To conduct an effective marksmanship program, the unit commander must determine the current marksmanship proficiency of all assigned personnel. To check the effectiveness of a unit's marksmanship program, constant evaluation is required. Observing and accurately recording performance reveals the status of rifle and magazine maintenance, the quality of rifle zeros, and the ability of each soldier to hit targets. This also allows the commander to identify soldiers who need special assistance in order to reach required standards, and to recognize soldiers who exceed these standards. Based on this evaluation, marksmanship training programs can be developed and executed.
This assessment is continuous, and the program is modified as required. Spot-checks of individual marksmanship performance, such as interviews and evaluations of soldiers, provide valuable information as to whether the soldier knows how to zero, to use NVDS, and to perform other marksmanship tasks.
In addition to spot-checks and direct observation of training, assessment includes a review of past training, which provides valuable information for developing a training plan. The assessment should include how record fire was conducted, what course of fire was used, how often the units conducted collective NBC or night fire, and so on. The results are reviewed to determine unit weaknesses and which individuals require special attention.
Based on the commander's evaluation, goals, and missions, training events are identified that should be conducted quarterly, semiannually, or annually -- rifle marksmanship programs must be continuous. While the unit may only qualify its soldiers annually or semiannually, test results show that sustainment training is required at least quarterly to maintain marksmanship skills.
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