SAN DIEGO (10/11/2012) - Recruits of Company F, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, listened attentively to lessons on how to fire their weapon during Grass Week on Edson Range aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Oct. 2.
Sgt. Ryan Salinas, primary marksmanship instructor, Weapons Company, Weapons and Field Training Battalion, demonstrates the kneeling position to the recruits of Company F, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, Oct. 2, 2012 at Edson Range aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Grass Week is dedicated to teaching the fundamentals of marksmanship and allows recruits to become comfortable with the weapon. Photo by USMC Lance Cpl. Bridget Keane
When recruits arrive at Edson Range, they attend a week-long schedule that pertains to the fundamentals of marksmanship. During that time, learning to fire a weapon is broken down into a series of classes and practical applications. They spend a majority of the day with a Marine who is skilled in marksmanship, known as a primary marksmanship instructor, whose job is to ensure recruits grasp the concept of how to operate the weapon.
“Grass Week allows recruits to build a solid understanding of what is expected of them,” said Sgt. Ryan Salinas, primary marksmanship instructor, Weapons Company, Weapons and Field Training Battalion. “We want them to be comfortable and use this time to ask questions, practice different positions and learn how to properly handle a weapon before they get to the firing line.”
Recruits lined up in the bleachers and sat down as Salinas began to explain one of the three firing positions. Recruits will go through the same course of fire that Marines do when qualifying every year, which requires them to shoot in four positions.
Once the PMI complete his instruction in the classroom, recruits move to a grassy area surrounding a white drum with targets painted on it.
They then spent the next several hours “snapping in”, which allowed them to find which shooting position was more comfortable for them, as well as applying the fundamentals they've learned.
The PMI walked around and corrected recruits on their positions and helped them find more comfortable positions.
Although becoming comfortable with the positions is important, other lessons such as the effects of weather and shot delivery process are just as important, according to Salinas, a 27-year-old Helotes, Texas native.
“Basically, we need them to completely understand the fundamentals before they actually apply them,” said Salinas.
Later in the week, recruits were able to apply the fundamentals through the Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer. The ISMT is a simulated course of fire that allows recruits to fire from the different yard lines, shoot in the different positions, and become familiar with the firing commands.
“All this practicing makes us more comfortable with the positions, commands and overall feel of the weapon,” said Recruit Brandon Tveit, Platoon 2130, Co. F.
For some recruits, this is the first time they've fired a rifle so learning the fundamentals might be overwhelming, according to Tveit, an 18-year-old Poulsbo, Wash. Native.
“It's very important that we learn everything about the weapon in order to master it,” said Tveit. “Everything is laid out for us step-by-step, so I feel pretty confident with what I'm being taught.”
By USMC Lance Cpl. Bridget Keane
Provided through DVIDS
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