Feb. 24 (UPI) -- The U.S. Marine Corps' new training and qualification rating is designed to include combat scenario shooting skills in the test, the branch announced this week.
The three-day Annual Rifle Qualification will offer a "more realistic and 'train like you fight' environment by emphasizing lethality and positional shooting," a statement on Tuesday said.
The new test supersedes the previous Table 1 and Table 2 qualification courses, taken by every member of the Marines and with few changes since the early 1900s.
"This has been the same qualification that every Marine shoots throughout their entire career, until now," said CWO4 Anthony L. Viggiani, Marine Gunner, Training and Education Command.
"The ARQ enhances proficiency, confidence, and lethality in a dynamic environment using multiple targets, limited exposure targets, moving targets and shooting on the move," Viggiani said.
The first day of qualification will be a "holds day," involving the drill portion of the test. The second and third days involve pre-qualification and qualification rounds, with a combat-oriented mindset.
In a change of procedure, barricades will be used and full combat armor will be worn during the shooting tests. Bull's-eye targets will be replaced by "bad guy" images, carrying weapons, according to Marine Corps Times.
Active duty Marines will transition to the new qualification tests by Oct. 1, 2021, with reservists transitioning in Fiscal Year 2022. Instruction of training personnel has already begun, the Marine Corps said in the statement.