As with all other forms of marksmanship training, PMI must be conducted to establish a firm foundation on which to build. Soldiers must be taught, and must understand, the fundamentals of SRM described in paragraph 7-23. Blank fire drills are conducted to ensure a complete and through understanding of the fundamentals as well as to provide the trainers with valuable feedback as to the level of proficiency of each soldier. It is important during this training to emphasize basic force protection issues such as muzzle awareness and selector switch manipulation. Soldiers must be drilled on these areas to ensure that future training and performance during combat situations is done in the safest manner possible. The risk of fratricide or noncombatant casualties is greatest during SRC. Preliminary marksmanship instruction should include, at a minimum, the following tasks.
a. Weapon Ready Positions and Firing Stance. Ensure that each soldier understands and can properly carry his weapon.
b. Moving with a Weapon. Ensure that the soldier can move at a walk and run and turn left, right, and to the rear as well as move from the standing to kneeling position and the kneeling back to the standing position.
c. Weapons Malfunction Drills. Ensure soldiers instinctively drop to the kneeling position, clear a malfunction (using SPORTS), and continue to engage targets. This drill can be performed by issuing each soldier a magazine loaded with six to eight rounds of blank ammunition with one expended blank round.
d. Target Engagement Drills. These drills teach soldiers to move from the ready position to the firing stance, emphasizing speed and precision movements. Soldiers must be observed to ensure that the finger is outside the trigger well and that the selector switch remains on the "safe" position until the weapon is raised to the firing position. This is a force protection issue and must be drilled until all soldiers can perform to standard.
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