Soldiers at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, will begin testing a new combat-weapons qualifying course next month. The soldiers, attached to the 25thInfantry Division, will train in four firing positions. They each will get four 10-round magazines for their weapons, and aim at 40 pop-up targets from four positions – prone supported, prone unsupported, kneeling supported, and standing supported. The Army purposely selected soldiers with different levels of marksmanship skill. They will fire from behind a barricade, and have between eight and 10 seconds to change magazine and positions.
The change is necessary, the Army believes, because old testing protocols do not prepare soldiers for combat adequately.
“The new qualification is more challenging, but a lot more realistic,” said Staff Sgt. Daniel Martin, a senior marksmanship instructor with the Lightning Academy.
Soldiers taking the new test no longer will have instructors telling them when to conduct a magazine exchange, for example.
“The course is helping the Army become more efficient in urban combat scenarios,” Martin said.
Before soldiers move to the marksmanship course, they will take classes on laser bore sight, minute of angle, the zeroing process, the wind, ballistics and position changes – all skills and factors that the Army believes would better replicate situations they would see in combat.