- James Island Charter High School
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JROTC Marksmanship Program is a Reality
Marksmanship training and competition is a co-curricular activity sanctioned by all JROTC curriculums. However, not all JROTC programs at respective individual schools offer such activity. Marksmanship is a sport. It teaches competitors how to properly aim, control, and fire accurately to hit a distant target consistently. To be proficient, this skill requires concentration, discipline, and patience. To begin with, each school where JROTC offers marksmanship must have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the JROTC unit and their host school's administration. The MOU provides specifics on the safety training; instructor training and certification; range location, set-up, access control, and maintenance; rifles and pellets used; and when such training is to occur.
All JROTC marksmanship training must occur under the supervision of a JROTC instructor. All instructors conducting such training must be certified by the Civilian Marksmanship Program (www.thecmp.org). All of the rifles and equipment utilized are procured using unit activity funds garnered through our fundraisers. Our marksmanship program utilizes compressed gas (CO2) rifles which fire .177 caliber pellets at 600 psi on a range of 10-meters (33 feet, 10 inches) long. Marksmanship is open to both active and reserve cadets in our JROTC program here at JICHS. Before ever handling a rifle, all participating cadets must receive safety training and pass a written safety test with a perfect score of 100. They must also have a signed parental permission slip submitted to instructors allowing their participation. Cadets in the program will have training and practice in firing from three positions--prone (laying on the ground), kneeling, and standing--accuracy in each more challenging, respectively. Those cadets that demonstrate an aptitude and skill for the sport will have the opportunity to compete against other JROTC units locally, regionally, and even nationally. Because it is a sport, there are also scholarship funds available to those that demonstrate exceptional marksmanship skill.
Our marksmanship program at JICHS is a fledgling program, with twelve cadets participating during semester one after school on Thursdays starting last November. Next semester, I expect the numbers to grow. As such, we will likely expand the program to twice per week. Our first live-fire occurred last Thursday, 1-14-21. After it was finished cadets were asked if it was worth the wait...the unanimous answer was that it was worth the wait.
Submitted by: Col. Remington