When my Battalion’s Command Sergeant Major found out that I knew how to shoot pistols and teach pistol training, he tasked me to come up with a more effective pistol training method for the Battalion. My first place is the current pistol training the Army has. It’s really good, actually, for a large organization. The problem is no one practices the pistol. So, how do I fix this problem for the Soldiers of the 125th Infantry? I start with how the average soldier views the pistol.
The Military views the purpose of the pistol is to get to your rifle. What this means is the rifle is the primary weapon of the average Soldier. That Soldier needs to get to his rifle to be the most effective and, certainly, the rifle is a lot more effective than a pistol on the battlefield. So, if the Soldier is not at his rifle, he uses his pistol to keep him alive until he gets to the rifle and engage the enemy. This places no importance on the pistol at all. There is no reason to train with the pistol.
That purpose, for the 125th Infantry, is going to change. The new purpose is the pistol is your primary weapon until you get to your primary weapon. This is because if the pistol is what you have available, it’s what you have available. That rifle is useless until it’s in your arms, ready to fire. The pistol, truly, is your primary weapon if that’s what you can engage with. That gives the Soldier a reason to train with a pistol. It can no longer be a stop-gap measure.
Soldiers cannot approach training on any subject with the attitude that it’s not important. The fundamentals of pistol marksmanship are the exact same as rifle marksmanship. So if you don’t take pistol marksmanship training seriously, you aren’t practicing the right way….which means you are learning the wrong way for when a rifle comes along. And that is not a good thing.
So, if any of you shooters out there don’t take your pistol seriously, you should. Because, if not, then you are cutting into your rifle training with poor habits. It’s time to change. Stop treating the pistol as the redheaded stepchild. Treat it for the lethal weapon that it is, the partner to the rifle.
Can I get a more anti-climactic ending?