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Air Force Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon

A Marksmanship Ribbon is awarded by the Air Force, the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard to service members who pass a weapons qualification course and achieve an above-average score. The Marksmanship Medal is the Air Force Medal equivalent of the Expert Marksmanship Badge in the Army and the Marine Corps. The Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon is the Air Forces’ only version of these US military medals. To earn these medals of America, personnel must qualify as an expert on either the M-16 rifle, the M-4 Carbine, or with the service persons’ job-designated handgun. These Air Force ribbons rank near the bottom of personal military awards, but are still prized by their recipients. There are no military medals authorized as equivalents for these ribbon awards. 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 Qualification as an 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. With the new electronic battle gear aides currently being introduced into all branches of the military, it won’t be long before additional criteria will be included in the marksmanship requirements for these military ribbons. The Air Force Small Arms Expert Marksmanship 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. This award is worn below the Air Force Basic Training Honor Graduate Ribbon and above the Air Force Training Ribbon in the general order of precedence that has been established for the proper display of all Air Force medals and ribbons. These Air Force awards are available as the traditional slide-on military ribbons and lapel pins. In more recent times the sleek new thin military medals, mini-medals and the ultra thin military ribbons have garnered a wide following with military personnel who have realized the importance of always looking their best to enhance their chances of advancement in their respective military services.

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