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Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego

Recruits learn basic marksmanship skills

By Lance Cpl. Jericho Crutcher | Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego | November 01, 2013


“Every Marine is a rifleman” is a popular saying in the Corps and recruits get their shot at marksmanship training during second phase of boot camp.

Recruits of Company H, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, were taught marksmanship fundamentals to be a rifleman during grass week at Edson Range, Oct. 15.

The purpose of grass week is to teach recruits the basic fundamentals on how to properly operate their M16-A4 service rifle.

“Every Marine has to be a trained rifleman to be combat efficient,” said Cpl. Eric A. Rauzi, a Primary Marksman Instructor, Weapons and Field Training Battalion. “You have to know how to operate your weapon so all of the basic fundamentals are taught through recruit training.”

Each platoon from Co. H was assigned a Primary Marksman Instructor.  PMIs are experts on how to properly sight in on targets and fire the rifle. Their jobs are to educate and coach recruits to become qualified riflemen. Recruits not only learned how to properly use the M16-A4 service rifle, but know the mechanical functions that make the rifle operational. 

It’s important to make sure all recruits are trained to be well rounded warriors, especially with their rifle, because every Marine is a trained marksman, explained Rauzi, a 25-year-old Gillespie, Ill. native.

Some of the different marksman fundamentals recruits are taught during grass week are: sight picture, trigger control, breathing control, sight alignment and natural point of aim. These are the basic fundamentals needed for recruits to qualify on their rifle range test.

Recruits sat in a classroom where the PMI gave them instructions on how to properly perform each technique. Then, recruits practiced by making a half circle and sighted their rifles in on a barrel placed in the center. Recruits spent several hours in the sitting, kneeling, and prone firing positions, adjusting to each position using the proper fundamentals. 

PMIs made adjustments to each recruits position if they needed it during grass week so that during qualification week they will be ready to go in each position.

Recruits were taught how to operate their weapons, but just as importantly, are also taught how to fix their weapons in case of malfunctions or jams by performing corrective procedures called tap, rack, bang.

During week six, recruits will be at the rifle range where they will take everything they’ve learned and attempt to qualify as a rifleman.

“Marines must know how to properly use their weapons simply because you have to be combat efficient for deployments,” said Recruit Martin Cazares, Platoon 2165. “After our training, if we are sent to the field, we will then know how to fully operate, disassemble and reassemble our rifles.”

Every Marine is a rifleman, and every Marine should be able to complete their mission while on combat deployments along with keeping their fellow Marines alive, explained Cazarez, an 18-year-old El Paso, Texas native.


  • 1985Marine 354 days ago
    Is there any pictures with this article? My son is in this Plt. Just asking
  • MnLare 355 days ago

    What's Edson Range record these days?

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