This manual and other training publications provide the trainers with

     the information they need for unit training. This chapter is an aid for

     the chain of command, who are the primary trainers, to develop a good

     train-the-trainer program. Knowledgeable, small-unit leaders and

     trainers are the key to successful, marksmanship training; however, the

     entire chain of command must be involved in the execution of training to



An effective train-the-trainer program reflects the priority, emphasis, and interest of the chain of command and trainers to see that execution of training to standard is scheduled. This section provides guidance needed to develop METLs, to assess performance proficiency, and to assign the responsibilities of the chain of command, trainers, and coaches.


The objectives of the train-the-trainer program include developing in every automatic rifle trainer the confidence, willingness, knowledge, and skills required to consistently train their soldiers to be effective in combat. The program's aim is--

    a. To train the trainer to apply the principles of M249 AR marksmanship.

    b. To ensure that every trainer maintains a constant degree of proficiency in applying the principles of AR instruction.

    c. To provide a maximum number of trainers from which potential trainers may be selected for further weapons training.


Marksmanship is critical and basic to soldiering. Each commander should develop a METL and organize a training program that devotes adequate time to marksmanship. The unit's combat mission must be considered when establishing training priorities. This not only applies to the tasks selected but also to the conditions under which the tasks are to be performed. The tasks for the METL are developed for both defensive and offensive operations.


The chain of command is also involved in determining the proficiency of potential trainers by reviewing the following information.

    a. Selection. Trainers should be selected from the most highly qualified soldiers available within the unit. These soldiers should display knowledge of the M249 automatic rifle, a high degree of proficiency in applying the fundamentals, and a motivated attitude for marksmanship training ability. The chain of command must ensure that a high level of expertise is maintained. Knowledgeable trainers are the key to marksmanship.

    b. Trainer Course. Once the chain of command has identified these soldiers possessing the required knowledge, skills, and motivation in M249 marksmanship, they must then ensure this knowledge can be effectively taught to other soldiers.

    c. Training. There are several available means that may be used in the progression of trainer training or that can easily be tailored to the particular needs of the command. The more time and training initially invested, the better the trainer will be. The chain of command should periodically evaluate each trainer and replace any that loses his motivation or desire. To maintain interest in the program, commanders should promote competitive awards, such as the Trainer of the Month.


Assisting the trainer and coaching a soldier to fire the M249 AR are highly technical jobs that must be done well. The most valuable soldiers in the program are those who not only have obtained a high standard, but those who can effectively teach this knowledge to others. Once the individual is consistent as an automatic rifleman, he can then develop into a competent coach. It is worth the effort to train the qualified automatic rifleman to become a successful coach, because experience has shown that such training also develops leadership ability.

    a. The primary responsibility of coaches is to train individuals in the effective use of the M249 automatic rifle. In addition, coaches are responsible for enforcing safety regulations. They must maintain strict discipline on the firing lane at all times and constantly enforce compliance with the range regulations and training guidance.

    b. To be a coach, a soldier must know the principles of accurate firing and coaching techniques, and he must have the following qualifications as well.


Through the active and aggressive leadership of the chain of command, a perpetual base of expertise is established and maintained. The unit's esprit de corps is significantly raised through the trainers' desire to improve and demonstrate they are the best. The goal of a progressive train-the-trainer program is to achieve a high state of combat readiness.


Since firing is a learning process, certain prerequisites must be satisfied before a trainer should pass from one phase of marksmanship to another. To obtain maximum results on the battlefield, the automatic rifleman must be trained in fundamentals before engaging a combat target. The phases of the train-the-trainer program develop this structure in the most progressive manner. They are sequenced to train the trainer in teaching tasks necessary to produce a quality M249 automatic rifleman.

    a. Preliminary Marksmanship. The automatic rifleman receives this training before live firing. It is during this phase that sound foundations of good firing principles are constructed, reviewed, and reinforced. The degree of proficiency obtained or retained by the automatic riflemen depends on the foundation built during this phase. Correct firing and safety habits must become so fixed they become natural. Drilling of the fundamentals and continued leader emphasis will bring the greatest return in the shortest time. Proper firing is a physical skill, which must be learned. When practiced, the process becomes a learned skill that will be retained. However, good firing is a perishable skill. All firers must periodically familiarize themselves with the fundamentals regardless of their years of marksmanship experience. Even experienced automatic riflemen will develop a deficiency in applying certain fundamentals.

    b. Basic Marksmanship. This training teaches the trainers how to set up and conduct 10-meter and transition firing exercises on the available ranges.

    c. Advanced Marksmanship. This training teaches the trainer how to develop teamwork among the automatic riflemen. This gives them confidence in their ability to deliver a large volume of accurate fire against targets. During this phase, the trainer is responsible for the conduct of assault firing exercises. These exercises consist of assault fire, NBC assault fire, and field fire on available ranges.


This section assists trainers in effectively training soldiers assigned to the M249 automatic rifle. It explains the tasks, organization, equipment needed, and instruction sequence for the three phases of training. However, unit SOPs or post regulations may direct increases or decreases in these prescribed requirements.


This phase covers the basics that each trainer must know to teach the general care and maintenance of the M249 AR. (Chapter 2.)

    a. Task 1: Disassemble the M249.

    b. Task 2: Inspect the M249.

    c. Task 3: Clean the M249.

    d. Task 4: Lubricate the M249.

    e. Task 5: Assemble the M249.

    f. Task 6: Explain the Operation of the M249. (Chapter 3.)

    g. Task 7: Explain the Functioning of the M249.

    h. Task 8: Explain Malfunction, Stoppage, and Immediate Action. (Chapter 4.)

    i. Task 9: Demonstrate Fundamentals of Marksmanship. (Chapter 5.)

    j. Task 10: Demonstrate Fundamentals of Firing Positions.

    k. Task 11: Demonstrate Fundamentals of Engaging Night, NBC, and Moving Targets.

    l. Task 12: Demonstrate Fundamentals of Traverse and Search.

    m. Task 13: Demonstrate Fire Commands.

    n. Task 14: Execute Dry-Fire Exercises.


The information learned in this phase is essential to the development of the trainer who is to conduct the 10-meter firing with NBC, day transition with NBC, and night transition instructional firing for the M249. (Chapter 5.)

    a. Task 15: Conduct 10-Meter Firing.

    b. Task 16: Conduct Daytime Transition Fire on the Multipurpose Machine Gun Range.

    c. Task 17: Conduct Nighttime Transition Fire.


This training phase enables the trainer to develop his advanced skills such as shoulder-, underarm-, and hip-firing positions and rapid reload techniques. (Chapter 6.)

    a. Task 18: Conduct Daytime Assault Fire.

    b. Task 19: Conduct NBC Assault Fire With the M249.


The certification program sustains the trainers' expertise and develops methods of training. The program standardizes procedures for certifying M249 marksmanship trainers. Trainers' technical expertise must be continuously refreshed, updated, and closely managed.


The training base can expect the same personnel changes as any other organization. Soldiers assigned as M249 trainers will have varying experience and knowledge of training procedures and methods. Therefore, the trainer certification program must be an ongoing process that is tailored to address these variables. As a minimum, formal records document program progression for each trainer. All M249 trainers must complete the three phases of training using the progression steps, and they must be updated on a quarterly basis. One of the goals of the program is for the trainer to know the training mission.


All trainers must attend, then conduct, all phases of the train-the-trainer program. Trainers are certified who demonstrate the ability to train soldiers, to diagnose and correct problems, and to achieve standards. Those trainers who fail to attend or fail any phase of the diagnostic examination will be assigned to subsequent training. The personnel designated to present instruction must complete the phases of the program in the sequence described.

    a. Phase I, Program Orientation. During this phase, the trainer must accomplish the following tasks and be certified by the chain of command.

    b. Phase II, Preliminary Marksmanship Training. During Phase II, the trainer must demonstrate his ability to master the fundamentals of marksmanship. Phase II should be completed within two weeks after Phase I. The following fundamentals must be reviewed by the chain of command. The results of this review are recorded and maintained on a trainer's progression sheet, which is designed in accordance with the unit's SOP.

    c. Phase III, Basic Marksmanship Training. During this phase, the trainer must set up and conduct firing on the various ranges. He must explain the targets and zeroing and scoring procedures. The trainer must explain the purpose of transition firing, field zero procedures, range layout, and the conduct of training on the transition range. This briefing to the chain of command validates the trainer's knowledge necessary to conduct training. The results of this interview are recorded on the trainer's progression sheet.

    d. Phase IV, Advanced Marksmanship Training. This is the final phase of the train-the-trainer program and tests the trainer. The trainer must set up a range and conduct training of at least one person. If ammunition is available, the trainer conducts a firing exercise. If ammunition is not available, the testing is based on the quality of training given.