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Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego

Company M practice Marksmanship

By Lance Cpl. Crystal J. Druery | | May 31, 2012

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Cpl. Jamison Mersino, Primary Marksmanship Instructor, assists Company M recruits May 15 aboard Edson Range, Weapons and Field Training Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendelton. During the fifth week of recruit training, PMI's taugh Co. M the basic fundamentals of Marine Corps marksmenship. The PMI's then follow the recruits to firing week to make sure the recruits understand how to properly shoot.

Cpl. Jamison Mersino, Primary Marksmanship Instructor, assists Company M recruits May 15 aboard Edson Range, Weapons and Field Training Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendelton. During the fifth week of recruit training, PMI's taugh Co. M the basic fundamentals of Marine Corps marksmenship. The PMI's then follow the recruits to firing week to make sure the recruits understand how to properly shoot. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Crystal Druery)


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Cpl. Jamison Mersino, Primary Marksmanship Instructor, assists Company M recruits May 15 aboard Edson Range, Weapons and Field Training Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendelton. Co. M was taught the basic fundamentals of Marine Corps marksmenship. They were able to practice these fundamentals in the Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer. This gave them a chance to see how they shoot before using a live service rifle.

Cpl. Jamison Mersino, Primary Marksmanship Instructor, assists Company M recruits May 15 aboard Edson Range, Weapons and Field Training Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendelton. Co. M was taught the basic fundamentals of Marine Corps marksmenship. They were able to practice these fundamentals in the Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer. This gave them a chance to see how they shoot before using a live service rifle. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Crystal J. Druery)


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San Diego, Calif. --

As recruits load their simulated M16-A4 service rifle, a Primary Marksmanship Instructor tells them to shoot when their target appears.

 Company M practiced basic marksmanship skills in the Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer May 15 aboard Edson Range, Weapons and Field Training Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.

            During week five of recruit training, Marine Corps marksmanship is taught to the recruits. They learn the different positions they will shoot in, arm placements and various knowledge that will help them when they shoot for score next week.

            “What I’ve gained so far this week is how to hold the weapon correctly and the natural point of aim,” said Recruit Micheal Mitchell, Platoon 3269, Co. M, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion.

            For recruits like Mitchell, the PMI’s and drill instructors help correct any bad habits the recruits might have from shooting before of the Marine Corps. Recruits’ trying to apply their old bad habits is one of the biggest obstacles PMI’s have to overcome.

            “I believe I had a lot of bad habits,” said Mitchell, “But with the PMI’s help I think I’ll do well next week when we shoot.”

            The recruits also get a chance to practice shooting in the ISMT. This helps them see how they will shoot when it comes time next week. The ISMT also give the PMI’s a chance to correct anything wrong they see the recruits doing prior to them shooting a live weapon.

            “We want them to truly understand what they’re doing,” said Sgt. Nick Balthazor, Chief PMI, Edson Range, WFTBn., MCB Camp Pendleton.

            While drill instructors are with their recruits for three months, PMI’s only have a week prior to shooting to build rapport with the recruits. To ensure recruits are focused and learning the Marine Corps standards of shooting, the drill instructors aren’t present during the classes.

            “We make sure to go back over the knowledge they learn about marksmanship later when we get back to the squad bays,” said Sgt. Micheal Sedlak, Plt. 3269, Co. M, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion. “The recruits are able to practice positions with us and ask any questions that they don’t understand.”

            After the week is complete, Co M recruits should have a good understanding of Marine Corps Marksmanship. They should also feel comfortable enough to shoot the weapon the correct way. The PMI’s they worked with all week follows them over to the range during week six.

            “It puts a lot of confidence in them to see that I’m still there and I can answer any questions they might have,” said Cpl. Cory Winslow, PMI, Edson Range, WFTBn., MCB Camp Pendleton.

            Recruits have four days to practice shooting down range during firing week. On Friday, they shoot for score. This score will carry over with them into the Marine Corps. Every Marine is a rifleman and the fundamentals start at recruit training for Marines.

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7 Comments


  • Bill coleman 44 days ago
    i qualified at boot camp with a 238 score...and had my expert badge pinned on that day by the WTB commander..still got the pics..also received a rifle marksmanship award from the leatherneck magazine proudly displayed on my wall..
  • Nancy Inge Baker 97 days ago
    The Marines work very hard at achieving their very best.
  • Nancy Inge Baker 97 days ago
    Congratulations to the new Marines.
  • Thomas L Driscoll 269 days ago
    we all have alot of stories about our time at the range. i never forgot "snapping in". after six yrs. in the Corps, i was discharged. my first civilian job came with a three yr. enlistment with the Nat. Guard as my boss was the 1st sgt. i was a plt.sgt. and " my soldiers" could not qualify with their m16"s. i painted a 55 gal drum and had them snap in every chance i had. at the following summer camp,every one of my soldiers qualifed! they couldn't believe they had done it and attributed it all to their "snapping in"! God Bless the United States Marine Corps. Sgt. T.l.DriscolL PLT. 1003 April 1966
  • Major Keith Simon, USMC Ret 290 days ago
    Shooting a perfect 250 is an amazing achievement no matter what the weapon. My personal best was a 236. But I only went to the range 4 times.
  • Hubert H Hatchett Jr 309 days ago
    CONTINUING WITH MY TIME AT THE RANGE,WE FIRED OTHER WEAPONS FOR FAMILIARZATION,I.E, THE CARBINE,45CAL PISTOL AND THE 22 CAL PISTOL AND RIFLE.IN 1963 I WAS ISSUED THE M-14 AT WHICH I HAD 3 WEEKS TO QUALIFY WITH AND OF COURSE THE WEAPON I TOOK INTO NAM 1965,ALTHOUGH MY T.O. WEAPON WAS THE 45 CAL OR 38 CAL DEPENDING ON MY PARTICULAR ASSIGNMENT IN THE MILITARY POLICE,I WAS FORTUNATE TO BE AN EXPERT WITH ALL OF MY WEAPONS.GOOD LUCK AND SEMPER FI TO TODAYS MARINES.
  • Hubert H Hatchett Jr 309 days ago
    I FIND THIS PART OF BASIC TRAINING AMAZING AND REALLY ASTONISHED.I WENT THRU MCRD SD 1959 AND SPENT 4 WEEKS AT THE RIFLE RANGE,WE HAD 2 WEEKS OF ORAL INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE EVER TOUCHING THE WEAPON ON THE FIRING LINE.QUALIFYING WAS PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT STAGE OF OUR TRAINING STRESSED BY OUR DI's SOME GUYS WERE SET BACK IN THEIR TRAINING IF THEY MIS-QUALIFIED(BELOW 190).OUR DRILL INSTRUCTORS WERE VERY RELAXED DOING OUR TIME AT THE RANGE AND OFFERED THEIR ASSISTANCE WITH ANYONE WHO COULDNT GET THEIR DOPE TOGETHER ON THE OLD TRUSTED M1.I GUESS THE M16 IS A LESS COMPLICATED WEAPON IF IT ONLY TAKE 2 WEEKS TO MASTER IT.IT TOOK ME 7YEARS TO SHOOT A PERFECT 250

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