Photo Information

Guard Marines from Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., shoot M4 service rifles during a training exercise at Range 5, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., June 10, 2015. 1st platoon, Guard Company, traveled to Quantico, Va., to increase overall marksmanship with the M9 service pistol, the M4 service rifle and M1014 shotgun. “By the time these Marines leave Guard Company we are hoping that they have mastered the fundamentals of marksmanship,” said Capt. Greg Jurschak, 1st platoon commander, Guard Co. “We also want to hone their decision making and judgment skills. It’s not only having good fundamentals it is knowing the right place, the right time and the right reason to actually employ their weapons.”

Photo by Cpl. Christian Varney

Crawl, Walk, Run: Guard Marines hone marksmanship skills

11 Jun 2015 | Cpl Christian Varney Marine Barracks

In the heart of the nation’s capital, southeast D.C., there are Marines that have a special assignment unlike any other. These Marines are specifically trained and equipped to analyze and address any potential threats that intend to cause harm to the Marine Barracks or its’ visitors, they are the infantry Marines of Guard Company.

Due to the unique location and duties of the Barracks, the Guard Company Marines tirelessly train with and master their weapon systems.

On June 10, 2015, 1st platoon, Guard Company, Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., traveled to Range 5 in Quantico, Va., to increase overall marksmanship with the M9 service pistol, the M4 service rifle and M1014 shotgun.

“We are giving these Marines many tools in the toolbox to handle various threats they might face,” said Capt. Greg Jurschak, 1st platoon commander, Guard Co. “It’s not as simple as being on the battlefield where the enemy is clearly defined.”

Guard Co. is continuously training at the Barracks, clearing the building, dry firing in the Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer or studying their standard operating procedures. But at the range, they are able to put rounds on target in a crawl, walk, run training progression.

The first thing the Marines did at the range was slow fire 15 rounds in 10 minutes with their M9s. After three evolutions of the slow fire, the Marines practiced their controlled pairs and hammer pairs, firing two shots in succession at the target. After demonstrating proficiency during the static training the Marines moved on to more complex and dynamic drills.

To advance the training the Marines donned their full combat load and continued training with the M9 while incorporating the M4 into the dynamic drills.

We are doing transition drills from the M4 to the M9, pivot drills and reloading drills in order effectively put rounds on target, said Cpl. Jacob Linton, second section leader, 1st platoon.

After the drills were complete, the Marines split into two groups. The first group moved to a separate shotgun range, the other stayed and continued M9 and M4 marksmanship.

The Marines conducting shotgun training maneuvered through a range with various obstacles and targets focusing on movement and reload drills. This training was done in three stages the first being a walkthrough in order to familiarize themselves with the course of fire, they then jogged and finally ran through the course simulating a more realistic scenario.   

At the end of the day the Marines walked away being more equipped with the necessary skillsets to ensure mission readiness. Many of these Marines will spend a year protecting the Corps’ Oldest Post before transitioning to follow on security forces billets.

“By the time these Marines leave Guard Company we are hoping that they have mastered the fundamentals of marksmanship,” said Jurschak. “We also want to hone their decision making and judgment skills. It’s not only having good fundamentals it’s knowing the right place, the right time and the right reason to actually employ their weapons.”