Army institutes new marksmanship training program
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Army institutes new marksmanship training program
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, April 18, 2016) -- The Army is focusing its sights
on honing additional marksmanship skills throughout the force with a new Marksmanship
Master Trainer Course.

The course will be taught by the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning,
Georgia, said Lt. Col. Bret Tecklenburg, commander of the U.S. Army Marksmanship
Unit, or USAMU.

Since fall 2014, several five-week courses have been run at Fort Benning by USAMU,
said Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth Rose, USAMU liaison to MCOE. Rose said 247 Soldiers
from across the Army have graduated since then.

The updated MMTC course -- having been improved upon since its inception -- will begin
its first class April 26; it is also the first pilot course for validation in the Army Training
Requirements and Resources System, known as ATRRS.

The 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry of the 316th Cavalry Brigade at Fort Benning will take
over the Marksmanship Master Trainer Course, or MMTC, this summer. USAMU
Soldiers will continue assisting and overseeing. The five-week MMTC course will train
marksmanship coaches who in turn will train troops across the Army.

Besides that, Rose said an additional skill identifier, or ASI, is being developed by the
Army, "which will allow the commander to be able to see where his marksmanship master
trainers are within his ranks."

MCOE has implemented the marksmanship training methodology from MMTC into the
marksmanship portions of all courses conducted at Fort Benning, Tecklenburg said.

CHANGES TO THE COURSE

Staff Sgt. Marvin Franklin, a member of the Instructor Training Group, or ITG, at USAMU,
teaches Soldiers how to train coaches.

With 15 years in the Army under his belt, he said civilian instructors used to be brought in
to teach advanced coaching techniques. Now, "we no longer need to do that because we
have all that institutional knowledge within the Army" right at Fort Benning.

At USAMU, "we just don't send them back and say 'oh, you're an NCO and we assume
you know how to teach,'" Franklin added. "We give them the tools to teach correctly."

It all boils down to two fundamentals, he added, trigger control and sight alignment.
"Without mastering those two skills first, nothing else will matter."

Rose added that besides teaching the fundamentals, the coach instructors teach public
speaking techniques required for giving classes in front of large groups of Soldiers.

They're critiqued and graded on those classes and they're also required to develop their
own marksmanship training program, "which I think is a huge tool to take back to their
command," he said.

Additionally, the coaches will need to plan and execute a marksmanship program tailored
for their unit's unique needs and follow the commander's intent, he added.

Franklin said "we want to create a critical thinking instructor. Anyone can just go online
and pull up a marksmanship plan. We want someone who can take the guidance their
commander gives them and they can develop a plan that best meets that intent, so it's
not a cookie-cutter program. They'll be the go-to guy."

Tecklenburg said USAMU Soldiers are the subject-matter experts for marksmanship in
the Army and the best qualified to teach marksmanship. "They've won competitions
nationally and internationally and expertise and lessons learned have been incorporated
into marksmanship training for all Soldiers to give them the best training."

That expertise, he said, includes loading ammunition, crafting and perfecting firearms,
participating in marksmanship competitions, teaching marksmanship, and training
Soldiers to teach other Soldiers how to provide marksmanship training in their units.

USAMU Soldiers contribute to doctrine, create training programs, and provide
marksmanship competitions like the U.S. Army Small Arms Championship for all Soldiers
from cadets to experienced warfighters, he pointed out. They also participate in research
and development with the Army Research Lab to produce better ammunition, weapons
and other shooting equipment.

In short, he said, "marksmanship instructors who graduate from MMTC are the key to
teaching the best marksmanship skills to Soldiers because they have the skills to teach
marksmanship to their NCOs who will sustain our force."
Army institutes new marksmanship training program
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