16th Award Expert

By: Robby J. Hookham

As a retired Marine who served from 1981 thru 2001, the only ‘service rifle’ I ever knew was the M-16. I started out with the A1 in boot camp, shot high Sharpshooter (1 point out of Expert), but at the 500 yard line I was 10 for 10!
About the time I reenlisted we received the A2, I decided that if I was going to be a part of this ‘gun club’, I needed to get my act together and qual Expert. Thereafter, I qualified Expert 16 consecutive times. In my 20 years I only missed the 500 yard bulls eye twice!
While on Okinawa in 1999, I was able to score 9 out of 10 hits in the black with 6 in the ‘X’ ring with a 3 – 5 mph left to right breeze …at 800 yards! Don’t tell me that the M-16 is not capable of accuracy.

But I was able to shoot (recreationally) the ’03 Springfield, man, what a FUN rifle to shoot!!

Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!


  • Nick

    Scout Sniper Clyde?

  • Nick

    Back during my time it was 8531 Marksmanship Instructor . Might mean something different today. Nick 0311/8531 Worked Stone Bay at Camp Lejeune 69-70

  • Clyde

    What,s a 8531? RVN, 8/66-12/68, 0311/8541 We traded our M-14’s in the bush for 16’s, we soon learned to keep our cleaning rods assembled and strapped to our packs!! I will take a Remington and M-14 and you keep all of the “M’ variants you want! We would gladly hump the extra ammo and not “whine” which seems to be almost a requirement today! Semper Fi!

  • Reinhold Woykowski

    It was a rifle. How did I ever forget. Our DI made us all get undressed, march around singing that song, holding our rifle in one hand and the other our fun.

  • Nick

    Reinhold, One’s for killin, one’s for fun. Is it rifle or gun Nick

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