Army May Toughen Annual Rifle Qualification

Washington Report

(January 23, 2018) Changes in the Army’s rifle-qualification course would resemble the real-world environment of combat and challenge soldiers more than the current course. The changes are simply proposals, but they would push soldiers to fire faster and farther and make them more lethal, according to Army Times.

The proposed changes will be tested next month. Results will be presented to the Army Munitions Requirements Council of Colonels in March, the publication reported last week.

The proposed changes to the rifle course would:

  • Increase the number of hits required to qualify at the marksman, sharpshooter and expert levels;
  • Require soldiers to hit three targets beyond 200 meters to achieve a sharpshooter qualification;
  • Cut shoot times at each position by more than half, from 15 minutes to six minutes;
  • Remove the standing unsupported firing position, making all positions supported;
  • Require soldiers to move themselves through the course while reloading, dealing with malfunctions and acquiring targets, and without instructor commands; and
  • Cut the qualification course time from 96 minutes to 40 minutes.

The changes are drawn from what the Army has experienced in 16 years of combat in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places, said Brig. Gen. Christopher T. Donahue, the commandant of the U.S. Army Infantry School. He emphasized that the proposals are still in the draft stage.