MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Students at the Combat Marksmanship Coach Course began their training at the Combat Center rifle range Wednesday. The Marines are training with the Marksmanship Training Unit to become marksmanship coaches.
“For the next three weeks, these Marines have to eat, sleep and breathe marksmanship,” said Cpl. Troy Fix, chief instructor, marksmanship training unit. “After they graduate, it is going to be their job to go back to their units and train those Marines on how to be better marksman.”
To earn a seat in the course, Marines must complete a student screening checklist and must have scored at least a marksman score on their most recent rifle range qualification.
In order to graduate the course, Marines must score a sharpshooter score or higher with the rifle, at least a marksman with the pistol, pass two of the three written examinations and they cannot miss more than two days of training.
Those who graduate from the course receive an additional Military Occupational Specialty as a combat marksmanship coach. The coaches train students in the basic knowledge and fundamentals of proper marksmanship coaching and instruction. The students also face written examinations, practical application exercises, physical and live-fire training with both a rifle and pistol.
“This course isn’t for competition shooting,” said Cpl. Erik Witt, instructor, MTU. “Everything they do here relates back to combat. They must be able to perform in combat situations and be able to teach other Marines what they are learning during this course.”
Once Marines have completed the coach’s course, there is a follow-on course they can participate in. The second course will certify the Marines as combat marksmanship trainers.