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“It’s a little bit more movement; it’s a little bit more getting the weapon out of the holster, as opposed to the old you-knew-what-was-coming type of range. It’s more of a challenge. We’re looking at it here at Quantico. The experts are pleased with it, and we’re going to move forward with it, I think, within the next year or so.” –  Lt. Gen. Richard Mills, Leaders want realistic marksmanship training [via]

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  1. Oh how I don’t miss military firearms and marksmanship “training”. I like how “contact” was broadcasted and about 42 seconds later everybody finally had a M9 out. Give it up for Safety Susie in the Armed Forces.

      • Yes, but general military shooting never ever ever transitions to anything beyond slow. Does not pass Go to the destination of Smooth. Never collects the $200 to fast either. At least for the mass populace that is the US Army.

        • Nope. That looks nothing like a standard M9 qual course, where you do have to draw and shoot at full speed. My last M9 qual took place less than 6 months ago.

          That video looked abnormally slow to me; I think they were simply working through the movements in slow speed to get the mechanics down. Lord knows Marines like to hammer the muscle memory theme…

  2. The only “good” firearms instruction I received while in the service was delivered by civilian (prior service) trainers in Kuwait and Iraq. At the time (2004) the military was spending millions of dollars trying to find prior service vets with combat experience who could teach deploying units.

    Chains of command are so concerned with safety that “live fire training” on a military run range involves occupying a stationary position and shooting pop up targets that appear within a defined area. There’s very little correlation between the skills needed to pass a military qualification range and the skills needed to fight and win in an urban environment.

    • Marines have never used pop up targets for qualification.

      Before anyone gets all riled up about these proposed changes, just remember that there are many different types of skills being taught. There is a lot of value to learning how to shoot on a traditional course. Just like with rifles, you can do a lot to learn fundamentals of marksmanship that way.

      I think a marksmanship course that emphasizes QuickDraw and other combat skills is a good thing but we should also remember that Marines who get to qualify on the pistol a the minority. That’s the bigger problem. There is only so much training time in the year.

    • If they’re that safety conscious have they eliminated live fire over the troops? We had to crawl under wire while machine guns stictched the air above us and explosives were set off every so often to simulate the real deal. Makes for an interesting time.

      • I had a high school math teacher that was a drill sargent in the reserves (and I dated her daughter hahah). One day she came back after her duty weekend, and told us how one of her soldiers couldn’t take the live fire drill and stood up into the machine gun fire overhead and was killed by friendly fire. I think she taught more life lessons than math lessons that year.

        • That sounds like a myth to me. Usually the machine gun fire overhead is designed to be well over the height of a person. The point is to hear what it sounds like, not to risk killing someone that way.

        • When I was in live fire, the DIs were walking around the course. Don’t remember if they actually walked into the field of fire since it’s been over 40 years.

      • The Army still does the “night infiltration course” in Basic JWM. I can’t speak for the Marines.

        They still do live fire. But when they do – it is VERY tightly scripted and controlled. The Squad Assault Course for the infantry is a live fire, fire and movement course.

        Most MOS’ don’t get anything like that, until pre-deployment.

        • We did a full platoon night live fire, complete with movement, at TBS. 2004/2005. We weren’t running like chickens with our heads cut off, finger on trigger and selector switch on 3 round burst.

          I guess for some, that means our drills are scripted and tightly controlled. I think it just made sense.

  3. “Whats the hurry?'” Heck I’m glad live fire training is still mandated in the military. You guys might think that’s a weird outlook on the topic, but ive encountered many an officer and Senior NCO who’d just as soon eliminate qualifying entirely. Much less risk of an injury that looks bad on the Squadron Safety Metric , and with PowerPoint why not just make a 200 slide presentation on pistol training and call it good?

    I wish I were being sarcastic.

  4. This is MORE movement?? Standing totally still shooting at bad guys with a pistol will do you no good if the bad guy shoots you in return.

    • There IS more movement; didn’t you notice it? They conspicuously stood still and looked left and right before they holstered their M9s. In earlier training programs, they just would have stood there.

    • This is clearly not a picture of the qualification. This is taken in Camp Pendleton, California, to judge from the terrain. The story takes place in Quantico, Virginia.

  5. Is this supposed to be a “real-life” training.

    Cuz the guy closest took the camera took 7 seconds to draw aim and fire from the time the commanding officer shouted “Contact.”

    Even most new shooters do it in less than half that time.

    • You have to start somewhere. Crawl before you walk. Walk before you run. Most Marines never get any pistol training, this may be the first time some of them had ever held a pistol.

  6. We were training down in the US for deployment to FRY (Former Republic of Yugoslavia) and our CO had designed a “jungle lane” course with popup target and trenches for us to grenade, to be run in pairs so we could practice proper fire and movement with live rounds. The American Army RSO initially freaked out at the idea of using live bullets and live grenades at the same time, but he eventually chilled out. Then he freaked out again when out CO told him that the first three pairs through the course had all been Reservists seconded to the Regular Army (like me).

    That was some of the best training I’ve ever had – an impending deployment to a warzone is good for focusing the mind on what “safety” really means.

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