The fundamentals of marksmanship are aiming, breath control, and trigger control. These fundamentals provide the foundation for all marksmanship principles and skills. For rifle fire to be effective, it must be accurate. A rifleman who merely sprays shots in the vicinity of the enemy produces little effect. The fundamentals of marksmanship, when applied correctly, form the basis for delivering accurate fire on enemy targets. These skills must be developed so that they are applied instinctively. During combat, the fundamentals of marksmanship must be applied in a limited time frame which corresponds to the size and the distance of the target. At longer ranges, the target is smaller and a more precise shot is required to accurately engage the target. The fundamentals are more critical to accurate engagement as the range to the target increases. To be accurate at longer ranges, the Marine must take the time to slow down and accurately apply the fundamentals. At shorter ranges, the enemy must be engaged quickly before it engages the Marine. As the size of the target increases, and the distance to the target decreases, the fundamentals, while still necessary, become less critical to accuracy. In combat a Marine must apply proper aiming, breathing, and trigger control techniques without hesitation.
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