MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
The rifle qualifications for the Marine Corps consist of four courses of fire. Marines from Headquarters Battalion recently tried their hands at the Table 3 course.
During basic training, Marines complete the first two tables of fire. Table 3 is designed to challenge the Marines already proficient with their rifles with a more advanced course of fire to further extend their knowledge of combat marksmanship, according to Marine Corps Order 3574.2, and Marine Corps Reference Publication 3-01a.
Table 3 begins with the “firing while maneuvering” stage. Participants begin at the 25-yard line and fire two controlled shots while moving to the 15-yard line. There, they wait for the coach’s command to cease fire.
The next segment is another fire while maneuvering exercise, this time moving from the 15-yard line to the 10.
At the 10-yard line, the participants are told to face left, look at their target, pivot back right and fire a “failure to stop drill,” which consists of three shots, two to the chest and one to the head or pelvis. They then repeat the movements, only this time firing a “hammer pair,” or two quickly-performed shots. The two drills are repeated with a right-side pivot as well.
After maneuvering from the 10-yard line to the five-yard line while firing a controlled pair, participants complete a final hammer pair and failure to stop drill with a right and left pivot.
The whole course was then repeated after sunset for the night fire segment.
The most recent battalion participating in the course was Headquarters Battalion. However, due to a lack of equipment and training time, the battalion was exempt from the night fire segment.
This is the first time the non-deployable unit has been required to complete Table 3.
“This gives Marines a chance to get familiar with the weapons again,” said Cpl. Chris Jones, a logistics noncommissioned officer at the S4 and a recent participant of the Table 3 course. “The Marines could always get a chance to augment out and deploy.”
Jones not only pointed out the educational value of the range experience, but also explained range training as a duty that comes with being a Marine. “This training is motivating, it’s a part of being a Marine,” he said.
Other Marines in Headquarters Bn. not only saw the training as beneficial, but as a chance to get out of the office and do something new, said Pfc. Amber Carroll, a Co. B clerk. “We need to do the same stuff deployable units do, even though we don’t deploy. We are still Marines.”