CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
There are a number of training events Marines conduct regularly civilians would pay to experience. Marines are paid to engage targets through the Combat Marksmanship Program; an activity recreational shooters can pay up to $200 out of their own pockets.
Marines with Bravo Company, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, fired rounds down range, completing Intermediate Combat Rifle Marksmanship, or Table III, of the Marine Corps Combat Rifle Program aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., April 23, 2014.
Forty-six Marines, firing close to 8,500 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition, completed day and night, live-fire drills to refresh the skills they learned during Marine Combat Training. These abilities include engaging a target using pivot techniques, while moving, at an unknown distance and at night with Target Pointer Aiming Lights.
“It develops their combat skills with their [service rifles],” said Staff Sgt. Kevin G. Sherman II, platoon sergeant, 2nd Platoon, Bravo Co. “It adds on to the known distance training to develop real world combat skills. It’s a critical skill that needs to continue to develop, improve and maintain.”
Classes and safety-briefs were executed prior to the shoot to reinforce the servicemembers’ fundamental knowledge, including weapons handing procedures, corrective actions, firing positions and alignment. Each weapon’s battle-sight-zero was also found to ensure the Rifle Common Optics were accurately adjusted.
According to the CMP Marine Corps Order, the rifle is the primary tool by which an individual Marine obtains dominance over the enemy and neutralizes the effects of enemy weapons. The CRP progresses the individual Marine from the fundamentals of marksmanship to advanced combat shooting by ensuring service standards are reviewed, practiced, and evaluated.
“It’s easy to lose these critical skills,” said Sherman, a native of Memphis, Tenn. “Even though we are not planning for a deployment, we still have to develop ourselves as Marines and this is a great opportunity for us.”
Some of the Marines firing had not conducted the Table III course-of-fire since they graduated from the School of Infantry. The shoot refreshed and built upon the perishable skills they learned during combat training.
“This is only my second time doing Table III,” said Lance Cpl. Brett M. Yepez-O’Boyle, combat engineer, 1st Platoon, Bravo Co. “This is not Table I - it’s very fast and intense. It’s a better representation of a combat situation. If you were patrolling and an enemy appears, you have to take him down fast. You have to put rounds down range and in a quick and orderly fashion,” added the 19-year-old native of Arlington, Va.
After last remaining rounds flashed into the night, the Marines cleared-out their weapons and gear for any remaining rounds or brass. With their marksmanship ship skills sharpened and refreshed, they camped overnight to return to their battalion the following morning.