Marksmanship training at Parris Island
Every marine is a rifleman, which is why marine recruits go through extensive training with the M-16 A-4 rifles.
Parris Island Combat Marksmanship Instructor Corporal Jack Kessler says after the recruits go through air gun practice, he has to remind them about the basics before using real bullets. "The first thing I like to instill in them is to relax. Be calm, cool, and collected because the marksmanship game is 90% mental" says Kessler.
Marksmanship instructors focus on safety, proper placement of hands, and accuracy during training. Recruits practice with real bullets at a gun range at Parris Island to work on their accuracy and they have to hit the target a certain number of times in order to pass marksmanship training. However once they qualify, recruits aren't done with the rifle range. Instructors say they'll see the range again during the crucible, which is their final test. "At that point, we're there to observe them, not to help. We're evaluating things like: Have they got the training? Can they fix their weapon if their weapon goes down? Do they know how to load? Do they know how to make ready? Do they know how to identify and accurately engage a target?" says Kessler.
The reason every marine is a rifleman is because they never know when they may have to put their marksmanship skills to use. "No matter who you are, no matter what your MOS is, you may be in a fire fight one day. You may be in a situation where you have to use that weapon one day to save your life or the life of someone else" says Kessler.