Equal Rights History

To CBS Sunday Morning and Ken Burns,
I am a long-time fan of CBS Sunday Morning and Ken Burns. Given his typical thoroughness with history, I was surprised at an oversight in his “Baseball is a Mirror of our Country” piece that aired on your show.

“The first real progress in civil rights since the Civil War took place… on a baseball diamond…” The oversight here is that marksmanship programs started just after the Civil War to better train up to the capabilities rifled small arms offered provided equal opportunities for competitors decades before this.

The U.S. Army began the Excellence-in-Competition (EIC) program in 1884, first creating Distinguished Rifleman and then Distinguished Pistol Shot gold badges to award competitors finishing in the top ten percent at EIC events. Buffalo Soldiers were equal participants and noteworthy competitors.

Buffalo Soldier marksmanship badges

The first shooter to become Double Distinguished, earning both badges, was Cpt. Horace Wayman Bivins, earning the distinction in 1903. A member of the 10th Cavalry Regiment and decorated for valor for his actions at the Battle of Santiago de Cuba, accounts of his history “reads like fiction from the imagination of a pulp magazine writer” as one newspaper described him. The Army Reserve Postal Match has an event named in his honor.

CPT Horace Bivins

The EIC program was managed by the U.S. Army Department of Civilian Marksmanship and then the Civilian Marksmanship Program and has been an open competition for military and civilian shooters. It is the only sport mandated by federal law, per Public Law Title 36, U.S. Code § 40727.

This is history worthy of your attention. I’ve sent articles on the history of Captain Horace Wayman Bivins and the Army’s marksmanship Equal Opportunities.

https://armyreservemarksman.info/equal-opportunities/

https://armyreservemarksman.info/cpt-bivins/

https://www.archives.gov/publications/record/1998/03/buffalo-soldiers.html

https://www.dyingtotelltheirstories.com/home/2020/3/5/qtznpg8giquyff1bwnaldudl2lgl95

John M. Buol Jr.
SFC, USAR
USARCMP Public Affairs/Postal Match Program
https://www.usar.army.mil/ARM/

Competition Shooting in Special Operations

SGM (ret.) Patrick McNamara (1st SFG, SFOD-D) interviewed by LCDR (ret.) John “Jocko” Willink (SEAL Team 3) about shooting experience within special operations forces. While serving as his Unit’s Marksmanship NCO, SGM McNamara developed his own marksmanship club with NRA, CMP, and USPSA affiliations, running monthly IPSC matches and semi-annual military marksmanship championships to encourage marksmanship fundamentals and competitiveness throughout the Army. This is common throughout military special operations. All Army is an annual Service Conditions match held by the Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning, similar to Service Conditions matches held throughout all NATO and Commonwealth militaries.

https://armyreservemarksman.info/tung-nguyen-memorial-match/

3D SFG(A) Soldiers report that “Most members of SOF (Special Operations Forces) use competitive shooting as a training tool. Our gear looks like that used in 3-Gun because that sort of practical competition is how we set up equipment.”

Training at home with LTC Garcia

Another idea for #USArmyReserve Soldiers training at home. Lt. Col. Garcia of the Service Pistol team set up an air gun range in his garage.

Home air gun range.

Air guns, such as this one based on the SIG 320 (M17), can be used safely at home.

Indoor gallery courses (Smallbore and Air gun) were among the first formal #PostalMatch events directed by then Chief, Army Reserve Lt. Gen. Sutton dating back to the 1960s and featured in Army Reserve Magazine, the predecessor to Warrior-Citizen.

See this archived copy of Army Reserve Magazine from 1969.

Read more about LTG Sutton and USAR marksmanship history in the USAR Course of Fire Book.

Remote Training During COVID-19

#RetentionViaReadiness #PostalMatch #LetsGoShooting #RoadtoAwesome #KeepPounding #AmericasArmyReserve #USArmyReserve #WeaponsMaster

“The Army is basically in a stop-movement configuration… Number one, we’re real careful about where we congregate, where we go. Number two, we’re very, very careful of making sure we don’t become vectors, we don’t spread this virus, because we went to the wrong place, we got in too-big a group, we were shaking hands when we shouldn’t have done it, we’ve been traveling in places which may have had more exposure to the virus… Unless you get clear authority to conduct a battle assembly, you’re not doing it. We need to avoid congregating and prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
– COVID-19 Guidance, Lt. Gen. Charles Luckey
https://www.usar.army.mil/COVID19/

Isolation and quarantine are public health practices used to stop or limit the spread of disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including avoiding close contact with people who are sick. This prevents gathering for Battle Assembly or training but telecommuting and Distributed Learning remains an ideal option. The Army Reserve Postal Match Program is a type of Distributed Learning in that Soldiers and units conduct locally-hosted events as part of a larger, Reserve-wide aggregate. Using simulators allows this to done remotely while still providing objective skill development.

The current Training Circulars dictating small arms training (TC 3-20.0 and TC 3-20.40) direct units to Maximize Virtual Systems to augment live fire training and that Table II (Preliminary Live-Fire Simulations) is ideally a simulations-based demonstration of the Soldiers’ performance while applying the primary capabilities of their weapon in a virtual environment. Motivated Soldiers interested in competition and other advanced training can readily benefit from systems affordable for home use. This is especially useful for conducting effective training while satisfying the directive from Army Reserve leadership to avoid becoming a COVID-19 vector.

Spc. Dan Lowe, 175th TC Co. (79th Sustainment Support Command), is an Olympian and member of the Army Reserve Marksmanship Program. On the civilian side he runs Firing Line Solutions and uses a SCATT Shooting Trainer for practice at home. “Given the COVID-19 Guidance, I started the 2020 Corona Cup, a series of Postal Matches using SCATT simulators,” said Spc. Lowe. “There are matches for international rifle, Service rifle, and sporter air rifle.”

SCATT trainers are a popular simulator for competition shooters that uses an optical sensor attached to the gun that gives real-time, visual feedback via support software running on a laptop or other computer. “I’m practicing my standing position by dropping onto the target, using my SCATT at home in my pajamas. It’s all starting to make sense. I’m still waiting for my trigger control coaching, so I don’t mind the 10.0’s for now,” said competition shooter and Registered Nurse Michelle Adams. “I have targets for Air Rifle [as shot in the Olympics] and scaled SR targets used in Service Rifle.”

Christopher Moriarty competes in Service Rifle with his daughter, Shannon. Using their SCATT, she earned a High Power Master classification with less than a year of consistent training. “The most important piece of learning to read the wind in Service Rifle is shooting centered and accurately called shots. If you’re shooting itty-bitty groups in the center, you’ve got most of a minute of wind error before you start losing points. If you’re using the whole 10 ring, a 1 minute wind error might result in a dead center shot… or a shot well into the 8 ring. It’s really hard to notice that your wind call was off by a minute when sometimes it’s a pinwheel, and sometimes it’s an 8!,” said Christopher Moriarty. “SCATT taught me that my hold and squeeze can be sub MOA in the X, but result in a wide 7 due to followthrough.”

Chief Warrant Officer Andy Knote, 316th ESC (Military Intelligence Readiness Command), is a Distinguished shooter competing with the Army Reserve Marksmanship Program since 2005 and uses another home-based trainer for similar effect called the MantisX. “Dry fire is the most essential marksmanship training, but it can get boring – thus losing effectiveness – really fast. MantisX offers a way to make dry fire training more interesting, allows us to capture the data for analysis, and provides us the data to set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely training goals.” To handle training with firearms lacking a Picatinny rail, Chief Knote created a configuration using strong adhesive tape and a small rail attached to a magazine, an option that has since been adopted by the company as a standard accessory.

Master Sgt. Russell Moore (416th TEC), NCOIC of the Army Reserve Service Conditions (Combat) Team and multiple All Army Champion, is assisting with a push for more locally-hosted Best Warrior Competition events as another option. “The Best Warrior Competition provides a platform for Soldiers to demonstrate their lethality skills and knowledge against the best the USAR has to offer. Without the ability to run host Company and Battalion events, organizers must get creative while maintaining consistency, uniformity, and difficulty,” said Master Sgt. Moore. “In regard to the marksmanship piece, there are several USAR-issued and purchasable solutions to assist in selecting your unit’s Best Warrior and to help increase their readiness and lethality. Systems such as the Laser Shot, EST 2000/3000, and the legacy Laser Marksmanship Training System (LMTS) have been in our inventory for years. Additionally, there are commercially available devices like the SCATT and MantisX available on GSA Advantage that can provide individuals an excellent array of skill building and scored practical exercises using the standard M4 and M9. Soldiers can be videoed executing these marksmanship tasks as well as other incorporated physical activities. By using Google Duo, Skype, Snapchat video or any other streaming video service, Soldiers can be evaluated and scored without coming in contact with too many others.”

Simulations devices are an effective means to conduct training at low cost and are required by Army doctrine. Home-based simulators are affordable for individuals while providing objective scoring remotely and away from the range. Combined with a Distributed Learning approach such as the Army Reserve Postal Match Program and locally-hosted Best Warrior Competition, this offers training when Soldiers can’t congregate.

https://www.usar.army.mil/News/Article/2132536/remote-training-during-covid-19/