Instructortrainer Selection

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Ultimate Firearms Training Guide

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Institutional and unit instructors/trainers are selected and assigned from the most highly qualified soldiers. These soldiers must have an impressive background in rifle marksmanship; be proficient in applying these fundamentals; know the importance of marksmanship training; and have a competent and professional attitude. The commander must ensure that selected instructors/trainers can effectively train other soldiers. Local instructor/trainer training courses and marksmanship certification programs must be established to ensure that instructor/trainer skills are developed.

Cadre/trainer refers to a marksmanship instructor/trainer that has more experience and expertise than the firer. He trains soldiers in the effective use of the rifle by maintaining strict discipline on the firing line, insisting on compliance with range procedures and program objectives, and enforcing safety regulations. A good instructor/trainer must understand the training phases and techniques for developing marksmanship skills, and he must possess the following qualifications:

Knowledge. The main qualifications for an effective instructor/trainer are thorough knowledge of the rifle, proficiency in firing, and understanding supporting marksmanship manuals.

Patience. The instructor/trainer must relate to the soldier calmly, persistently, and patiently.

Understanding. The instructor/trainer can enhance success and understanding by emphasizing close observance of rules and instructions.

Consideration. Most soldiers enjoy firing regardless of their performance and begin with great enthusiasm. The instructor/trainer can enhance this enthusiasm by being considerate of his soldiers feelings and by encouraging firing abilities throughout training, which can also make teaching a rewarding experience.

Respect. An experienced cadre is assigned the duties of instructor/trainer, which classifies him as a technical expert and authority. The good instructor/trainer is alert for mistakes and patiently makes needed corrections.

Encouragement. The instructor/trainer can encourage his soldiers by convincing them to achieve good firing performance through practice. His job is to impart knowledge and to assist the soldier so he can gain the practical experience needed to become a good fixer.


The instructor/trainer helps the firer master the fundamentals of rifle marksmanship. He ensures that the firer consistently applies what he has learned. Then, it is a matter of practice, and the firer soon acquires good firing skills. When training the beginner, the instructor/trainer could confront problems such as fear, nervousness, forgetfulness, failure to understand, and a lack of coordination or determination. An expert firer is often unaware that some problems are complicated by arrogance and carelessness. With all types of firers, the instructor/trainer must ensure that firers are aware of their firing errors, understand the causes, and apply remedies. Sometimes errors are not evident. The instructor/trainer must isolate errors, explain them, and help the firer concentrate on correcting them.

Observing the Firer. The instructor/trainer observes the firer during drills and in the act of firing to pinpoint errors. If there is no indication of probable error, then the firer's position, breath control, shot anticipation, and trigger squeeze are closely observed.

Questioning the Firer. The firer is asked to detect his errors and to explain his firing procedure to include position, aiming, breath control, and trigger squeeze.

Analyzing the Shot Group. This is an important step in detecting and correcting errors. When analyzing a target, the instructor/trainer critiques and correlates observations of the firer to probable errors in performance, according to the shape and size of shot groups. A poor shot group is usually caused by more than one observable error.

NOTE: To assist instructors/trainers, TVTs 7-1 and 7-2 should be viewed before conducting training.


In the conduct of marksmanship training, the instructor/trainer first discusses an overview of the program to include the progression and step-by-step process in developing firing skills. (This can be accomplished by showing TVT 7-13.) Once the soldier realizes the tasks and skills involved, he is ready to begin. He receives preliminary rifle instruction before firing any course. Also during this initial phase, an understanding of the service rifle developes through review.

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