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Old January 3, 2013, 11:15 PM   #1
MoBart
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ACOG at USMC recruit training/knitial qaulification?

Sadly, I left active duty in 08, I had an ACOG issued and it was great, today I was speaking to a young Marine a coubple months out of recruit training who said that Marine recruits are going through their initial weapons training and qualifications with the ACOG. I was suprised to say the least. To me, teaching a recruit to use the optics to begin with is not teaching them to use the weapon properly, if the sight is damaged or fails and they are not familiar with the irons arent we setting them up for failure? Can anyone confirm or deny that this change has been made?
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Old January 4, 2013, 09:20 AM   #2
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Every Marine I have ever seen with a rifle (not on a drill team) on it had an ACOG on it as far back as 2007. I talked to one of the Lance Corporals and he told me that they were required to shoot both optics and irons to complete basic. That was in 2008.
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Old January 4, 2013, 11:38 AM   #3
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Interesting to hear! I wish I had been able to qualify with the ACOG.

I'm Army, and we used optics (not ACOGs) only once during basic, and it was for familiarization, not qualification.

Heck, I've only even seen my unit train and qualify with ACOGs immediately before a deployment. Otherwise it's all iron sites for us.
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Old January 4, 2013, 11:44 AM   #4
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In basic in the Army we qualified with irons on worn out M-16A2s and assorted "frankegun" M-16s, like old A1s with A2 handguards and such.

In AIT, we started training with various optics, mainly the M-68 CCG, but some work with the ACOG.

We got the option to be issued either an M-68 or ACOG when we went downrange. I took the ACOG because I don't see that well.

I understand the need to train with iron sights, and feel it should be part of the curriciculum, but, especially with the limited training time and funds marksmanship gets, I would rather my new Soldiers trained with the weapon system they will actually employ down range.

Course, if I had it my way, you would have to shoot expert with the M-16A4 to make PFC and hold atleast a Sharpshooter qual to promote beyond E-4. And I would bring back 500 yard targets in basic for everybody, even the girls at Ft. Jackson.
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Old January 4, 2013, 02:02 PM   #5
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Course, if I had it my way, you would have to shoot expert with the M-16A4 to make PFC and hold atleast a Sharpshooter qual to promote beyond E-4.
And if my job is to fly an attack helicopter and engage targets with a 30 mm gun using my helmet mounted sight, how does this help me?
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Old January 4, 2013, 02:07 PM   #6
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And if my job is to fly an attack helicopter and engage targets with a 30 mm gun using my helmet mounted sight, how does this help me?
You still won't get promoted to E-4.
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Old January 4, 2013, 04:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by btmj
And if my job is to fly an attack helicopter and engage targets with a 30 mm gun using my helmet mounted sight, how does this help me?
In that regard, I am shameless of my ripoff of the Marines and thier mantra of every Marine a rifleman and every Marine officer a rifle platoon leader.

My corollary to that would be Soldier first, MOS second. And, in my opinion, a Soldier should be able to shoot. Whether you're an 11B in the 75th or an X-Ray technician at Walter Reed.
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Old January 4, 2013, 04:22 PM   #8
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I am about three weeks from hitting my 12 year mark in the Corps and there has been an 03 in front of my MOS for every bit of it....

The only guys I've ever heard say "Every Marine is a rifleman" were not from the infantry.

I would like to see them stick with iron sights in bootcamp, getting hits in the black from the 500 yard line with irons is a tremendous confidence booster for recruits.
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Old January 4, 2013, 04:27 PM   #9
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In the interest of full disclosure, I am not an 11B. I'm a 19D, but during my tour everything we did was either dismounted or mounted on Humvees. Not too different than an infantryman.

I still think that sentiment is something that needs to be DOD wide, atleast for the USMC and the USA.
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Old January 4, 2013, 05:11 PM   #10
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I still think that sentiment is something that needs to be DOD wide, at least for the USMC and the USA.
I agree definitely agree with you on this, but it just never seems to work out. Too many people in the service shoot once a year, whether or not they need it. Basic familiarity seems to be acceptable for those who don't carry their weapon for a living.

To be honest though, I'd rather have the guys making sure I get paid twice a month working on processing paperwork then shooting every week
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Old January 5, 2013, 12:27 AM   #11
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EVERY Marine is trained as an rifleman no matter what MOS you are. When i was in the Coprs they did not have ACOG's. We did have to qualify out to 500meters and learn how to shoot and shoot well. My concern with an ACOG is what happens when the battery dies or it gets damaged. What then?
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Old January 5, 2013, 12:52 AM   #12
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The ACOG doesn't have a battery. I have knocked more than one out of zero through every day use (So I very much agree that Irons need to be taught). Yes, every Marine is trained as a rifleman, but how many sustain that training? When I see Marines on the range that cannot clear a type 3 malfunction, or zero their rifle without massive amounts of assistance I quickly lose faith in the "Every Marine a Rifleman" mantra. When my muscle memory from thousands of repetitions through proper training take over and I and drop to a knee and clear a type 3 malfunction, and have some block NCO tell me that I need to ask for assistance to clear it during my annual qual, I lose faith in that mantra. Even funnier when I have as many rockers as this guy does stripes..... Every Marine recieves two weeks of marksmanship training. If their unit does not have the budget or the time to train them past this, they will never learn anything other then target shooting. Table III, or whatever it is that they call it these days was modeled after the SOTG CQB qual, except they doubled all of the time limits and added a tremendous pelvis target. While every Marine quals annually, not every Marine is truly proficient with their weapon. Furthermore, up until two years ago, if your TO weapon didn't fall in line with what the USMC said it should be for annual quals, you were qualifying with something different. When I put 400 rounds per day for a full summer through a MEUSOC .45, but had to go to the pistol range with an M9, which I would never have had to carry, there is a serious issue with the program. Granted it has started to get fixed, but it is far from perfect.

Last edited by Rob228; January 5, 2013 at 01:06 AM.
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Old January 5, 2013, 07:43 AM   #13
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My time in the Marines in late 50s we had M1 rifles. Iron sights only and we qualified out to 500 yards, not meters.
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Old January 6, 2013, 09:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Course, if I had it my way, you would have to shoot expert with the M-16A4 to make PFC and hold atleast a Sharpshooter qual to promote beyond E-4.
And if my job is to fly an attack helicopter and engage targets with a 30 mm gun using my helmet mounted sight, how does this help me?
I noticed that sometimes those beasts go down and if the crew survives they become foot soldiers.
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Old January 6, 2013, 09:31 PM   #15
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Also, I've never seen a PFC flying a Chinook or Apache.

Something that was pounded into my head is that Soldiers fight, Leaders lead.

That's why my cutoff for Expert was E-4. SPC/CPL and higher get into the leading end of the spectrum.
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Old January 6, 2013, 11:23 PM   #16
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I should have looked up "E4" before I opened my big fat mouth. Most of my experience with Marines is with officers, aviators in particular. An F/A-18 pilot has training schedule that is so completely filled, there is barely enough time between deployments to get it all in. I can't see expecting Capt Butch or Major Fred finding time to maintain a high level of proficiency with an M4. Basic familiarity, perhaps yes. But not anything more than a couple of hours a year.

But an E4... sure, I can buy that. If you guys say the 500 meter targets are a reasonable requirement for a Lance Corporal, I believe you.
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Old January 7, 2013, 11:58 AM   #17
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I've read old accounts of Marines that were given cash incentives and three day passes for doing well in civillian shooting competitions.

I would like for that sense of competition to be prevalent again across the U.S. military. Heck, the U.S. uniformed services as a whole.

Wouldn't it be cool for NOAA to field a rifle team at Camp Perry?

Furthermore, I would like to see the senior leadership of the military, especially the Sergeant Major of the Army and the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corp take a more active role in evaluating warrior training and marksmanship for junior enlisted. Or atleast spend less time telling me what running shoes aren't appropiate to wear with my PT uniform.

To continue this marry fantasy, whereas officers don't always fight with a rifle or carbine, I think instituting competitions concernings speed and accuracy in land nav, arty, mortar and close air support coordination would be cool to have for the guys with braid on thier cuffs.
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Old January 7, 2013, 01:09 PM   #18
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Supposedly between the wars the army paid a kind of pro-pay for high marksmanship scores but because of tight budgets, it was not always paid.
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Old January 7, 2013, 01:26 PM   #19
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Optics....? My issued M-14 had the wonderful iron sights that came from the factory, but the 3"50 gun mount I worked on was real high tech - I had the Local Anti Aircraft Gun position, and my sight was an iron spiderweb similar to WWII sights...
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Old January 7, 2013, 02:00 PM   #20
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You kids today with your optical sights and your fifty-'leven uniforms and your frequency hopping radios and...

sigh.

I always said that, in the exceedingly unlikely event that I became Sergeant Major of the Army, I would redo the marksmanship standards so that everyone qualified twice a year, once on the "combat" range with pop-ups at random distances, and once on a USMC-style KD range. Optics issued on the pop-up range, irons only on the KD, since it is testing pure marksmanship.

I would also have emulated the Swiss, with lower enlisted and Junior NCOs getting cash incentives for marksmanship; senior NCOs and officers would be fined for failing.

I would also have encouraged the Army to allow deployment with privately owned sidearms (as long as they came from an "approved list", a la practice at many if not most police departments) as long as the service member qualified with that sidearm--ammo purchased by the service member. (Again, from an "approved list", alas, can't have Joe using hollow points to kill tangos...)
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Old January 7, 2013, 03:32 PM   #21
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It's a little hard to see, but here's a pic of my son with his ACOG-equipped M4 and his preferred weapon... the M240H. Taken a couple of weeks ago in Afghanistan.

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Old January 7, 2013, 03:47 PM   #22
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I have a similiar photo of my son carrying an M4 (I think they had to carry them everywhere), only his M240 was mounted on the loader's hatch on a tank. Since he was a tanker, they originally all had pistols but they turned them in sometime during their deployment. I guess they figured they were useless or something.

You may also recall the army's designated marksman program, which included liberal distribution of such goodies as .50 caliber rifles. Even tank units received them but again, they apparently thought they were useless in their role and I can understand why. The army definately has no weapon shortages. Some units even deployed with weapons that were never taken out of the shipping containers.
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Old January 7, 2013, 03:57 PM   #23
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yeah, the designated marksman program was great if you unit T&OE called for it.

Being a Cav Unit, who were expected to stem the red hoarde at the Fulda Gao with a barrage of TOW missiles, we were, at the individual platoon level, were not deemed worthy of such goodies.

However, our Headquarters Troop was liberally so equipped with M-16A4s with nice optics and M-14s with nice optics.


Thankfully our Troop Commander understood the mission and allowed for them to be issued out to the Platoons, but only on a one per basis.

A Squad Designated Marksman would have been nice.
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Old January 7, 2013, 04:09 PM   #24
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The army definately has no weapon shortages. Some units even deployed with weapons that were never taken out of the shipping containers.
Having extra weapons in a war can be a useful thing.
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Old January 7, 2013, 04:32 PM   #25
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I haven't seen an Army M4 or M16 in the last seven years that didn't have an ACOG or CCO on it, but I believe basic training BRM qualification is still done first with iron sights, at least it was for me.
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