Combat Marksmanship

The Marine Corps' primary mission is to locate, close with, and destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver, as well as to repel assault by fire and close combat during amphibious assaults and subsequent operations ashore. Combat-ready Marines must be skilled in tactics and highly proficient in the use of firearms. Well-trained Marines have the confidence required to deliver accurate fire under the most adverse of battle conditions. The rifle is the primary weapon used by infantry Marines to accomplish their respective missions.

While attending the School of Infantry (SOI), Marines will undergo combat marksmanship training. This helps Marines transition from fundamental marksmen to proficient combat-marksmen. This training reinforces and improves basic combat-shooting skills and introduces additional techniques and procedures.

During this training, Marines will be required to wear flak jackets (body armor), helmets, and load bearing vests. Marines will fire at distances from 5-25 yards with two scoring rings (head and chest.) These targets vary between stationary and moving targets and Marines must be able to transition between the three shooting positions--kneeling, standing, and prone--and fire with accuracy. Marines will fire a designated amount of rounds at the targets per the direction of their coaches.

After mastering these skills during the day, Marines will be instructed how to use nighttime optics and will be expected to be just as proficient under the cover of darkness.

Added January 21, 2016
Written by a Marine who served USMC '08-'12.
Edited by Collin Hoeferlin.

Image info: MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Cpl. Albert Willis, a combat engineer with Headquarters Company, 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, fires at a target during a Combat Marksmanship Program qualification. Completed annually, this training helps Marines hone in on their skills as riflemen. The CMP shoot allows Marines to gain operate in simulated close-combat engagements which increase speed and accuracy. —Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Damarko Bones. Jan 20, 2016.

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