The 82nd Sustainment Brigade’s 189th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion has taken a new approach to teaching marksmanship skills to its Soldiers.
Lt. Col. Theodore White, the battalion’s commander, tasked his intelligence officer, Capt. Terrance Bruno, to invent a pre-marksmanship inspection course that leaders could use to train Soldiers prior to going to a qualification range.
Bruno was chosen for the task based on his unique experience in the Marines and the Coast Guard. The first eight years of his career was spent in the Marines on a maritime swat team and in the Coast Guard Special Forces, he said. Bruno incorporated the marksmanship techniques he learned into the development of a course more focused on the body’s natural point of aim rather than the controlled breathing technique that is mostly taught throughout the Army.
“I have a lot of shooting experience and (experience) training personnel, so getting the opportunity to do that in the Army is awesome,” said Bruno. “I’m very excited about it.”
Bruno said the Army teaches basic marksmanship to Soldiers as they go through basic training, but units don’t spend a lot of time on the fundamentals.
“Just like anything else, marksmanship is a perishable skill”, he explained.
The three-week course Bruno developed begins in a classroom, where he teaches the fundamentals of shooting and shot-group analysis. Instead of having written evaluations, each student is required to teach the class what they learned to exhibit proper comprehension of the material. Each student also has to qualify on each weapons system. Although hitting the minimum targets to qualify is passing, Bruno said that he always aims for higher.
“My personal goal is always expert”, he said.
During the final week, everything taught in the classroom is put to the test at a series of outdoor ranges. Coaching, retraining and sight adjustments are made as Bruno monitors the students’ progress.
“This is the most in-depth PMI I’ve been through,” said White.
After successfully completing the course, each student is presented with a certificate qualifying them as a PMI instructor in the battalion.
Upon returning to their companies, the newly qualified instructors are expected to train platoons on the techniques learned during the course.