During the two days Echo Company ran the marksmanship qualification range on COB Adder in November, Sgt. 1st Class Jason Guinn, 30, strode back and forth on the dirt mound where the shooters were firing. Guinn adjusted a body position here, made a suggestion there, pushed in an elbow, all to help soldiers to qualify with their M16, M4 or M9 personal weapons.
Guinn served for four years on active duty as a Marine before joining the Army National Guard. “We don’t spend enough time on PMI (Preliminary Marksmanship Instruction),” said Guinn, NCOIC of Operations for Task Force Diablo. “In the Marines we moved out to the range for two weeks every year. We would a full week just practicing different firing positions.”
Guinn serves full time in the Army National Guard and is planning to work as a Readiness NCO in 28th Combat Aviation Brigade after this deployment. He currently has the additional duties of Master Weapons Instructor and Master Marksmanship Instructor for the 28th CAB. During his service with the Marines from 1997 – 2000 Guinn was a Master Marksmanship Instructor. “In the Marines, marksmanship can be a primary duty. In the Army it is always an additional duty,” said the Enola, Pa. native.
In addition to weapons training in the Marines, Guinn has received six months of advanced weapons instruction from several Army schools, including the five-phase Master Weapons Instructor School which he completed in 2004. He is currently on his third deployment. He went to East Timor with the Marines in 1998. He went to Kosovo with Bravo Company (Attack) 1-104th Aviation in 2005-6 before his current tour with Task Force Diablo.
Guinn says “practice makes perfect” in marksmanship as in many areas of life. He practices partly through competition. He has earned the Governor’s Twenty tab for marksmanship and competed in international events. He is especially proud of being a member of the team the beat the highly rated Italian Special Forces team.
Later this week, on December 3, Guinn will be conducting a marksmanship class for his staff in operations. “It’s a full day just to go over the fundamentals of shooting,” he said.