MILITARY CULTURE

5 ways marksmanship simulations can improve your fire teams

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Sullivan Laramie)

The fire team is the most important unit of the Marine Corps' infantry. The Corps is always looking for new ways to make its fire teams more effective on the battlefield. From equipment upgrades to weapon replacements, there's always room for improvement. But one thing they have yet to figure out is what Marines at the lowest levels can do during their free time. Well, why not reserve some time at the Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer?

At the bottom of the Marine Corps task organization is the four-person fire team and they are, by far, the most critical asset in the entire hierarchy. The more lethal each individual team, the more lethal the unit as a whole and the ISMIT gives troops the opportunity to practice their shooting skills without firing real bullets on a live range. It's like playing Nintendo Duck Hunt with military guns and honestly, it puts a lot of current virtual reality gaming to shame with its fun factor.

But beneath that, there's a deeper level of training value that can make a unit much more effective and especially more lethal, given the right prompt and simulation.

Here are some ways the ISMIT can improve your unit at the fire team level:


1. Build unit cohesion

The best thing you can get out of going to the ISMIT is bringing your troops closer together. You can start with some simple, basic simulations and move on to having full blown shooting competitions where the winners are rewarded. It really gives your team a chance to put their money where their mouth is.

Meanwhile, everyone is growing closer as they talk more sh*t.

Unit cohesion will keep your troops motivated.

(U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Takoune H. Norasingh)

2. Train accuracy

The air rifles you get to use at the ISMIT aren't going to be adjusted for you so their shots will be all over the place. This helps you refine your ability to adjust your aim based on shot impact since you're going to spend the first few rounds figuring out where your shots are hitting.

You want your team to have deadly precision.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Yamil Casarreal)

3. Practice solid shooting positions

This is key for basic marksmanship and you can practice this without having to shoot but it's extremely helpful for a shooter to learn how their position affects their accuracy and the ISMIT does just that.

The more you train these positions, the better you'll become.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jamean Berry)

4. Practice on moving targets

There are simulations that take you into a city or a desert where you get to shoot at enemies. Whether it's zombies or insurgents, you get a feel for having a target that's maneuvering and you can practice using a bullet as a stop sign.

Instead of the laughing dog, you get actual people who will make fun of you after the game is over.

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5. Practice ammo conservation

One competition you can have with your fire teams is seeing who can get the highest number of hits with the lowest amount of shots. This really puts you to the test and makes you focus on taking your time with each shot to ensure a solid hit. This becomes a valuable lesson because your team will be able to save ammo they might need for follow-up missions.

You want to be able to retain as much ammo as possible without sacrificing your aggression.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Taylor W. Cooper)