The Marine Corps may soon run out of rifle combat optic sights for young recruits to train with at Parris Island and other entry level training centers, according to a recent Marine administrative message.
The Marine rifle combat optic, or RCO, is the standard 4X magnification sight Marines use for M16A4 rifles and M4 carbines. The sea service is now experiencing "RCO shortages due to a combination of service life expiration and breakage," according to the message, which describes the findings of the Marines' recent 2019 Combat Marksmanship Symposium.
"Based on the current sustainment model, the shortfall will have a critical impact on both Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and The Basic School within 6 months and Weapons and Field Training Battalion, Edson Range within 12 months," the message states.
The Combat Marksmanship Symposium, or CMS, was held Oct. 1-5, bringing decision-makers together to discuss issues affecting combat marksmanship and recommend possible solutions for the future, according to the message.
Military.com reached out to the Marine Corps for more details on the shortfall, such as how many RCOs the service is lacking, but did not receive an answer by press time.
The RCO is a version of Trijicon's advanced combat optical gunsight, or ACOG. It relies on a dual-illumination technology that uses a combination of fiber optics and self-luminous tritium, which results in a continuous illumination of the aiming point without the need for batteries, according to Trijicon's website.
"The unique reticle pattern provides quick target acquisition at close combat ranges while providing enhanced target identification and hit probability out to 800 meters," the website states.
The Marine Corps is considering redistributing RCOs "across the total force" to "reduce the immediate training impact."
"This highlights a need to develop a use and care policy for [entry-level training] in order to reduce shortfalls and a long-term sustainment model for the total force," the message states.
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at email@example.com.