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Army National guard doc + weapons qual?

acsb_21

Full Member
Nov 14, 2019
22
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  1. Pre-Medical
Hi y’all, hopefully I’m not rehashing other NG threads but apologies if I am.

The prospect of taking an NG stipend (I.e. MDSSP/STRAP) is more attractive than HPSP for certain people for reasons that have been explained in others’ threads, and they have piqued my interest in the former route vs the latter.

My question is, would it be possible to get weapons qualified on top of being an NG doc? Is anyone familiar with the process? Is it open to anyone (like a general course anyone eligible could take, such as getting a concealed carry license in the civilian world) or just certain MOSs?
 

TheEarDoc

Audiologist
10+ Year Member
Dec 28, 2010
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The dirty south
  1. Non-Student
Hi y’all, hopefully I’m not rehashing other NG threads but apologies if I am.

The prospect of taking an NG stipend (I.e. MDSSP/STRAP) is more attractive than HPSP for certain people for reasons that have been explained in others’ threads, and they have piqued my interest in the former route vs the latter.

My question is, would it be possible to get weapons qualified on top of being an NG doc? Is anyone familiar with the process? Is it open to anyone (like a general course anyone eligible could take, such as getting a concealed carry license in the civilian world) or just certain MOSs?

Everyone in the Army if a rifleman/soldier first and then their occupation next.

You will be expected yearly to qualify on a rifle and pistol. You will be taught marksmanship as well as other things all soldiers must know.
 
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armytrainingsir

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Jun 15, 2017
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  1. Attending Physician
Everyone in the Army if a rifleman/soldier first and then their occupation next.

You will be expected yearly to qualify on a rifle and pistol. You will be taught marksmanship as well as other things all soldiers must know.


Not in my experience.

Weapons qual is a big for enlisted promotions and they get priority.

I have gone to the range twice in 5 years, and only qualified with the M16A2. And the only reason I went is because I wanted to go. Zero pressure from command for any officer to go. And zero instruction on marksmanship. I am a shooter. Most of the NCOs' instruction was wrong. The handful of prior line guys (two enlisted former 11B and one former infantry captain) were solid and taught the newbies enough to qualify when the NCOs weren't listening.

When you deploy, you will have to qualify at Ft Bliss with whatever weapon you are taking, either the M9 or both M9 and M4/16. And no matter how bad you shoot, you will qualify and deploy. Because the range NCO's pencil says so.



To answer the OP's question, everyone gets rudimentary training on the M16 in BOLC (not sure about the M9) and on paper, goes to the range once per year. What happens on range day really depends on your unit. IME, no one really cares how you, as a MC officer, shoots, except you.

If you want to shoot AND enjoy it, buy your own AR15 and either a M9 or M17 and hit the range on your own time and dime.
 
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acsb_21

Full Member
Nov 14, 2019
22
7
36
  1. Pre-Medical
Not in my experience.

Weapons qual is a big for enlisted promotions and they get priority.

I have gone to the range twice in 5 years, and only qualified with the M16A2. And the only reason I went is because I wanted to go. Zero pressure from command for any officer to go. And zero instruction on marksmanship. I am a shooter. Most of the NCOs' instruction was wrong. The handful of prior line guys (two enlisted former 11B and one former infantry captain) were solid and taught the newbies enough to qualify when the NCOs weren't listening.

When you deploy, you will have to qualify at Ft Bliss with whatever weapon you are taking, either the M9 or both M9 and M4/16. And no matter how bad you shoot, you will qualify and deploy. Because the range NCO's pencil says so.



To answer the OP's question, everyone gets rudimentary training on the M16 in BOLC (not sure about the M9) and on paper, goes to the range once per year. What happens on range day really depends on your unit. IME, no one really cares how you, as a MC officer, shoots, except you.

If you want to shoot AND enjoy it, buy your own AR15 and either a M9 or M17 and hit the range on your own time and dime.

Oh ok, thanks for the detailed response. I guess as long as the opportunity to go in my own time is there, I’d be satisfied.
 

pgg

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Dec 15, 2005
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I wouldn't count on getting any range time unless you make it happen yourself. It just isn't a priority for medical commands. Hell, I just deployed with a Marine unit and when our predeployment workup schedule got compressed, the first thing they dropped was the M9 familiarization fire.


But many bases have public access ranges that offer the qualification courses for pistol and rifle (rifle is often a reduced distance with scaled down targets) weekly or monthly. Pay your $25 or $30, shoot, get the paperwork.


Anyone in the Navy who wants to shoot more often and more seriously (and get the pistol and rifle qualifications + ribbons ... or even the leg/Distinguished medals) can show up to either the Atlantic Fleet or Pacific Fleet matches (held at Quantico and Pendleton respectively), and get a few days of really great instruction with a pistol and rifle. Bring your own weapons, or use loaners provided by the team. Free ammo. Free lodging (open bay barracks if you can tolerate it, I can't) or stay in the BOQ or whatever hotel you want. Some commands will provide funded TAD orders but most people end up with no-cost TAD orders. Everyone's welcome, including complete beginners. Marines, Army, and a bunch of civilians come to the Atlantic matches too. It's a great time ... usually about 9 or 10 days of shooting.

Most years they're held in April or early May but due to COVID-19 the Atlantic event has been rescheduled for August, and the Pacific event will be in September.

In non-COVID-19 years, the top 20 from the year's east/west combined All-Navy matches are the "team" (prior year team members and those with points toward Distinguished are also welcome). This is the group that represents the Navy at Interservice and Nationals ... but actually anyone in the Navy can show up to those matches and be part of the group ... only expectation is that they keep up and not get in the way, as these aren't really "learning" events.

The Army has a formal marksmanship unit full of people whose full-time job is to practice and travel for competition. I think I can count on my fingers the number of Air Force people I've seen at Interservice or Nationals over the years. I'm sure some show up, but I don't think they have a real organized team. Navy definitely has the best opportunities for people whose jobs aren't primarily trigger pulling to walk on and be part of it.


Navy Info -


Best kept secret in the Navy.
 
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TheEarDoc

Audiologist
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Dec 28, 2010
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  1. Non-Student
wow makes me sad reading this. My unit does weapons qual yearly.

I also though am a shooter on the side. Spent many years doing 3 guns comps and hand gun comps. I love being on the range. As others have said plenty of opportunities for range time on your own time, but also if you ask for it often times you'll get it. I know several folks who have asked to tag along with other people during range time.
 

notdeadyet

Still in California
15+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2004
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  1. Attending Physician
This will depend a lot on your state and your command (get used to hearing this for almost any answer pertaining to the ARNG).

Most states will at least in theory have a weapons qual drill weekend once or twice a year. Whether you are able to go as a doc depends on what you have scheduled for drill that year. Availability for weapons time sometimes needs to be prioritized, and as a doc you should make sure your enlisted and other folks take priority. If there are slots and you have bandwidth, you should definitely participate (lots of waiting in the sun, but good fun).

Overall, if you enjoy shooting, you'll get better training and better firearms taking a well-known civilian training course than what you'll experience in the Army. I'm sure that's not the case if you're an 11B and the like, but as a doc... shooting just isn't a big priority (nor should it be really).

Depending on your state, a DD214 or some such showing military background is sufficient to waive the firearms training required for a CCW.
 

GreenHousePub

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Apr 30, 2018
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Everyone in the Army if a rifleman/soldier first and then their occupation next.

You will be expected yearly to qualify on a rifle and pistol. You will be taught marksmanship as well as other things all soldiers must know.

Must be different for Army than it is for Navy. I actively searched for ways to get weapon quals, talked to all the base MA's about qualifying. Volunteered to bring my own weapon, ammo, etc, was shot down every single time.
 

Saddleshoes

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I have to share this story...

I had 16 years serving in an Air National Guard medical unit. We HAD to qualify with an M9 every 3 years. If you did not qualify it started bad things happening on your file. At one point we had a thoracic surgeon that was in line to become commander. We loved this guy and wanted him to move into that spot when the time came. However, he had never qualified with a weapon of any kind. When we approached him about his multiple failings on the range his answer was rather noble. Because of his professional experience in taking care of GSW's he had visions of his patients each time he sighted down the barrel. As he would start to squeeze the trigger he would see... Punctured Lung, Lacerated Aorta, Shattered Rib, Ruptured Liver, Etc. and he would flinch off the target as the pistol fired. He couldn't even hit the target 1/2 the time, much less the center of mass.

Here is how we got him qualified. We put our head admin guy on his right side and our dentist on is left side. Our admin guy worked in his civilian job as a prison training officer were he was on the range firing weapons once a week. Our dentist had a hobby of competitive pistol shooting. They both could shot a pattern so tight it was impossible to count their total hits on the target. So each of this guys would put 2 shots on their target and 1 shot on the coronal's target. All 3 guys got excellent ratings that day.
 

USCguy

Earnest Internist
15+ Year Member
Nov 3, 2005
331
47
296
  1. Attending Physician
Hi y’all, hopefully I’m not rehashing other NG threads but apologies if I am.

The prospect of taking an NG stipend (I.e. MDSSP/STRAP) is more attractive than HPSP for certain people for reasons that have been explained in others’ threads, and they have piqued my interest in the former route vs the latter.

My question is, would it be possible to get weapons qualified on top of being an NG doc? Is anyone familiar with the process? Is it open to anyone (like a general course anyone eligible could take, such as getting a concealed carry license in the civilian world) or just certain MOSs?

When I was in Med command, we might get to the range every other year; most drills were doing PHAs. When I transferred to an ASMC, we go to the range once or twice per year. MC officers qual with the M9. I literally only fire a weapon on qual day and have always scored sharpshooter or expert on M9. It is much friendlier to an amateur

for M4/16 they let us shoot once they are down to the last few enlisted stragglers that require 7 iterations to qualify and there is extra ammo the supply doesn’t want to transport back to the armory. My preference is to load the magazines With 20 rounds each and spend the whole time in 3 round burst....but I still can’t hit the 300 target

I also never attended a real “AT” until I switched to the ASMC and got to actually spend 2 weeks in the field treating real and imagined casualties. My career became much more rewarding with the new unit getting to dip my toe in the pool of “real army sh!t”. Also, my phonemagically stops ringing when I turn it off to go to the field so it is a nice break for folks that are always on call
 
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