Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
The Army is making marksmanship training harder to prepare soldiers for the two-way firing range
The Army is working to improve its small arms training to better simulate combat by having soldiers engage several targets at once, grab magazines from their pack to reload, and fix weapons malfunctions while on the range, the service recently announced.
"It's exactly what we would do in a combat environment, and I think it's just going to build a much better shooter," Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Fortenberry, the senior enlisted leader at the U.S. Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, tasked with overseeing the Army's efforts to update marksmanship training for the first time in decades.
Starting in October, the Army will begin implementing the new marksmanship training, said Benjamin Garrett, a spokesman for the Army's Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning. By October 2021, all active-duty, National Guard, and reserve soldiers will be required to pass the tougher standards.
Eventually, all soldiers will have to pass the tougher standards for pistol, rifle, and automatic rifle drills, which include having soldiers decide the order in which they shoot at multiple targets, the Army news release says.
"Four targets at a time will present themselves in this new course of fire," Fortenberry said in the news release. "There is a quad series that comes up. How do I engage that?"
Requiring soldiers to grab magazines from their kit, make decisions about which target shoot first, and the other changes to marksmanship training represent a "long, long overdue improvement" in how the Army teaches soldiers how to shoot, said retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert Scales.
"Give the job to a sergeant major [Fortenberry] and he'll figure out how to make it more realistic," said Scales, the senior adviser to the Defense Department's Close Combat Lethality Task Force.
The Army's decision to require soldiers to pass tougher marksmanship standards is also welcome news to retired Army Sgt. Maj. Jeff Mellinger, who served as the senior enlisted leader in Iraq from August 2004 to May 2007.
"It's the kind of training that, frankly, very few units in the Army conduct themselves," Mellinger told Task & Purpose on Monday.
While some Army units require soldiers to practice against moving targets or qualify on the firing range at night, the vast majority do not, Mellinger said.
It's important for soldiers to learn how to quickly engage closer targets – which pose the greatest danger – before slowing down to hit targets farther away, he said.
Mellinger also applauded the Army's plans to force soldiers to get their weapons working if they encounter malfunctions while on the firing range. Even though soldiers are taught how to fix stoppages, they are allowed to call "alibi" if they unable to shoot for whatever reason.
"If your weapon fails to fire and there's a bad guy aiming at you, do you get to throw up the flag and say: Whoa, wait a minute; wait a minute; alibi!" he said. "No. If that target is up for three seconds and you have a stoppage of some sort and you don't take appropriate action to hit the target, it's a miss."
"In a couple units that I have served in, that's how I conducted ranges because you didn't get a second chance when it's a two-way range," he continued.
It has been a deadly year for Green Berets, with every active-duty Special Forces Group losing a valued soldier in Afghanistan or Syria.
A total of 12 members of the Army special operations forces community have died in 2019, according to U.S. Army Special Operations Command. All but one of those soldiers were killed in combat.
In Afghanistan, Army special operators account for 10 of the 17 U.S. troops killed so far this year. Eight of the fallen were Green Berets. Of the other two soldiers, one was attached to the 10th Special Forces Group and the other was a Ranger.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Documents from the Pentagon show that "far more taxpayer funds" were spent by the U.S. military on overnight stays at a Trump resort in Scotland than previously known, two Democratic lawmakers said on Wednesday, as they demanded more evidence from the Defense Department as part of their investigation.
In a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, the heads of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee and one of it subcommittees said that while initial reports indicated that only one U.S. military crew had stayed at President Donald Trump's Turnberry resort southeast of Glasgow, the Pentagon had now turned over data indicating "more than three dozen separate stays" since Trump moved into the White House.
QUANTICO, Va. -- Marines who spend much of their day lifting hefty ammunition or moving pallets full of gear could soon get a helping hand.
The Marine Corps is close to signing a deal to test an exoskeleton prototype that can help a single person move as much as several leathernecks combined.
The Air Force is working on a ‘flying car’ to replace the V-22 Osprey — and it could take flight sooner than you think
'Agility Prime' sounds like a revolutionary new video streaming service, or a parkour-themed workout regimen, or Transformers-inspired niche porno venture.
But no, it's the name of the Air Force's nascent effort to replace the V-22 Osprey with a militarized flying car — and it's set to take off sooner than you think.
Task & Purpose is looking for a dynamic social media editor to join our team.
Our ideal candidate is an enthusiastic self-starter who can handle a variety of tasks without breaking a sweat. He or she will own our brand's social coverage while working full-time alongside our team of journalists and video producers, posting to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (feed, stories, and IGTV), YouTube, and elsewhere.