who will represent the U.S. Army Reserve in the Department of the Army Best Warrior Competition later this year at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Sgt. Anshu Pandeya) (Released) (Photo by Sgt. Anshu Pandeya)

Noncommissioned officers and junior enlisted Soldiers competing in this year’s U.S. Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition will not only have the opportunity to be the Best Warrior, but also to accrue points to earn a rare distinction in the Excellence in Competition Program.

Gen. Phillip H. Sheridan implemented the EIC program in 1884 to cultivate the Army’s tactical proficiency and lethality of force.

“It was started to improve marksmanship training techniques, improve weapon and ammunition capabilities, raise proficiency of service rifle and service pistol throughout the Army, provide an opportunity to excel through competition, and establish a basis for quality marksmanship instructions. And that’s pretty much the way it is now,” explained Roscoe Castle, EIC custodian at the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Civilians and service members alike are eligible to compete, though the two populations earn separate badges. Soldiers can only earn the Distinguished Marksmanship Badge by competing in Excellence in Competition matches for rifle or pistol. Competitors must accumulate 30 points throughout three competition tiers to earn a Distinguished Badge. Soldiers earn their first 10 points in Tier 1 to receive the Bronze EIC Badge. The top 10 percent of Best Warrior competitors at the combat pistol EIC event will earn this badge.

Soldiers must earn their next 10 points in Tier 2 to receive the Silver EIC Badge, and Soldiers who earn the final 10 in Tier 3, totaling 30 points, receive the Distinguished Badge. Soldiers can also compete in intercontinental events for an international badge. To date, the Army has only awarded badges to 1,856 pistol shooters and 3,389 rifle shooters. Only 438 marksman have earned both honors, and there are just 16 awardees in the history of the competition who have all three.

“It’s a permanent-wear badge issued by the Department of Army with a set of orders that permanently replaces your marksmanship badge, in this case, for pistol,” said Master Sgt. Russell Moore, a combat-heavy engineer for the 416th Theater Engineer Command based in Darien, Illinois, and noncommissioned officer in charge of the Best Warrior pistol match.

“You don’t see them (EIC badges) very much. Everyone says, ‘You can’t be wearing that foreign device.’” Moore explained to the competitors. As one of the few Soldiers who has earned distinguished badges in both categories, Moore told the competitors to respond, “Hey, sergeant major. It’s one of the oldest devices in the United States Army.”

This year’s Army Reserve BWC will determine the top noncommissioned officer and junior enlisted Soldier who will represent the U.S. Army Reserve in the Department of the Army Best Warrior Competition later this year at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. But even if Reserve competitors don’t advance to the Army-wide competition, they still have the special opportunity to receive the EIC Bronze Badge and the points toward earning the rare Distinguished Marksmanship Badge.

http://www.usar.army.mil/News/Display/Article/1546973/best-warriors-compete-to-earn-rare-marksmanship-badge/

Advertisements

Safety Of Use Message: M16/M4

BLUF

  1. A small number (881 out of 259,000) of M16/M4 weapons have been found to potentially have an unintended discharge while manipulating the selector.
  2. An additional step in the updated Function Check will readily determine if your M16/M4 is affected.
  3. If your M16/M4 passes the additional steps to the Function Check to inspect for this problem, there is absolutely no need to change Immediate Action procedures.
  4. The previous Immediate Action procedure (“SPORTS”) has been since replaced with an improved procedure described in TC 3-22.9. TACOM and the published Technical Manuals have not yet updated to the new standard.

SOUM #18-004 alerted the field of an unintended discharge on an M4A1 PIP’ed (Product Improvement Program) weapons that occurred when the operator pulled the trigger with the selector switch between the SEMI and AUTO detents (outside of detent). The weapon did not fire when the operator pulled the trigger and instead fired when the selector was moved further. As a result of this incident, an on-going investigation determined that there is the potential for all carbines and rifles noted above, to behave in this way.

First, this potential mechanical problem is uncommon. The Army has converted 259,000 M4s to M4A1s in the past three years with the M4 carbine product improvement program. Out of 259,000, 881 have been found to exhibit this problem.

Second, TACOM’s updated Function Check will easily determine if your M16/M4 is one of those of the small number affected.

Updated Function Check
User Actions: Until a resolution is found, units are required to perform the following additional function check on all M16 and M4 series rifles and carbines. If the unit reported failure data IAW SOUM 18-004, then reporting action for those weapons has been satisfied.

1. Ensure weapon is clear by observing the chamber, the bolt face, and magazine well. The weapon should always be pointed in a safe direction. Do NOT perform this check with live ammunition.

2. Perform standard function check IAW WP0007.

3. Move the selector lever to the SEMI position then move the selector to a position between SEMI and AUTO (BURST for non M4A1’s) and squeeze the trigger. The hammer should drop when trigger is squeezed. If the hammer drops, repeat by slightly repositioning selector between SEMI and AUTO (or BURST). If the hammer does not drop when the trigger is squeezed, this is a failure. Record this information and continue to the next step.

4. If hammer does not drop, move the selector in either direction. If the hammer drops without squeezing the trigger, this is a failure. Record this information.

5. Gather information recorded from the additional function check and submit to TACOM Equipment Specialists.

Do NOT use SPORTS or C-SPORTS

The SOUM goes on the describe a suggested “update” to the now out-of-date Immediate Action procedure that has since been replaced in TC 3-22.9.

First problem, an Immediate Action amendment is completely unnecessary if the Function Check is passed. Confirming correct mechanical function is an administrative action conducted during Drill A – Weapon Check, not something to do while engaging targets.

Second problem, SPORTS was replaced as an overly-convoluted and less effective approach than what the new Immediate Action procedure in TC 3-22.9 directs. Taking a tangled “immediate” six-step procedure and adding yet-another step defies the entire point of immediate action.

Third problem, this low percentage mechanical problem only occurs while manipulating the selector. Immediate Action is only necessary after attempting to engage target(s), meaning the weapon was already set to discharge (obviously) and there is no need to manipulate the selector while performing it.

TC 3-22.9, page 8-10

RULES FOR CORRECTING A MALFUNCTION
Do not attempt to place the weapon on SAFE (unless otherwise noted). Most stoppages will not allow the weapon to be placed on safe because the sear has been released or the weapon is out of battery. Attempting to place the weapon on SAFE will waste time and potentially damage the weapon.

TACOM-SOUM-18-005