Recruits Prepare for Combat

By Kenneth Miller
Updated on

The Table 2 Basic Combat Marksmanship Course is the first step in transitioning a Marine from fundamental marksmanship to becoming a proficient combat marksman.

During Field Week, the second three-week phase of recruit training, Company F recruits completed the Table 2 Basic Combat Marksmanship Course at Edson Range, Camp Pendleton, Calif., on Dec. 3.

“Table 2 prepares the recruits for combat by teaching them the fundamentals of marksmanship with a combat load and aiming at close distances,” said Sgt. Juan J. Solando, line staff non-commissioned officer, Alpha Range, Weapons and Field Training Battalion.

Recruits are given 150 rounds for practice drills and 50 rounds for qualification. The drills include rifle presentation, moving targets, headshots, failure to fire drills, and failure to stop the enemy drills on targets 25 to 100 yards away.

In Table 2, recruits’ full combat load includes a kevlar helmet, flak jacket, load-bearing vest, web belt, and pouches for magazines and canteens.

“I think Table 2 is more practical because it utilizes what we would actually do in the field,” said Recruit Christopher R. Brown, Platoon 2126, Company F. “I don’t feel like I would be prepared as well for the field if I didn’t get this training.”

“The course is designed to shoot at time-engaged targets from multiple positions,” said Solando, a Chicago native.

The targets are shaped like a silhouette of a human figure and have three vital areas recruits are taught to aim.

“A shot inside the T-box on the head is an instant kill because that’s where the brain-housing group is located,” said Solando. “A chest shot critically damages the heart and lungs and a pelvic shot would cause the enemy to bleed out.”

At the 25-yard line, recruits earn two points for each shot in the designated areas on the targets and one point outside the selected area. At the 100-yard line, it is scored simply a two-point hit or no points for a miss. Table 2 requires recruits to shoot a total of 60 points or greater for qualification.

The points will be added to the Table 1 qualification score, which recruits complete the week before Table 2. Table 1 emphasizes basic long-distance marksmanship.

“During Table 2, we are preparing for a closer-range fight as opposed to a long-distance one,” said Brown, a 24-year-old Peachtree City, Ga., native. “I feel like the potential that I will be taking short-distance shots is far greater than the likelihood of shooting long-distance.”

At 25 yards, if you can see the enemy, then he can see you and it’s in your best interest to eliminate him as soon as possible, said Solando.