SGT Robert Farrell of the USARCMP put this video together from 2018 National Matches
Brian Zins series
EVERY 0331 that goes through AMGC does high angle fire. Slow news day?
– Joe R Heft
A variety of gunnery skills are taught during USMC Advanced Machine Gunner Course but most Army personnel remain oblivious to gunnery with machine guns and are rarely competent with them beyond loading and minimal marksmanship on easy and well-defined point targets.
In fact, most Army personnel have been conducting machine gun qualification incorrectly and failing to achieve published standards. Consider this from the new small arms training manual:
Table IV-B requires gunners to practice trigger control and requires the firer to fire one five to seven round burst at each specified point target or series of targets in the area target sequences. Gunners are authorized to fire only one five to seven round burst at each paster. [Emphasis added]
The authors explicitly spell this out due to recognizing most Army personnel have failed to perform at this standard but it is NOT a new/different standard. This is not a change to doctrine or a new qualification, this is the way the qual was always supposed to be run. Simple arithmetic of the number of rounds issued during qualification, the number of rounds per burst to be fired, and the number of target areas engaged confirms this. The explicit instruction was forced in due to a large number of Army personnel that don’t math good.
Lack of skill with this equipment is, unfortunately, common.
Operation Cold Steel has been less than stellar…
Such “expertise” is rampant:
Marines practice rarely trained machine gun tactic that could take out Russian vehicles
The Marine Corps is in Bulgaria practicing high-angle fire with a 40 mm grenade launching machine gun known as the Mk-19… The tactic could be beneficial in striking down infantry troops behind walls or protection, or taking out advancing Russian armor and light-skinned vehicles.
With seamless communications and competent forward observers, high-angle Mk-19 fire could also be used to rapidly and easily walk rounds onto an enemy target, according to several machine gunners.
It’s a skill set learned at the Marine Corps’ six-week Advanced Machine Gunner Course.
Members of the United States Army Reserve Competitive Marksmanship Program (USARCMP) competed at the NRA National Rifle Championships on 6-11 July 2018 held at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. The USARCMP competes and often wins national-level competitions as a way to build and validate shooter-instructor proficiency. Much like continuing education, such as the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development System, skill-at-arms beyond routine qualification levels demands on-going training and competitive events are a way to develop marksmanship capabilities and demonstrate marksmanship proficiency.
The High Reserve award was won by SPC Lowe. SPC Lowe also won the Crescent Cup Trophy, which is awarded for the high score during 200 yards standing
SPC Lowe won the Crescent Cup Trophy and High Reserve award.
Members of the United States Army Reserve Competitive Marksmanship Program (USARCMP) competed in the NRA National High Power Rifle Long Range Championships held 12-17 July 2018 at Camp Atterbury, Indiana.
USARCMP competes in and often wins National-level competition to develop the skills of Army Reserve shooter-instructors, validate marksmanship capabilities, and demonstrate marksmanship proficiency.
Notable USAR Long Range Achievements
SPC Stephens won the Billy C. Atkins trophy, the Service Rifle long-range aggregate. SPC Stephens also won the Porter Trophy for taking first place with a Service Rifle during Match 535 and the Farr Trophy for taking first place in Match 538 with a Service Rifle.
SPC Stephens won the Billy C. Atkins, Porter, and Farr Trophies
Roumanian Trophy Team Match is a four-person team event. USARCMP took first place. Firing members were SFC (P) Gervasio, SFC Micholick, SGM Withus, and SPC Stephens with Coach SGM Mauer and Team Captain SSG Morris.
USARCMP also won the Herrick Trophy Team Match, another four-person team event. Firing members were SFC (P) Gervasio, SFC Micholick, SGM Withus, and SPC Stephens with Coach SGM Mauer and Team Captain SSG Morris.
Bausch and Lomb Trophy is awarded to the High Reserve team for long-range team matches. USARCMP took first. Firing members were SFC (P) Gervasio, SFC Micholick, SGM Withus, and SPC Stephens with Coach SGM Mauer and Team Captain SSG Morris.
Bausch and Lomb Trophy team. USARCMP also won the Herrick and Roumanian Trophies.
2018 NRA and CMP Pistol Nationals
photos by SGT Robert Farrell
SGT Robert Farrell also did this video:
USARCMP Service Pistol shooters competed against the best National Rifle Association and Civilian Marksmanship Program Precision Pistol competitors from the United States from July 9 to 15 using accurized .22, CenterFire, .45, and Service Pistols. There were 500 registered competitors for the NRA National Pistol Championships (July 9-13) and over 540 registered competitors for the CMP National Trophy Pistol Matches (July 14-15).
In addition, USARCMP members assisted with conducting the Small Arms Firing School. SAFS is held in conjunction with the National Matches and all branches of service are mandated by Federal law to provide shooter-instructors to conduct a marksmanship training clinic. All U.S. citizens and service members can attend these annual events.
The overall Service Pistol Team consisted of 17 USARCMP members. USAR Black was the primary six-person element for Team matches.
LTC Patrick Sleem (Service Pistol Team OIC), SGM George Greene (Service Pistol Team NCOIC), LTC Mitchell Rosnick, MAJ Thomas Bourne, SSG Jonathan Rosene, and SGT Nickolaus Mowrer.
From left, SGT Mowrer, SGM Greene, MAJ Bourne, SSG Rosene, LTC Sleem, LTC Rosnick
The rest of the USARCMP roster included LTC Casillas, LTC Luis Garcia, CSM Steven Slee, SFC Brenn Combs, SFC Joshua Rosendorn, SFC Braddford Griffith, SFC Sonny Pearman, SFC John Buol, SGT Robert Farrell, and SGT Matthew Elliot. New to the Service Pistol Team is SSG Sandra Uptagrafft.
The Preliminary Match was a separate event consisting of .22, Center Fire and .45. SSG Rosene finished in the top ten overall. SGM Greene took 2nd place among Master-class Service competitors.
.22 Team Match
USAR Black took 3rd place overall and was the 1st Reserve component team. Firing members were LTC Rosnick, SSG Rosene, SGM Greene, and SGT Mowrer
SGT Mowrer and SSG Rosene finished in the top 10 individual match results.
For CenterFire Team, USAR Black was the 2nd place Master/Service team and 1st Reserve element.
For .45 Team, USAR Black was the first place Master/Service team.
SGT Mower won the Army Reserve Pistol Trophy as the High Reservist
CMP Pistol Nationals
USAR CMP shooters making the President’s Hundred cut included LTC Sleem, LTC Rosnick (first year), MAJ Bourne, SGM Greene, SSG Uptagrafft (first year), and SSG Rosene.
SGT Mowrer won the President’s Hundred Glock Award for being the first place competitor shooting a Glock.
In addition to earning the President’s Hundred tab for his first year. LTC Rosnick also legged out in the CMP’s .22 Distinguished.
For the CMP EIC Pistol Match, SGM Greene was in the top ten overall. SGT Mowrer had a top-five finish in the Glock (GSSF) Camp Perry National Challenge.
For the U. S. Army Reserve Memorial Trophy (Reserves), LTC Sleem was second overall, followed by SSG Rosene in third.
For the U. S. Coast Guard Memorial Trophy (Reserve Component Teams), USAR Black took second. Firing members were SSG Rosene, LTC Sleem, SGM Greene, and LTC Rosnick.
The M249 is supposed to be used in either an Automatic Rifle and Light Machine Gun role. What differentiates either? For years, both qualifications were conducted in a very similar manner and many personnel failed to appreciate any difference.
An Automatic Rifle is individually issued, carried, and used while maneuvering as a part of a team. A Light (or Medium or Heavy) Machine Gun is a crew-served weapon that supports maneuvering elements in offense and defense. The same M249 can be pressed into either role but the usage differs depending on which.
I’ve found many personnel are confused by this difference and merely conduct whichever qualification is easiest.
A Proposed Fix
The following is merely an idea from one person (me) that has no official basis or status. I suggested this to personnel writing current Army small arms doctrine and they will have final say what becomes official.
Given that personnel don’t seem interested in reading and learning the difference, I’d say we should make the AR and LMG quals more distinct. The current AR qual mostly looks like a watered-down version of the LMG/MMG qual.
Grouping and Zeroing: Use the new 25-meter rifle/carbine zero target at 10 meters. Given that target’s 6 MOA “legacy” dashed circle is 4cm – same width as the 10 meter MG paster – and the 4 MOA circle and diamond is about 2.5 cm. The grid at 25 meters is 1 MOA squares, making it 2.5 MOA/0.75 mils at 10 meters. Zero standard becomes to shoot a centered three round burst inside the 4cm circle on that target from prone bipod supported.
Eliminate the 10 meter MG target and course and use the 10-meter range as a preliminary group/zero exercise, like the rifle/carbine.
Qualification: The Automatic Rifle qualification should be similar to the new four-table Modified Record Fire (Barricade) course. Phase 1 and 2 becomes Bipod Supported. Phase 3 and 4 uses a barricade and are fired kneeling and standing supported, respectively. Current Automatic Rifle transition ranges (100-400 meters) can be used as-is with the addition of a barricade and emphasizing longer shots bipod prone and closer distances from kneeling and standing, like the rifle/carbine.
Like the rifle Modified Record Fire (Barricade) course, this makes the qual similar to Drill G (Fight Up).
The Modified Record Fire (Barricade) course requires a reload while changing positions during the timed lull between tables, which (obviously) should be required to be done with magazines in the FLC/LBE/etc. I’d suggest having at least one reload for the AR course in the same manner, reloading with an ammo can, soft assault pack, etc. in a manner as how ammunition would normally be carried on person.
As a side note, we should also have the pistol qualifications require all tables start holstered and reloads done from gear on the clock. LMG/MMG qualifications should have a timed reload and a barrel change portion between tables for the same reasons.
If this sort of thing was built into qualification requirements, leadership might start to care more about it.