Posted on Oct 31, 2014
CPT Platoon Leader
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The day I turned my chevrons in for gold bars I noticed something. All the officers I've ever seen never wore marksmanship badges in dress uniforms. I just assumed they were unauthorized for officers and removed it voluntarily. I honestly never desired to wear the badge (probably because I was only ever a sharpshooter), but I haven't found any documentation specifically preventing officers from wearing them. Do you think officers should wear them?
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Responses: 663
COL Jason Smallfield, PMP, CFM, CM
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A few points on officers and marksmanship badges.
- Authority to wear. No reg that I am aware of that prohibits officers from wearing marksmanship badges.
- Culture. Officer culture is not to wear markmanship badges.
- Logic 1. NCO domain is individual while officer domain is collective generally speaking. One reason why officers are armed with pistols rather than rifles is because our primary weapon is a radio and our primary purpose is to integrate and synchronize a fight (lead it) rather than to be an individual Soldier in the fight. This logic might be the driver on the culture that I note above.
- Logic 2. Tied to above but what good is officer who is an expert shooter but who can not provide purpose, motivation, and direction to his/her formation? Can/should officers be experts on the weapons and systems within their formations? Yes but their focus should be on integrating and synchronizing these weapons and systems. Enlisted and NCOs should be the experts on the individual weapon or systems employment.
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CW3 Harvey Keck
CW3 Harvey Keck
3 mo
LTC John Bush - If nothing else, officer marksmanship is a matter of leadership by example.
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CPO Larry Cowden
CPO Larry Cowden
2 mo
SSG (Join to see) - It is worthless to qualify one time. Regular practice must be maintained to maintain proficiency and qualifications with the firearms. Every soldier, sailor, airman, or officer must maintain proficiency to be able to use firearms efficiently and effectively when called upon. There is never a guarantee that because of rank, that individual will not be required to use a weapon. That is what we do when called upon.
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CH (COL) Command and Unit Chaplain
CH (COL) (Join to see)
1 mo
Then I guess that officers shouldn't wear EIBs either.
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LCpl Kevin McGarry
LCpl Kevin McGarry
1 h
The USMC Officers wear there's
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CW3 Harvey Keck
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Edited 1 y ago
Before my enlistment in the Army, I served in the Marine Corps. The Corps has a principle that every Marine, regardless of rank or MOS, is first and foremost a rifleman. That principle of universality of primary duty extends all the way to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, who shows the way by firing for qualification with all the other Marines under his command.
After my appointment as a Warrant Officer in the Army, I continued the tradition of the Corps, and wore my rifle and pistol badges proudly. I could not help but think that my fellow officers were either non-qualifiers, or ashamed of their low level of skill with the primary tools of our Military.
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CW3 Harvey Keck
CW3 Harvey Keck
4 mo
SSG Ralph Watkins - Thank you for that endorsement. I mentioned elsewhere that my Army Reserve unit had quite a few prior service Marines, several of whom were on the rifle team. I used to say we were evangelists, sent forth by the Corps to show the Army just how effective a weapon a good rifleman can be.
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SSG(P) D. Wright Downs
SSG(P) D. Wright Downs
4 mo
CW3 Harvey Keck - Thisis a bit off topic but I am chuckling and have a comment. I was PAO and went Defense schools with all branches. The Army and Marines, being legs, pretty much hung together. I got my first assignment and was dong a “grip and grin” award phot for a soldier who was Soldier of the Quarter. the CG asked the Soldier what he attributed his award to. “Six years in the United States Marine Corps, Sir!” was the Soldier's reply without batting an eye. Marines do make great Soldiers. And, we can learn from them. Too bad the Army didn’t get them back when the Army and Navy was having a tug of war over who would get them back in the day.
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CWO3 Us Marine
CWO3 (Join to see)
4 mo
Capt Ken Davis - Been a Match shooter I see. I was too busy. Best was 242 I should have declared on pre-qual day. Weather shifted and ended up 236 on qual day. A fellow Sgt fired for USMC Team in 80s. We were at TBS.
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MSG Paul L. Ruiz
MSG Paul L. Ruiz
3 mo
CW3 Harvey Keck - So true sir, as I was in the Marine Corps for 13 years, before going into the California Army National Guard, I shot expert 21 times, as it was drilled into you from boot camp on; this is my rifle, there are many like it, but this one is mine, and without my rifle, I will die. That rifle was an extension from my arm, and was everything to me, and her name was Maria, Semper Fidelis!
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LTC Chemical, Biological, Radiological & Nuclear Officer
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I see this as being an additional disconnect between Officers and Enlisted. The bottom line is that we are all Soldiers and the badges represent the maintaining of our Soldier skills.
Perhaps it is time to break the recent tradition of Officers not wearing the skill badges that we have all earned as one Army.
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SPC Dave Parks
SPC Dave Parks
10 mo
CW3 Harvey Keck - heck , my marksman badge is just Davy Crocket licking his front sight ! as just a sp4 if I were to wear all of the buttons that I'm authorized to wear . I cant stand up straight . so just to keep from tipping over I don't wear them all ! lmmo . have a swell time .
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SPC Dave Parks
SPC Dave Parks
10 mo
SPC Dave Parks - thank you Mr. Keck. may the lord bless you and family !
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SPC Josh Davis
SPC Josh Davis
8 mo
Hooah
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MSgt Janice Trojan
MSgt Janice Trojan
3 d
Good answer, Sir!
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