An interview from a few months ago with the man who re-wrote the US Army’s marksmanship manual is making the rounds again on various forums. One thing that caused discussion is the role that Appleseed played in writing this new training manual. I have my own thoughts on project appleseed that I will save for another time other time.. I’m going to quote it at length below for your reading pleasure and link you to the entire thing if you want to read the entire thing.
“I was on a range with Kyle Defoor around 2009, and I was doing Appleseed at the time. We started talking about what shooters needed to be able to do. He started talking about 4 MOA…which happens to be the Appleseed standard of what they are trying to get you to do.
The Rifleman’s Quarter-Mile
So, if you are able to do that, you can engage a man size target, in theory…without ballistics…you can shoot well enough to engage a man sized target out to 500 yards. That’s what Appleseed talks about…the “rifleman’s quarter-mile.”
So, at Appleseed, they’re getting you
to shoot in different positions with the goal of getting you to that 4
MOA standard…They have a very streamlined way to teach it and will teach
anyone who shows up with a rifle and any type of sights, whatever they
happen to have. They get them from shooting all over the place to
shooting at 4 MOA. So, you go and get taught all the things that you
need to do to shoot well…
So, I went to Korea and then Iraq…where we did the invasion of Iraq. That was the first time I ever started pointing guns at people and actually shooting people.
There, we found out quickly that we couldn’t shoot very well. And that realization started me on a path. I started paying a lot more attention to shooting. At first that just meant applying Army stuff and trying to shoot better. Unfortunately, what I didn’t know at that time was that it was woefully inadequate.
Fast forward to about 2005, I was able to go to one of our division schools for shooting…it was a month-long course called the Mountain Leaders Advanced Rifle Marksmanship Course. (MLARM). I went to that and it was good. It was better that what I had been getting, but it still wasn’t amazing.
From there, I went on to do a deployment as a Squad Designated Marksman. I carried around a M16A4 with an ACOG on it. While I was doing that, there was no training for Squad Designated Marksman. It was just a name that popped up in the Army. There were no books on it or any real information to speak of.
So, during that
deployment, trying to do the shooting that I was doing in this made-up
role, I ended up talking a lot to the sniper section. That’s where I
found a little bit of a problem with Army marksmanship, as well as the
entire Squad Designated Marksman concept.
After that deployment and another deployment, I started shooting a lot more in between those deployments. I started to get a lot better.
And yes, I got into Project Appleseed. I was actually pretty big into that for a while…just trying to shoot better.
I really didn’t know I was chasing, until much later, was I was chasing
better techniques to teach. And it was at Appleseed that I started
getting some ideas.
Well, as time went on, I actually ended up running the Mountain Leaders Advanced Rifle Marksmanship Course. We changed the name from MLARM to “Rifle Marksmanship Instructor Course”. There, we fired 2 million rounds in a three year period teaching about 2,000 students.
It was after that I went to Fort Benning and rewrote the entire Army Marksmanship Manual.“
I am a competitive shooter and Gov Sales Specialist at Knight’s Armament Company. I am also a Retired US Army Senior NCO. My last assignments included serving as the Senior Writer for Small Arms in the Weapons and Gunnery Branch and the US Army Infantry School Marksmanship Program developer at the Maneuver Center of Excellence Fort Benning, Georgia.
Army Schools include US Army Master Marksmanship Trainer Course, Rifle Marksmanship Instructor Course, Urban Combat Leaders Course, Air Assault, Rappelmaster, Senior Leaders Course, Army Basic Instructor course, High Angle Marksmanship Course, and Unit Armorer course…Four combat tours totaling fifty-two months overseas.
So, a lot of what Ash says is something we have been saying here since 2012. No surprise there. It doesn’t take a COMMANDO OPERATOR to know that most of the piss poor performance of the Army’s marksmanship is from. None of us have been to Senior Leaders Assault Urban Rappel Course though, so we might not be able to be trusted about rifle marksmanship fundamentals.
The rest of the Q&A can be found at the link below.