2016 Olympian and 2019 National Trophy Individual (NTI) match winner, Spc. Dan Lowe of the U.S. Army Reserve Marksmanship Program discusses Service Rifle offhand technique.
Videos by Dennis Santiago.
The Army personnel officially in charge of publishing our weapons training doctrine and standards maintain a MilSuite group.
All personnel with a current Common Access Card (CAC) can use this resource. All Soldiers can benefit from this resource.
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From Maj. Jesse Campbell, (COIC, 412th TEC)
If you’re looking for a commercial barricade to practice and conduct the new U.S. Army qualifications and Postal Matches:
9-Hole Firing Barricade, Part# USM-54, $242.06
9-Hole Firing Barricade Base Set, Part# USM-109, $55.00
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Fort Knox, Ky.
Events held by the Hatchet Battalion leads to multiple Soldier training successes, Excellence In Competition, and the Army Reserve’s national-level marksmanship program.
Soldiers of the 2-397th (104th Training Division) conducted a Leader Training event called Sharpened Steel at Fort Knox to hone skills necessary to Soldiers and leaders. The Hatchet Battalion successfully completed two Excellence In Competition events with several Soldiers earning permanent awards for their superior performance.
Holding both pistol and rifle versions of Service Conditions (Combat) Excellence In Competition events at Fort Knox, the pistol event resulted in one Soldier being awarded the EIC Bronze Pistol badge and the rifle event had two Soldiers achieving the distinction. This was the first time the Hatchet Battalion held either event and their command reports a heightened Soldier interest growing as a result.
Their training began with each Soldier establishing Data On Previous Engagements at each yard line and cadre like Sgt. 1st Class Frasier noticed the advantage of using these types of targets. “For many, it was their first time seeing how their shot groups opened up as they moved further from the target.”
The training culminated in an Excellence In Competition Rifle event consisting of timed stages from 400, 300, 200, and 100 yards, and then a Close Quarter Battle stage shot at 75, 50, and 25 yards. The Pistol event was a mix of precision and speed from multiple positions and distances at 30 yards and in. This training is a holistic test of Soldier lethality because it incorporates short and medium range engagements, different shooting positions, speed reloads, and – in the Rifle event – a 25 yard rush to each firing line.
Even Soldiers finishing lower in the rankings found value in the event. Supply NCO Sgt. Vanderpool explained, “I’ve never been taught a lot of the marksmanship techniques that were shown. I learned a better way to hold the M16 and gained confidence in my marksmanship skills.”
In addition to the event being a tremendous training opportunity, Sgts. 1st Class Daugherty and Combs received their EIC Bronze Badge, which supersedes the expert badge on the Army Service Uniform, for scoring in the top 10% of the match.
Also during training year 2019, the Hatchet Battalion had two Soldiers compete as members of USAR Competitive Marksmanship Program, with Sgt. 1st Class Combs participating on the Service Pistol team and Command Sgt. Major Michael Ball participating with the Service Conditions/Combat team at the Armed Forces Skill At Arms Meeting. Their participation on the teams has improved the Battalion’s marksmanship training as they bring what they’ve learned back to the unit. As an Army Reserve Drill Sergeant unit, the Hatchet Battalion’s Drill Sergeants will take what they’ve learned and teach it to new Soldiers in Initial Entry Training, which will immediately impact marksmanship skills across the entire force.
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Solid training events are an ideal way to enhance Soldier retention and Postal Matches offer an approach accessible to all units.
Fort McCoy, Wis.
Members of the Great Lakes Training Division (84th Training Command) led by Cpt. Joshua Gisi (HHD Commander), Master Sgt. Jeffrey Bruce (Senior Command Career Counselor), and Sgt. 1st Class Theodore Stevens conducted Army Reserve Postal Matches during their weapons qualification at Fort McCoy. The training created a very high qualification rate, with all but one Soldier in attendance passing successfully.
For the Postal Match, the GLTD Soldiers fired the Margaret Thompson Murdock and William James Sutton Postal Match. “We are a One Star Command providing Observer Trainers for command group operations and this was our first time firing any of the Postal Matches. It was a test run for us,” said Master Sgt. Bruce. “We also reviewed the biographies of the Soldiers each match is coined after. The unit appreciated the historical connection, especially the Equal Opportunity lessons found in Maj. Murdock’s story. The new revisions to the Postal Match are a dramatic improvement over the old design and we appreciated all the changes and updates.”
In addition to the training value, which integrates well with the Army’s current progressive and gated Weapons Training Strategy detailed in TC 3-20.0, these Postal Matches also provide a high retention value. “I am a Senior Command Career Counselor and as Special Staff to a Brigadier General, I work with all of our down trace units on retention, sponsorship, and recruiting programs. Being able to help a down trace unit conduct a Postal Match adds value of me doing a Staff Assisted Visit,” said Master Sgt. Bruce. “I am proud of my HHD allowing me to test my ability to add this training to their event so I can offer it to other units. I feel these Postal Matches enable me to do my job better, make drill time more enjoyable, build morale with in units, improve marksmanship skills, and add value to the Army overall.”
Good training such as this is an ideal way to increase Soldier retention throughout the Army Reserve. “When I was an Army Reserve Career Counselor, a Water Reclamation unit I supported had the strongest retention with Soldiers fighting to join,” said Master Sgt. Bruce. “It’s not that water reclamation was overly rewarding, it was because the unit hosted a Schützenschnur (German Armed Forces Badge for Weapons Proficiency) every year and they created a massive draw as Soldiers enjoyed serving when they were able to do motivating training. Postal Matches are a way every unit can offer something similar for their Soldiers.”
Unit: 84th Great Lakes Training Division (GLTD)
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Presented by SFC Daniel Horner
3rd place SPC Roland Sink, 2nd place and top overall Army Reserve Soldier receiving a certificate from Sig Sauer SFC Tor Peterson, Overall Rifle Champion US Army National Guardsman SSG Steve Ophoff
1st Place overall Team
SGT Phillip HOCHEVAR
SPC Michael Mitchell
SPC Sean Murphy
SPC Roland Sink
Camp Atterbury, Ind. —
The Army Reserve Marksmanship Program hosted a retention and training event at Camp Atterbury. Open to all Army Reserve Soldiers, the Army Reserve Small Arms Championship is an Army Regulation directed event consisting of a mix of precision and timed action shooting events using issue service equipment shot on paper, pop-up, and steel targets from 25 to 400 meters. The event also included a formal qualification with a 100% go rate among all attending Soldiers.
“Events like the Army Reserve Small Arms Championship provide solid training and are great for Soldier retention,” said Command Sgt. Major Larry May, 84th Training Command. “This is an opportunity that many Soldiers (including me, before I attended) don’t realize exists. I consider this to have the same value as the pending ACFT and deserving of the same amount of attention.”
The precision events provided the benefits of shooting at full distance (25 to 400 meters) from multiple positions with full feedback of each shot. The precision requirements were more stringent than those commonly found in sniper training as the silhouette targets featured a number of concentric scoring rings inside the target’s center area.
The action events combined a fitness add-in based on the pending Army Combat Fitness Test with timed shooting on reactive steel and pop-up targets in various scenarios. Shooting positions were based on the new Army qualification with an emphasis on using barricades for kneeling and standing positions to engage targets while being timed.
In addition to the training, the Army Reserve Small Arms Championship also served as a retention event. “Events like these Small Arms Championship are what the Army needs to do. In addition to training, events like this have a high retention value. Retention ultimately saves money because Soldiers decide to stay in the Army, instead of leaving,” said Lt. Col. Charles Hensley, 310th ESC (377th Theater Sustainment Command). “This event has provided good quality team building. For instance, my team has Soldiers from different units within our Major Command. Being part of a team keeps Soldiers in, especially when they can attend events like this.”
Members of the Army Reserve Marksmanship Program also provided coaching to the Soldiers. “Too few Soldiers experience true marksmanship instead of mere qualification,” said Cpt. Amnouayphonh Thammarath, 310th ESC (377th TSC). “Events like this are great for building confidence by providing full feedback to maximize training on a variety of scenarios, especially shooting at long distance. Looking at trends for the past 20 years, we need true subject matter experts capable of teaching at a higher level.”
“I’ve been passionate about shooting for 30 years and have been in the Army for 16. Members of the Competitive Marksmanship Program have instructors that help Soldiers absorb quality information easier versus the forced approach more common in the Army,” said Spc. Nakia Petersen, 390th Regiment (108th Training Command). “Soldiers are often hampered from the ineffective drill sergeant approach, which is too one way. The skilled competitive shooter-instructors in the Marksmanship Program use teaching methods more conducive to learning. They want you to learn and know the best way to teach you.”
Directed by Army regulation, the Army Reserve Small Arms Championship are held as often as Soldier interest and funding allows. In addition, all Army Reserve Soldiers are eligible to host and participate in Postal Matches during their any unit qualification as a means to get started on these retention and training events. This event featured Soldiers from the 84th, 108th, and 80th Training Commands, USACAPOC, ARCD, 83rd ARRTC/RTA, 100th TD, MIRC, First Army, and the National Guard, and the USARCMP would have liked to host more.
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TC 3-20.40, Training and Qualification, Individual Weapons, dated 30 JUL 2019, is published and posted on Army Publishing Directorate
All U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers and units are subject to this change, which will push us toward the training intent set by Chief, Army Reserve LTG Charles D Luckey and Army Reserve CSM Ted Copeland.
Overview of the new Rifle/Carbine Qualification:
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