Chief Warrant Officer 2 Billy Shinault, Officer-in-charge of Chosin Rifle Range at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, along with Warrant Officer Bobby Yarbrough, MCRD Parris Island CommStrat, explain the advantages of training recruits to start shooting with the Rifle Combat Optic instead of using iron sights.
In 2016, the Marine Corps started phasing out the legacy M16 iron sights. The iron sights were replaced by the micro backup iron sights, which are modular attachments that can be affixed to a rifle’s rail mount and flipped up for use.
Each year, Marine Corps gunners and range officers meet to discuss to the Marine Corps Marksmanship Program and what changes they can make to improve the program and increase the lethality of the individual Marine. The operational environment of the modern battlefield and the irregular warfare of Afghanistan and Iraq influenced the Marine Corps’ decision to adopt technology to improve the combat effectiveness of the Marine Corps.
The fundamentals of marksmanship haven’t changed. Recruits still complete “snapping in” on a barrel just as the Marines from WWII, Vietnam, and Korea. The difference is now by injecting technology, we are drastically advancing the marksmanship learning curve to build greater lethality. Technology allows the Marine Corps to build more critically thinking Marines who can take a greater role in their own marksmanship development.