Sgt. David Edge
4th Brigade Combat Team Journalist
FORT POLK, La. – Thirty-three Soldiers from 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI), they thought they were ready for the two-week course they started May 12. The Patriot Soldiers started the Rifle Marksmanship Instructor Course, a class that is all about the fundamentals of shooting.
Developed at the Light Fighter School at Fort Drum, N.Y., RMIC was designed to teach Soldiers the fundamentals of shooting a weapon and allow them to train their Soldiers on these same fundamentals. RMIC, which was started in May 2013, is open to all military occupational specialties. The only requirement is that the Soldier must serve at the team-leader level or higher.
During this course, candidates spend only one day in the classroom; they spend the remaining nine days on the range, applying the fundamentals while physically shooting targets.
"RMIC is important because noncommissioned officers, leaders if you will, have gotten away from or forgotten how to train their Soldiers in marksmanship,” said Staff Sgt. Charles Hearn, RMIC instructor, Light Fighter School, Fort Drum. "In this course, we teach our students how to instruct their Soldiers to properly apply the fundamentals as well as properly conduct marksmanship training."
The RMIC instructors mixed military knowledge with a common sense approach to teaching their students.
"While I am learning RMIC myself, I am seeing some of the mistakes that my Soldiers usually make," said Sgt. 1st Class Lewis Edwin a platoon sergeant with A Company, 4th Brigade Special Troops, 4th BCT. “With what the instructors are teaching me, I can go back and explain to the Soldiers what they are doing wrong. I will also be able to show them what does work.”
Blending the old style of shooting with the new fundamentals being taught is giving some RMIC candidates a new shooting experience.
"I took the knowledge that I possess about shooting and mixed the new fundamentals that the RMIC instructors are teaching; it has made me more proficient and confident at shooting," said Sgt. Joshua Widener, infantryman with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th BCT.
"My shot group is better, my qualifications are higher, and really, I'm just a better shot all the way around. Every Soldier should get a chance to take this course,” he added.