CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
One of the foundational pillars of the Marine Corps is that every Marine is a rifleman. However, some stand above the rest. Sgt. Shaun Muller and Sgt. Shane Ryan, members of the Marine Corps Shooting Team (MCST), are two such Marines.
Muller and Ryan visited Marines with the 2d Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion as part of a three-day Mobile Training Team (MTT). They shared their expertise and developed the marksmanship capabilities of the participating Marines.
MTTs are teams of instructors from the MCST that visit units and deliver high-level training tailored to fit a unit's needs. This MTT was designed to train the Marines of 2d LAR in preparation for the Marine Corps Marksmanship Competition (MCMC).
“Whether you’re training for competition or training for combat, they both go hand in hand because you are teaching the fundamentals of marksmanship first,” said Muller. “If you become more efficient at one, you’re more than likely to become more efficient at the other.”
Muller has been competing since last year’s MCMC at Stone Bay. He has since competed in the Marine Corps Championship in Quantico, Virginia, and served as an instructor for the MCST’s Mobile Training Team. He spent four months with the team in the summer of 2022 and has been full-time on the MCST for the past two months.
“What the Marines learn here, over any other range, is they’ll learn more advanced techniques, and they’ll be able to get more one-on-one time with instructors from the MCST,” said Muller.
Ultimately the MTTs serve to not only reinforce Marines' fundamentals of marksmanship but also introduce them to advanced shooting techniques and movements that they wouldn’t experience on a conventional qualifying range.
“We are doing our best to come out here and bring our expertise that we gain from those we compete with at the highest level and bring it down to them,” said Ryan. “Our goal here is to go above and beyond and exceed their current expectations.”
Ryan has been with the MCST for almost two years. Before joining the team, he worked as a Combat Marksmanship Trainer at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point.
The members of the MCST compete and train with some of the best shooters in other service branches and the civilian world and gain skills and knowledge not readily available to most Marines. The MTTs are an outlet for MCST members to spread their knowledge with Marines around the Corps.
For the instructors of the MTT, training Marines is often more rewarding than competing themselves. Conducting mobile training helps them not only stay sharp in their skills but also allows them to give back to the Corps and develop more proficient Marines.
“Instructing Marines is honestly the biggest satisfaction.” said Muller, “I’d rather place poorly in a competition and be able to train 160-200 Marines on how to become more proficient at different weapons systems than take a medal on any day.”
With the training provided by the MTT, the Marines of 2d LAR are better prepared for the MCMC and are now more combat-ready, lethal Marines.