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                 knowledge the United States Army Drill Sergeant Academy (USADSA) injects into these NCOs
is of paramount importance. Current USADSA programs of instruction provide 56 academic hours for rifle marksmanship. During that time, a Drill Sergeant candidate will fire roughly 600 rounds closely mirroring Fort Jackson’s current basic combat training rifle marksmanship glide path. Notable exceptions include the continued use of
the legacy rifle marksmanship 12 Barricade Shoot and the legacy rifle marksmanship qualification. Other than a brief overview during the Engagement Skills Trainer (EST), candidates are not introduced or given practical application with the new qualification. This must be bridged before a new
DS working with Trainees under the new rifle marksmanship program.
There is also a disparity of teaching and training the NCOs receive in professional education from the Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development System (NCOPDS). While preparing its white paper for rifle marksmanship instructors, Delta Company
spoke with multiple Non-Commissioned Officer Academy (NCOA) instructors and discovered
the vast disparity that Advanced Leader Courses (the schooling requirement to pin on SSG) devote in prioritizingrifle marksmanship. Some courses include 48 hours to rifle marksmanship (11B), while others devote zero hours to it (42A). The result is some NCOs will arrive at USADSA with zero formal rifle marksmanship instruction since basic combat training other than what limited amount their unit provided during annual qualification.
While diverse individual military occupational specialties are essential to broaden an organization and train the new recruits, rifle marksmanship needs to be constant. It is recommended that major, or initial blocks of instruction, be conducted at the company level. This allows a rifle marksmanship expert to present the instruction to the Trainees, and they all hear and learn the same lesson. Following this lesson, the platoon Cadre and
Drill Sergeants can reinforce the lessons learned through practical exercises, additional classroom instruction, or concurrent training. Of course, it is a benefit for the company’s Cadre and Drill Sergeants to attend and participate in this company level instruction. It solidifies the training and ensures all instructors are using the same teaching techniques and language.
Training aids and concurrent training are critical elements of the Trainees’ path to success. The legacy qualification pathway did not require barricades or concurrent training such as magazine changes, workspace manipulation, and position transitions. The new rifle marksmanship pathway requires all these elements right from the initial weapons’ immersion. A single Drill Sergeant
can supervise multiple Trainees conducting the concurrent training either in the company training area or on the range while another firing line is actively shooting. This training instills confidence in the Trainee that they are comfortable with
the weapon, capable of conducting the drills
and engaging multiple targets in both time and space. As mentioned above, it produces a more comfortable and competent shooter. Lastly, ensuring the Trainees have a confirmed and accurate weapon zero is essential. Confirming the Trainees’ group and zero on the LOMAH range (Location of Misses and Hits) can boost a Trainee’s confidence, reduce the time needed to qualify, and save ammunition.
To get there, though, the Drill Sergeants and Cadre need to be confident in their ability to
teach rifle marksmanship and teach it in a manner consistent with his or her peers. The level of instruction cannot fluctuate between platoons
in the company or companies in the Battalion.
One standard of instruction is key to ensuring Trainees not only qualify with their weapon but attain a higher marksmanship qualification on their first firing iteration. To combat different levels of experience and teaching styles, the Battalion created a rifle marksmanship committee. This
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