RECRUIT DIARY WEEK 11 – 166 TROOP
1. The first week of Straight Point ranges, our first proper introduction into marksmanship and the application of firing positions and new rifle skills. This culminated with our first Annual Combat Marksmanship Test which the Troop conducted at the end of the week – earlier than normal because of range maintenance next week. This meant we had less time to prepare than most Troops but we worked doubly hard with our “dry drills” and extra sjklhjkujhooting in the week to compensate.
2. The weather throughout the week was perfect – clear blue skies and no wind, optimal conditions for shooting with little requirement to adjust for any deflection (wind). We practised all the firing positions and transitions between each one at ranges from 50m to 400m. Some targets pop up and fall when shot, others are up on hold and some are designed for “snap shooting”.
3. By Saturday we all felt ready for our first ACMT and we subsequently all passed. Over quarter of the Troop passed with a distinguished and elusive grade of Marksman. This means they passed every distance, first time, scoring a total of 85% or more. Many lads just missed this mark and were bitterly disappointed because they won’t get to wear the Marksman badge on their ceremonial dress.
4. On the whole, I think we all found this week very challenging. Hot draining days, with little sleep from intensively practising drills and revising forced us to dig deep. Still, it paid dividends eventually and now we are ready to progress into next week’s Close Combat Shooting. We’ll learn how to rapidly engage targets at different ranges, near and far, applying the various points of aim necessary for each range. Skills like speed-reloading and peripheral vision will eventually become second nature so that by the time we are trained Marines; we can confidently and proficiently react to any engagement that occurs.