Marine Corps Combat Marksmanship Coaching and Trainers Course
by U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Alexandria Nowell
Marines uphold the fundamental aspect of “Every Marine a
rifleman” by ensuring considerable time and resources are invested
into training every Marine in marksmanship, regardless of their
military occupational specialty. Combat Marksmanship Coaches are the
Marines who help make this happen.
U.S. Marines throughout
Marine Corps Installations Pacific-Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley
Butler, and III Marine Expeditionary Force participated in a Marine
Corps Combat Marksmanship Coach and Trainers course from Oct. 28 to
Nov. 7, 2019 at Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan.
completed a three-week, intensive program that included classes
spanning eight to ten hours per day to prepare the future coaches
that will return to the fleet and train Marines from not only III
MEF, but across the world.
Week one consisted of daily
classroom instruction where students learned marksmanship
fundamentals and tools for being a successful coach. The curriculum
included range safety, ballistics, proper range behavior, and time
in the Individual Simulated Marksmanship Training (ISMT) center.
U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Vincent Benavente, a combat marksmanship trainer, instructs Marines during the Combat Marksmanship Coaching (CMC) course on Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan, Oct. 29, 2019. The CMC course develops Marines to be proficient marksmanship coaches in order to enhance combat effectiveness of the Marine Corps. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Alexandria Nowell)
“On week one, you’re going to feel like it is very repetitive,
but you need to know it. That’s how you learn,” said U.S. Marine
Corps Lance Cpl. Francis Flood IV, a towed artillery systems
mechanic with Ordinance Maintenance Company, 3rd Maintenance
Battalion, 3rd Marine Division. “If you don’t know what you’re
doing, you can’t help another person shoot.”
are taught all the knowledge in week one that they will need to
coach effectively on a live-fire range.
“The most difficult
part of the course was learning everything verbatim,” said U.S.
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Ronaldo Meza, a native of Fresno,
California, and a military police officer with Alpha Company, 3rd
Law Enforcement Battalion, III MEF. “We learn our little secrets in
boot camp on how to remember certain things but they don’t accept
that here, you have to have the answers word for word. As a coach,
you run that range so if you don’t know, how are you going to teach
CMC course students are required to qualify
on the pistol range, every table of the rifle range, and a specific
“There is roughly 26 hours of lecture
and 27 hours of practical application that goes into it before the
students even go onto the ranges,” said U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery
Sgt. Jimmy Joyner, combat marksmanship school staff noncommissioned
officer in charge.
On week two, Marines conducted practical
application. They applied classroom knowledge to real-life scenarios
on the range. The students shadowed their instructors for seven
hours in the morning. In the afternoon, the students were required
to qualify on the pistol range.
U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Angel Jaramillo, a native from Goldsborough, North Carolina and a combat marksmanship trainer, teaches hand and arm signals during the Combat Marksmanship Coaching (CMC) course on Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan, Oct. 29, 2019. The CMC course develops Marines to be proficient marksmanship coaches in order to enhance combat effectiveness of the Marine Corps. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Alexandria Nowell)
“Monday, we showed up early
and did some coaching. Basically shadowing the coaches for the rifle
range. I got to learn a few interesting things from the coaches that
we wouldn’t have actually learned in the course itself, like from
actual hands-on experience,” said U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Caleb
Roberts, a machine gunner with Truck Company, Headquarters
Battalion, 3rd MARDIV and the CMC course honor graduate. “The
coaches themselves were able to give us some tips that they wish
they had known before they started coaching,” said Roberts, a
Ridgecrest, California native.
Week three was the final week.
Students were evaluated on all of the technical and practical
knowledge taught throughout the course. The Marines were required to
qualify on ranges with known and unknown distances, both day and
night. The students were evaluated on their coaching abilities,
correcting improper finger placement, breathing strategies, and
U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. David Millwood, right, from 9th Engineer Support Battalion, corrects Sgt. Roman Acuna Jr., a combat marksmanship trainer, on weapon placement during a practical application test on the Combat Marksmanship Coaching (CMC) course on Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan, Oct. 29, 2019. The CMC course develops Marines to be proficient marksmanship coaches in order to enhance combat effectiveness of the Marine Corps. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Alexandria Nowell)
“I know that my MOS helped me out a lot
because I knew most of the fundamentals to do with the firing
portion of it. The amount that I learned from being in this course
is surprising to me,” said Roberts. “I’m excited to be able to tell
myself every night that I have helped the Marine Corps be a little
more lethal than it was before.”
According to Joyner, the
combat marksmanship school in Okinawa hosts nine different CMC
courses each year for units across MCB Camp Butler and III MEF. The
mission of the school is to improve the lethality of III MEF, and
return to the Marine Corps combat effective Marines who have the
ability to fight at a moment’s notice.
The U.S. Marines |
Marines - The Few, The Proud |
Our Valiant Troops |
Citizens Like Us
U.S. Marines Gifts |
U.S. Marine Corps |
Department of Defense