OK, it’s actually Marines Use Rubber Mats to Improve Marksmanship. What a difference a consonant makes – in terms of click bait. Anyway . . . “Marines in Hawaii are using rubberized shooting mats on the rifle range, a comfort upgrade officials credit with dramatically reducing failures during annual marksmanship qualifications,” marinecorpstimes,com reports. Wait. What? Shouldn’t the quals have some relation to real-world conditions? Isn’t qualifying marksmanship on rubber mats a bit like scoring at a whorehouse? Sure seems that way. In fact . . .
The new mats were installed in January at the Puuloa Range’s 200-, 300- and 500-yard firing lines. Early results suggest there could be about a 90 percent reduction in the number of Marines who fail their first qualification.
“They were so comfortable especially in the prone,” said Cpl. Brittney Vella, a combat correspondent assigned to the base’s Headquarters Battalion. “If you had rocks on your elbows it was difficult to have a stable base, so the mats helped us be stable and you felt like you connected with the ground a lot better.”
Rocks on your elbows? Cpl. Vella, I’m gonna give you three seconds–exactly three f’ing seconds–to wipe that stupid-looking grin off your face, or I will gouge out your eyeballs and skull-fcuk you! One! Two! Three! But seriously. Really? Here’s the justification:
At first glance, the extra comfort may seem at odds with the service’s steady march toward growing the amount of combat marksmanship training Marines receive. Officials want troops to train as they fight — and on the battlefield, it’s likely Marines will be forced to shoot from uncomfortable or awkward positions while on the move.
In fact, proficiency in combat marksmanship must be built upon several fundamentals, including sight alignment, sight picture and trigger control. Those skills can be hard to master when the shooter is distracted because he or she is uncomfortable.
“A Marine who has a solid foundation of the fundamentals first will better be able to apply those skills in adverse conditions,” said 1st Lt. Matt Rojo, a spokesman for Weapons Training Battalion in Quantico, Virginia, where the service’s foremost weapons experts continually study the science of marksmanship.
NOW how much would you pay? Don’t answer because . . .
Officials have not conducted a financial analysis to determine if the shooting mats used in Hawaii, which cost $200,000 to install, have reduced overall range costs. But the need for fewer re-qualifications will reduce the amount of ammunition and range time Marines need, both of which are expensive.
I’m not convinced this fits the Marine Corps ethos. You?