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Marksmanship Ribbon: Wikis


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Marksmanship Ribbon
U.S. Marksmanship Ribbons
Awarded by
United States Navy
United States Air Force
United States Coast Guard
Type Ribbon
Eligibility All ranks
Status Current

A Marksmanship Ribbon is an award of the United States Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard that is issued to service members who pass a weapons qualification course and achieve an above-average score.



Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon.svg
Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon.svg

The U.S. Navy has issued two marksmanship ribbons: the Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon and Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon, since 1920. The pistol ribbon is currently awarded for qualification on the 9mm Beretta M9 pistol, while the rifle ribbon is currently awarded for qualification on the M16 semi-automatic rifle.

The Navy issues the marksmanship ribbon in three levels — that of Marksman, Sharpshooter, and Expert. The basic ribbon is awarded for the Marksman level while the specific Marksmanship Device is awarded for qualification as a Sharpshooter or Expert. Those receiving an Expert qualification receive the Marksmanship Medal, in addition to the Marksmanship Ribbon.

Prior to 1959, the Navy also issued a ribbon known as the Distinguished Marksmanship Ribbon. This award was discontinued in 1960 and had been declared obsolete by 1965.

Air Force

USAF Marksmanship ribbon.svg

The United States Air Force awards a single ribbon, known as the Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, for an expert qualification on either the M-16 rifle, M-4 Carbine or the individuals AFSC's (Job) designated handgun weapon. The ribbon is issued in only one degree; however, a bronze service star may be worn on the decoration for those in certain career fields like security forces and civil engineering who have qualified expert on both the service rifle and handgun.

Qualification as expert with the pistol (M-9/M-11) requires 41 hits out of 45 rounds on target, with at least 25 hits within a 10-inch circle on the torso of the target and six hits within a six-inch circle on the head of the target.

Qualification as expert with the rifle (M-16/M-4) for the Air Force Qualification Course (AFQC) is most common for Air Force members and requires 35 to 40 hits out of 40 rounds (if qualifying without a gas mask), or 43 to 50 hits out of 50 rounds on various sized silhouettes, simulating targets at different ranges. The target itself is 25 meters away, with silhouettes simulating targets at 50 meters, 100 meters, 150 meters, 200 meters, 250 meters and 300 meters. 10 shots are fired each from the standing-barricaded, kneeling-barricaded, prone-supported (with and without gas mask) and the prone-unsupported position.

Qualification as expert with the rifle (M-16/M-4) for the Tactical Rifle Qualification Course (TRQC), as taken directly from AFMAN 36-2227V1 is as follows: PHASE V — Day Rapid Fire Evaluation: 18 of 30 hits required. 25 of 30 for expert, iron sights only, except DM. Designated Marksman qualification requirements are as follows: 50-meter target three of three hits, 100-meter target three of three hits, 150-meter target six of six hits, 200-meter targets must have five of six hits, 250-meter targets must have five of six hits and 300-meter targets must have five of six hits. Show score as number of hits and "Q, Qual or Qualified" for qualified, "UQ, Unqual or Unqualified" for unqualified and "E, Exp or Expert" for expert.[1]

Air Force M-16A2 25-Meter Scaled Silhouette Timed-Fire Target

USAF marksmanship badges

U.S. Air Force Individuals may receive a U.S. Air Force Non-National Marksmanship Bronze Badge after earning four points in an Elementary Match. Both badge and ribbon may be worn at the same time. Elementary matches are any matches sponsored by Headquarters, United States Air Force and approved by Headquarters Air Force Services Agency, Air Force Fitness and Sports Branch (HQ AFSVA/SVPAF), the United States Army, or the National Guard.
US Air Force Non National Bronze Badge.jpg

Coast Guard

Coast Guard Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon.svg
Coast Guard Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon.svg

The Coast Guard Marksmanship Ribbon are issued under the same criteria as the U.S. Navy, but Coast Guardsmen use a .40 cal SIG-Sauer P229R DAK pistol instead of the Navy's M9 pistol. The Coast Guard issues two ribbons, known as the Coast Guard Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon and the Coast Guard Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon. The Marksmanship Device is awarded for qualification at the higher levels of sharpshooter and expert. Like the Navy, for those who receive an expert qualification, the Marksmanship Medal is awarded instead of the Marksmanship Ribbon.

Additional information

The U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps provide Weapons Qualification Badges instead of a Marksmanship Ribbon. For the services that award the Marksmanship Ribbon, requalification is not necessary once a service member has obtained the decoration and the Marksmanship Ribbon may be worn throughout an individual's entire career. In the Navy and Coast Guard, the Marksmanship Ribbon may be upgraded to include the Marksmanship Device if a higher qualification is achieved after the initial award of the ribbon.

See also


  1. ^ AFMAN 36-2227V1 Combat Arms Training Programs Individual Use Weapons

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