NDs, train like we fight
Great issue of GW addressing poor weapons handling and negligent discharges. The root cause is poor training on the range. We are reaping what we sow. We run cold ranges, specifying to each Marine how many rounds to load in a magazine, firing only that specific amount, then ensuring their weapon is condition four before coming off the line. Marines never learn how to be love with a condition one firearm.
We need to run “hot ranges” where the Marines are treated like adults, load their own magazines, and once the firearm is made condition one, it’s their responsibility to know what condition it is and to maintain muzzle awareness at all times. If we train this way on a range, the Marines will perform this way in combat.
LtCol Freddie Blish MWSG-37, 3d MAW
When we get to a hostile area and have to go to condition one, 24 hours a day, it is too late to start pushing weapons handling. Let’s start in training. One training idea is to issue dummy rounds When a weapon is issued, with wax in the primer area, covered by clear nail polish. If the wax ever is penetrated, the weapon has been fired. Small unit leaders could inspect their Marines and hold them accountable individually for their actions. Inspections of the round could be done during loading and unloading procedures, allowing immediate corrective action by the small unit leader inspecting the process.
Some other recommendations:
* When on a live-fire range, all weapons should remain in condition one, except for weapons fired from the open-bolt position.
* Most of our NDs occurred while unloading weapons. We always should be in condition one in a combat area, especially if we have trained that way.
* Carry, all weapons with muzzle to the deck (except for parades). A negligent discharge to the ground is less dangerous than a round flying into the air.
1stSgt David Devaney
2d BTO Company
I&I Savannah, Georgia
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