Photo Information

A U.S. Marine fires his M18 modular handgun at targets during a Marine Corps Marksmanship Competition team match at Edson Range on Camp Pendleton, Calif., Nov. 10.

Photo by Sgt. Jeremy Laboy

Competition-In-Arms: Pendleton hosts marksmanship competition

16 Nov 2020 | Lance Cpl. Kerstin Roberts The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton hosted a Marine Corps Marksmanship Competition for the first time in seven years.

The competition at Pendleton is the first part in a series of events for the 2021 Competition-In-Arms Program, which will end with a championship match in April at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.

As part of the program, the Marine Corps Shooting Team is coordinating and supervising five regional MCMCs held on Marine Corps bases across the world. Marines of all different trades are being encouraged to volunteer to participate in the event.

“We had operators, vehicle operators, engineers, infantrymen, intelligence Marines, and others,” said U.S. Marine Col. Carlos Jackson, the commanding officer of Weapons and Field Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, who hosted the completion aboard Pendleton. “They will be able to take back the skills they learned here and train others, which is all we can really hope for.”

Participants received a total of 12 training days over a two week period where they were given instruction on advanced pistol and rifle positions, firing while moving, dynamic target engagement and more.

“My biggest take away is learning how to run stages, think critically under stress and engage multiple targets in a dynamic environment." Sgt. Evan Nicholas, a Combat Logistics Regiment 45 metal worker

“Marines who participate will not only get their annual pistol and rifle qualification taken care of but they’ll also learn how to use their weapons in an environment like they’ve never done before," said Sgt. Evan Nicholas, a metal worker with Combat Logistics Regiment 45, 4th Marine Logistics Group. "It’s unlike any other course of fire that you’ll experience in the Marine Corps.”

The program is designed to significantly enhance participants’ proficiency in the use of individual small arms by refining fundamental marksmanship skills, learning marksmanship techniques, and pushing through mental and physical boundaries in a competitive forum.

According to Jackson, the goal of the MCMC is to make a more confident, more competent, more capable and lethal Marine to send rounds downrange, and that’s exactly what the Marines did on Pendleton over the last two weeks.

At the end of the competition, Marines were awarded for their hard work. The top 10 percent for rifle and pistol stages earned a MCMC medal, and the best performing rifle and pistol teams were awarded a trophy.

The next competition is slated to be at MCB Camp Smedley D. Butler in Okinawa, Japan, December 6-8.