September 21st, 2008

Teaching Marksmanship to Juniors the Marine Corps Way

Earlier this summer, Marine Corps instructors tutored 146 junior shooters at the Annual Camp Perry USMC Junior High Power Clinic. Retired Marine Master Gunnery Sergeant Ken Roxburgh and his cadre of Marine and Team Bushmaster shooting instructors held forth in proper Marine fashion. As the clinic began, Gunny Roxburg barked: “You will not disrespect your instructors or your classmates by closing your eyes during this clinic.”

Camp Perry USMC clinic

The clinic ran Friday, 25 July, through Sunday, 27 July, and focused on the key elements of range safety and etiquette, shooting position, aiming, sling skills, trigger control, zeroing, effects of weather and proper use of the data book. Roxburgh emphasized the science of shooting, spending considerable time explaining the physiology of sight and the physical requirements of successful marksmanship. At one point Roxburg chided: “If a shooter is having difficulty acquiring proper eye relief, perhaps he spent a little too much time with his good friend Jose Cuervo the night before.” Days two and three were spent shooting on the range firing at 200, 300 and 600 yards.

Roxburgh’s style of instruction combines education, discipline, humor, and mutual respect –- all key elements needed to communicate with young adults. Roxburg notes: “What we really try to teach is safe weapons handling as it relates to fundamental marksmanship and match participation. We have to have a great measure of self-discipline and the ability to follow appropriate orders and regulations given by the people that run these matches.” Roxburgh has been a lead instructor in the USMC HP Junior Clinic many different years. A member of the USMC rifle and pistol teams, Roxburg retired from active duty in 2005 after 30 years of service to the Corps — most notably as a sniper instructor.

Camp Perry USMC clinic

You can learn more about the USMC Junior Clinic at Camp Perry, and read comments from students, in the The First Shot, the CMP’s Online Newletter.

Photos copyright ODCMP.com, used with permission.