Grey skies hang over range Kilo 501-A as Marines with Transportation Support Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 2 get ready to send rounds downrange during a light and steady drizzle at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 3, 2017. The Marines are familiarizing themselves with their newly issued rifles and are training to get their Battle Sight Zero (BZO) in preparation for annual rifle qualifications.
A BZO is the sight settings placed on a rifle for combat that enable the rifleman to place a single shot in the center of a target at 300 meters during ideal weather conditions. Maintaining a BZO is essential for any Marine on the range as it ensures that they can effectively train to shoot as accurately as possible.
“The main purpose of the rifle training was to get the Marines to have their weapons zeroed and also get some time on the ranges for when we go to rifle qualifications as a battalion in a couple weeks,” said 2nd Lt. Joshua McDaniel, the motor transport platoon commander for CLB 2. “It’s good because we are bringing the whole company out and knocking it all out at once, so if there are any issues with our rifles or the [Rifle Combat Optics] we can address that now before it possibly becomes a problem during our qualifications later down the road.”
Hopefully when the Marines of CLB 2 visit the range to qualify in the coming weeks, the skies will be clear, although Cpl. Jacob Sheppard, a landing support specialist with TS Co., thinks the rain is actually a beneficial experience.
“I think that the weather actually provides a perfect environment. In a real combat situation, you never know when the weather is going to turn for the worst, just like today,” said Sheppard. “With the weather being cold and rainy, I would say it replicates a combat environment pretty well, and it also provides better training by forcing us to focus on our rifle skills when we are outside our comfort zone.”
Either way, in rain or shine, the phrase ‘every Marine is a rifleman’ remains true as the Marines of CLB 2 continue to train their rifle marksmanship skills.