Marines learn fundamentals of marksmanship coaching
CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa, Japan -- "One shot, one kill" and "Every Marine a rifleman" are two mantras that exemplify Marines' history as sharpshooters, but before they can become exceptional marksmen, they must be trained.
To train future weapons experts, groups of Marines head to the classroom and learn to teach fundamentals of rifle and pistol marksmanship.
Approximately 40 Marines attended a rifle and pistol coaches course Oct. 15-26 to become certified as marksmanship coaches through classroom instruction and practical application. Following the rifle and pistol coaches course, the students were scheduled to attend a combat marksmanship course.
"We are teaching future coaches the necessary skills, so they will be able to instruct future students," said Sgt. Ethan D. Hutchman, a range warden with Headquarters Battery, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
Classes during the course included ballistics, combat optics, methods of target engagement and range estimations.
"We conduct these courses whenever a unit needs new coaches or instructors," said Hutchman. "Because of the quality of the education we are providing today in these classes, more units will be able to depend on a greater number of qualified individuals to teach Marines marksmanship skills throughout the Corps."
Since weapons handling and marksmanship are critical skills throughout the Marine Corps, instructors and coaches must be well-trained to ensure Marines receive the correct guidance on the rifle and pistol ranges.
"You ultimately learn the fundamentals of the rifle and pistol during this course," said Lance Cpl. Travis J. Stevens, a rifle range block noncommissioned officer with range control, III MEF Headquarters Group, III MEF. "It is very important that these future coaches master the skills we are teaching. Without these skills, the Marine Corps would not be what it is."
The rifle and pistol coaches course is critical training and not only teaches Marines how to be qualified instructors, but also gives them in-depth training on the fundamentals of marksmanship.
"I am advancing my marksmanship skills and learning a lot of new things," said Lance Cpl. Trevon E. Brown, a student in the course and supply warehouse clerk with Combat Logistics Regiment 35, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III MEF. "I have been trying for a very long time to become a coach. I want my students to be the best shooters they can be and to pass my knowledge to them."