Sgt Grit Everyone knows that Marines can shoot. Its true that we are the best riflemen in the world because of our training. Hold-em and Squeeze-em we are taught and you will hit your target. Well I was taught well at Camp Mathews in July 1964 as part of the last series to go to that Marine rifle range before Edson range was opened in about Aug of that year. I shot a 232 (expert) and still have my Record book to prove it.
A couple years later I did a little shooting in Nam (Chu Lai) and came back to Pendleton to be a marksmanship instructor for requalification in 5th Div Hq Co. I liked shooting and in 6 months of PMI duty I had only one Sh*t Bird that was a non-qual.
Now days I shoot for recreation and compete in Service Rifle matches occasionally showing the younger guys how it’s done. Many times I have had to answer the question “Where did you learn to shoot?” with the answer– “in the Marines!”. That’s something I am always proud to do. I am also proud to have been inducted into the “Marine Corps Distinguished Shooters Association” at Quantico Marine Base in 1996 and have earned the gold “Distinguished Rifleman” badge to replace the Expert Badge that I earned in 1964.
There is no doubt that the shooting skills that I learned 40 years ago were the best instruction that could have been given to a Boot facing a tour in a war zone. I’m sure that it is the same for young Marines today. They will go to the Middle East with the best training available in the World today.
Meanwhile this 63 year old Marine is still hitting the middle with a Service Rifle, even though it is one of them new fangled M-16 type rifles instead of the M-14s I shot in the Corps. The pic below was taken only two weeks ago in Arizona where I was able to win the “Shoot Off” against some 200 other shooters and get the Award from Sandra Froman, president of the NRA. “Hold-em and squeese-em”
Plt 142 San Diego 1964
Distinguished Riflemans Badge #1256