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This chapter provides information to help the chain of command--the primary trainers--develop an effective train-the-trainer program. The key to successful unit marksmanship training is the knowledge level of small-unit leaders and trainers. Section I discusses the organization of the program, Section II provides the train-the-trainer tasks, and Section III discusses trainer certification.


An effective unit-level train-the-trainer program reflects the training priorities and interests of the chain of command. The training strategy for the train-the-trainer program is to develop METLs. To do this, the chain of command assesses the overall training program, their own responsibilities, and those of the trainers and coaches.


The train-the-trainer program has specific objectives. These objectives are to develop in every trainer the confidence, willingness, knowledge, and skills required to consistently train soldiers to use an M203 effectively. The program's aim is for the chain of command to train their trainers and--

  • To train soldiers to apply the fundamentals.
  • To diagnose and correct marksmanship areas.
  • To achieve standards.
  • To maintain a constant degree of proficiency.
  • To establish a trainer base.


Grenadier proficiency is critical to the squad and platoon. Each commander should develop a METL for both defensive and offensive operations and then organize a training program that devotes adequate time to M203 gunnery. The commander considers the unit's combat mission when he establishes training priorities. This applies to the selected tasks and the conditions under which the tasks are to be performed.


The chain of command identifies the soldiers who have the required knowledge, skills, and motivation in M203 gunnery and trains these soldiers to pass their knowledge on to other soldiers.

a.   Selection. Potential trainers are selected from the best qualified soldiers. To be trainers, the soldiers must display motivation and know the M203 grenade launcher. They must demonstrate both their proficiency in applying the fundamentals of M203 gunnery and their ability to train professionally. Because knowledgeable trainers are the key to M203 gunnery performance, the commander must maintain high standards for trainer expertise.

b.   Training. The more time a command invests in training a trainer, the better the result. The chain of command should periodically evaluate trainers and replace any who have lost their desire to accomplish the objectives of the M203 gunnery program. To maintain interest, commanders may promote competitive trainer awards such as "Trainer of the Month."


Assisting and coaching other soldiers in firing the M203 grenade launcher are important technical jobs. The most valuable soldiers in the M203 gunnery training program are those who are most proficient in and can best transmit their knowledge of M203 gunnery to others. Soldiers who demonstrate consistency as grenadiers should be identified quickly and developed into competent assistant trainers or coaches. Their main responsibility then becomes to teach other soldiers to use the M203 grenade launcher effectively. Training a qualified grenadier to become a successful coach is worth the effort. A less obvious benefit is that such training also develops leadership ability.

a.   Assistant Trainers. Assistant trainers maintain discipline on the firing line and constantly enforce compliance with training guidance, range regulations, and safety regulations (Appendix D discusses range safety).

b.   Coaches. Coaches must know the fundamentals of both accurate firing and coaching. Therefore, each coach must meet the following qualifications:

(1)   Knowledge. A coach must know this manual and must be able to answer any questions on the subject of M203 gunnery accurately. He must develop his ability to observe soldiers' actions in detail and offer quick correction and sound guidance.

(2)   Patience. A coach will encounter many types of soldiers who try his patience. This includes dull, know-it-all, uncooperative, and aggressive ones. He must handle each one patiently. Through demonstration and repetition, coaches can train soldiers to be proficient M203 grenadiers.

(3)   Understanding. Because training new grenadiers is stressful to both students and the coach, a coach needs a good "firing line manner." Soldiers may be sensitive to abruptness, impatience, or lack of sympathy. If so, they will react immediately and unfavorably to any evidence of these from the coach.

(4)   Consideration. Most soldiers, even those who do not fire well, enjoy firing and start out with a positive interest in their performance on the range. A coach who is considerate of soldiers' feelings from the beginning, and who encourages them throughout their training, will find coaching a pleasant and rewarding duty.

(5)   Respect. Because a coach must be an expert grenadier, he should receive the same respect as the primary trainer. A coach retains that respect by showing that he knows the subject quietly and with dignity.

(6)   Alertness. The most capable soldier may forget a vital point from his training in the excitement of range firing. The coach must be alert for this possibility and patiently correct the grenadier when it occurs. The coach constantly encourages and motivates the grenadier by providing positive feedback on all progress.

(7)   Helpful Attitude. A combative attitude is no more effective on the range than in other types of training.

(8)   Encouragement. The coach can encourage soldiers by convincing them that good firing is no mystery. The weapon and ammunition are mechanically developed for accuracy: poor scores are usually due to lack of maintenance, knowledge, or practice on the part of the grenadier. The coach imparts his knowledge and helps the soldiers gain the practical experience needed.


The chain of command must demonstrate active and aggressive leadership in order to establish and maintain a perpetual base of trainer expertise. Unit esprit de corps increases when trainers want to improve and demonstrate they are the best. The goal of a progressive train-the-trainer program is to achieve a high state of combat readiness.


The phases of the train-the-trainer program include preliminary marksmanship training, basic gunnery, and advanced gunnery. To ensure soldiers know gunnery fundamentals before they have to engage real combat targets, trainers must allow the soldiers to advance through the phases of M203 gunnery training only after satisfying certain prerequisites. The trainers' objectives at each phase are to teach soldiers to obtain an accurate initial round impact, to adjust fire, and to do both quickly. The train-the-trainer program provides the trainer with the technical, organizational, and teaching skills necessary to train M203 gunnery tasks.


This section provides guidance to help trainers train the M203 grenade launcher effectively. It is divided into phases and provides the tasks, organization, equipment needed, and training sequence for each phase.


This paragraph discusses how trainers teach soldiers to maintain their assigned weapons.

Task 1. Disassemble the M203 grenade launcher.

Equipment Needed. The trainer displays the M203 on a table. This allows students to see the parts as he removes them. He can use nomenclature charts or mats to help explain the mechanics and to help the grenadiers learn the names of parts.

Class Organization. Ideally, the trainer assigns one assistant trainer and one grenade launcher to each group; otherwise, the trainer may have assistant trainers supervise more than one assigned group.

Sequence of Training. The trainer presents a brief history of the grenade launcher. He discusses the combat role and missions of the weapon and the purpose, scope, and importance of this training. He briefly describes the operation of the weapon and provides general data and exterior nomenclature of the grenade launcher. Assistant trainers should disassemble the grenade launcher as the trainer explains the procedures. Then the grenadiers practice disassembling the weapon until they can demonstrate their skill to an assistant trainer. This training approach encourages practice during free time, which develops individual skills and initiative. The trainer stresses that this task must be performed carefully to avoid damaging parts of the grenade launcher.

Task 2. Inspect the M203 grenade launcher.

Equipment Needed. This is the same as for Task 1, plus one dummy round per weapon.

Class Organization. This is the same as for Task 1.

Sequence of Training. The trainer emphasizes meticulous cleaning, lubrication, inspection, and preventive maintenance to ensure smooth weapon performance. He discusses how important smoothly functioning weapons are to a unit in combat conditions, which are the final test of the weapon maintenance program. He continues training to increase the grenadier's knowledge of M203 nomenclature and skill in disassembling the weapon. He stresses the importance of frequent inspections as a means of ensuring the grenade launcher is properly maintained.

Task 3. Clean the M203 grenade launcher.

Equipment Needed. The trainer needs rags, CLP, one bore-cleaning brush, and one dummy round for each weapon. He should display all of these.

Class Organization. This is the same as for Task 1.

Sequence of Training. This is the same as for Task 2. The trainer discusses the additional care and cleaning required after an NBC attack. He again emphasizes the importance of frequent inspections as a means to ensure proper maintenance.

Task 4. Lubricate the M203 grenade launcher.

Equipment Needed. This is the same as for Task 2.

Class Organization. This is the same as for Task 1.

Sequence of Training. This is the same as for Tasks 2 and 3.

Task 5. Assemble the M203 grenade launcher.

Equipment Needed. This is the same as for Task 1.

Class Organization. This is the same as for Task 1.

Sequence of Training. This is the same as for Task 1.

Task 6. Explain the operation of the M203 grenade launcher.

Equipment Needed. Each two-soldier group requires one M203 grenade launcher, a dummy round, and a cleaning rod, which should be placed on a table before training begins.

Class Organization. This is the same as for Task 1.

Sequence of Training. The trainer explains and demonstrates the proper method of loading, unloading, and clearing the grenade launcher, stressing safety throughout.

Task 7. Explain the functioning of the M203 grenade launcher.

Equipment Needed. Graphic training aids are useful if the class is about the size of a platoon; otherwise, these aids may be made available for study and discussion during breaks. The trainer uses one grenade launcher for each two-soldier group, as in previous mechanical training.

Class Organization. This is the same as for Task 1.

Sequence of Training. The trainer divides functioning into its eight steps--unlocking, cocking, extracting, ejecting, loading, chambering, locking, and firing. Using the grenade launcher assigned to each group, assistant trainers duplicate each demonstration for the benefit of the students (Chapter 2). The students learn how the weapon functions by watching the parts work, rather than by memorizing the text. The trainer tests retention by asking questions about the eight steps.

Task 8. Explain malfunction, stoppage, and immediate action.

Equipment Needed. This is the same as for Task 1.

Class Organization. This is the same as for Task 1.

Sequence of Training. The trainer may use the malfunction and stoppage charts as a guide for presenting training (Tables 4-1 and 4-2). He discusses precise application of the procedures on the charts; then, as grenadiers progress, he shifts his emphasis to speed. Throughout his discussion, he emphasizes safety precautions.

Task 9. Identify types and capabilities of standard 40-mm ammunition.

Equipment Needed. This is the same as for Task 1.

Class Organization. This is the same as for Task 1.

Sequence of Training. The trainer may use the ammunition chart as a guide for presenting training (Figure 3-9). He stresses the importance of knowing ammunition types, their characteristics, and their capabilities. He also stresses why 40-mm ammunition not designed for the M203 grenade launcher must not be used.


This phase is essential to developing the trainer who is to conduct the zeroing and transition day and night record firing for the M203.

Task 1. Conduct day record fire of the M203 on the grenade launcher range.

Equipment Needed. The demonstration crew should have an M203 grenade launcher, a zeroing target, stop watches, a cleaning rod, rags, and CLP. They should also have sound equipment for use during firing.

Class Organization. Preferably, one grenadier, one assistant grenadier, and one assistant trainer should be allotted for each station. Soldiers who are not required on the station or helping operate the range should receive concurrent training.

Sequence of Training. Before the conference and firing demonstration, the trainer briefly reviews range estimation and techniques of adjustment. The grenadiers zero their weapons before training. The station trainers require the grenadiers to be in the correct firing position before letting them fire. The assistant may assist the grenadier in locating the targets, but he is not permitted to aid in range estimation of fire adjustments. At the completion of this exercise, the grenadier and assistant rotate.

Task 2. Conduct night record fire of the M203 on the grenade launcher range.

Equipment Needed. This is the same as for Phase I, Task 2, with the addition of an AN/PVS-4 with an M203 mount or an AN/PVS-7 with aiming stakes.

Class Organization. This is the same as for Phase I, Task 2.

Sequence of Training. This is the same as for Phase I, Task 2.


The trainer certification portion of the train-the-trainer program is designed to sustain training expertise and to develop methods of training. Trainer certification standardizes procedures for certifying M203 gunnery trainers. It also supports the intent of the directives for cadre professional development in TRADOC Regulation 350-6. Trainers' technical expertise must be continuously refreshed, updated, and closely managed.


Like any organization, the training base has personnel turnover. Additionally, soldiers assigned as M203 trainers have different backgrounds and knowledge of training procedures and methods. Trainer certification is an ongoing process that addresses these variables. M203 trainers must complete the three phases of trainer certification in order and must update their training quarterly. Formal records document each trainer's progress. One of the goals of trainer certification is to help trainers understand the training mission, which helps them support grenadiers.


Before they can be certified, trainers attend all phases of the program. Then, under the supervision of the chain of command, they conduct the phases. They must demonstrate that they can train soldiers as well as diagnose and correct problem areas. Phases occur in the following sequence:

Phase I, Orientation. During this phase, the new trainer must accomplish the following and obtain certification from the chain of command:

.  Attend briefing on the concept of trainer certification.

.  Attend briefing on the unit's marksmanship training strategy.

.  Review the unit's marksmanship training outlines.

.  Review issued reference material.

.  Visit training sites and firing ranges.

Phase II, Preliminary Marksmanship Instruction. During this phase, the trainer must demonstrate his mastery of the fundamentals of marksmanship, his ability to diagnose problem areas, and his ability to train others to standards. This phase should be completed within two weeks after Phase I. The following M203 marksmanship fundamentals are reviewed by the chain of command, with the results recorded and maintained on the trainer's progress sheet:

.  Characteristics.

.  Capabilities.

.  Disassembly.

.  Cleaning, lubricating, and inspecting.

.  Assembly.

.  Malfunctions, stoppages, and immediate action.

.  Types and capabilities of standard 40-mm ammunition.

.  Range estimation.

.  Classes of fire.

.  Application of fire.

Phases III and IV, Gunnery Training.

Phase III. During this phase, the trainer must demonstrate his ability to set up and conduct firing on the various ranges. He must brief the chain of command to convince them that he can understand the reasons for firing, targetry, and zeroing and scoring procedures. He must also be able to explain the purpose of transition, night, and NBC firing exercises. The results of this interview are recorded and maintained on the trainer's progress sheet.

Phase IV. During this phase, the trainer's knowledge is tested completely. The trainer sets up a range and trains at least one person. If ammunition is available, he conducts a firing exercise. If no ammunition is available, the testing is based on the quality of his training.

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