For Tactics, Techniques, and procedures Thursday, we are going to be discussing how we reference outside resources to make weapons mastery training for our Paratroopers more efficient. As leaders, we should never stop learning. Commanders at various levels have come up with reading lists of publications they feel will make their subordinate leaders more efficient at their jobs. In a similar vein, most of these publications and websites are non-military. Leaders and Soldiers who have read through the updated Army Manuals and have a solid foundation of what we teach as doctrine should broaden their knowledge with these sources.
The first category is published works. A starting point would be doctrinal publications from sister branches of service and foreign militaries. An example of this would be MCRP 3-01 for rifle marksmanship. Looking at these publications helps to broaden your understanding of what the functional elements of the shot process are, as you are getting the information from an entirely different writer’s perspective.
The next category of published works would be by civilian authors who have established credentials. An Example of this type of publication for the rifle is “Green Eyes, Black Rifles” by SGM (retired) Kyle Lamb. An Example of a publication for the pistol is “Tactical Pistol Shooting, 2nd Edition” by Erik Lawrence and Mike Pannone. Both of these books are excellent starting points for their respective weapons systems.
Outside of print media, there is a wealth of resources online. A good starting point for training with Rifle and Pistol is the Army Marksmanship Unit, US Army Reserve Marksmanship Team, and several of the National Guard Competitive shooting team (e.g., Minnesota) Facebook Pages These resources will give you information on how to be a better shooter from the military competition perspective. An example of a civilian online resource is primaryandsecondary.com which has several vetted instructors, both military, and civilian who put out useful information.
When dealing with sources of information that are online/social media perspective, you must try and validate where your information is coming from. If the concepts presented seem a bit extreme and far-fetched, try and find information on the background of your instructor, which should be prominently displayed somewhere on the page.
If you can’t find information on who is writing the material, try and find another source that concurs with what that webpage is putting out. If you can’t find a website that you trust that confirms the original post, then you may consider that information not reliable. Anyone who is respected in the Firearms training community will have some form of ‘certification’ to their experience. This will be based on their job description (in the case of most military-based instructors) or based on their performance record in competition (in the case of many civilian/Law Enforcement instructors). Sometimes, instructors will have both credentials. Long story short, don’t trust the information because it is on the internet.
So to sum up, we’ve discussed some resources both in and outside the military that can be used to increase our knowledge base of weapons proficiency. As leaders, we should always be striving to know more about our craft. Committ yourself to a life-long journey of learning, and you will be a better leader overall.