Veterans and training

Do you feel the military provided you enough training to get you by for self defense? I dont, because most of the training was team based. Plus I think you can never get enough training.

Do you think it was enough?


Blogger Rick Sapp would agree with you that more training is so important, @John150!

1 Like

I do not think that the military IN GENERAL places enough emphasis on firearms training to allow for the auto granting of a CWP. First I know hundreds if not thousands of sailors that have never handled a military weapon. I do know that in the Marine Corps everybody gets trained up and your “rifle scores” are part of your advancement so there is some continuity there. In the Army everyone goes to AIT but I’m not sure if “annual quals” is a requirement. Not sure about the Air Force at all. My own personal case is the exception rather than the rule as I did receive some (a lot of) world class training on the tax payers dime.

When I first started to carry was long before I had any REAL training and the training I did have was in no way helpful for concealed carry other than gun safety and basic marksmanship. I did not know the state laws, federal laws or the basics of shoot don’t shoot but because I was AD Military my training requirement was waived.

It’s a nice perk to have as a veteran/AD Military but I question if it is one you really want when it comes to carrying in public.




I qualified expert with a handgun while in the AF. As I recall it was a 120 round qual. mostly @ 25 yd. There was one hand, off hand, barricade, kneel, and more I don’t remember, as it was 50 years ago. I carried a .38 on missile crew, so carrying was not new to me. We had no training in drawing, shoot don’t shoot, or moving target.


Army was qualification with your individual weapon once a year. I was in aviation, so no other training than qual.


I had just read that, nice catch.


Oh yeah, I’m a lean mean fighting Coast Guard machine.


But that’s not the total purpose of the military, plus our bodies age and need to develop other skills or work arounds.

I’ll be 45 in January (how did that happen!) and I certainly move differently than I did when I was 25, 30, and 35.

1 Like

20 years in the MiANG as a 12B. Trained and qualified with 1911 .45, M16, M203, M14 (Sniper/Counter Sniper ) in MOUT Training, M60, M2 .50 HMG, M9, M249 SAW, M240B and M4 (I still like the M16 better). All in Squad and Platoon or Crew served Weapons. If you want more training on a weapon join the Shooting Teams and Rife, Pistol and MG matches.Free guns and bullets on your own time. Whoooo. Carrying in public is totally different and an awesome responsibility. Definitely more and different training is needed.

PS. I still miss blowing s*** up. A flash of fire and a cloud of smoke and it ain’t there no more.


For me personally, I came out of the military far more dangerous, than when I joined. So my answer is yes. But I also came out with a code, a conscience and a sense of duty to protect those who needed it.

Now did it prepare me for shoot/ don’t shoot, or any of the responsibilities that go with the carrying of a concealed weapon. Absolutely not.


Different jobs in different branches of service had different qualification requirements. While in Germany I use to run our units .45 qualification range mostly for officers, who were on average (not all but most) the worst shots in the unit (both with their .45 as well as their M16).

Every unit I was in during my 8 years I was always in the top three marksmen of my unit (not trying to brag I was just a good shot being brought up with firearms). While in Germany I was chosen to be part of a competition team where we would mainly shoot against German army units and private shooting clubs.

The point I was trying to make before I side tracked myself is this. Not all Military small arms training is the same. Some times you must qualify with stricter parameters and some more frequently. It really depended on your job as well as where you might be stationed in the world.

On a side note I had the opportunity to shoot with and against, who I was told was the second best shot in all of the West Germany police force. One of the other officers at the range that day warned me not to bet against him (I didn’t listen we were both going to be shooting MY M16).

I never missed a 300 meter target with my M16 during my 8 years in service. We each took 30 rounds at 300 meter silhouettes. I didn’t miss, he didn’t miss the head. Yes I bought the beer that night.

I fully agree. I was an AF weapons instructor for 20 years. The majority of troops we trained only received basis fundamentals training. Depending on your specialty code and mission taking some got much more advanced training. To carry everyday in a civilian environment requires a completely different skill set. Weapons retention, knowing the law, knowing how to de-escalate a situation, etc. Just being a good shot isn’t enough. I’ve taught thousands of classes but everytime i attend a training course I learn something new.

1 Like

John150 - Being Air Force MOST had the basic annual qualification. My wife served and the only time she picked up a firearm was in basic training. I was in Security and on the Emergency Service Team so I fired WAY more than most. Now, to answer your question, no you do not “normally” get enough training in the military. I spent 9 years in the service, been firing competitively since I was 7 (44 years now) and an instructor for 20 years and I STILL don’t have enough training.

Bottom line, you can NEVER get enough training. I always recommend people check out USPSA or IPSEC matches not to compete, but to train. And take any training you can. USCCA has more than just the concealed carry courses. In fact, I was recently certifed as a training counselor and Defensive Shooting Level I. I HIGHLY recommend the Defensive Shooting courses. They are FANTASTIC!

Sorry to ramble on, hope this helps.


1 Like

Absolutely not. Although my DD214 allowed me skip the class in KY, I still took it. And when the class turned out to be so simple, I paid for better training, and still do.

Uncle Sam taught me to strip my 1911, properly (kind-of) clean it, load it, unload it (incorrectly), and point it roughly in the same direction a target happened to be located.

1 Like

Nothing about being a platoon leader in a combat infantry company in Vietnam prepared me for concealed carry of a semiautomatic pistol in IL. There’s zero transferable skills. Not even MP’s would say so I believe. Carrying a revolver or pistol concealed is a whole different skill set. The IL license is a two day class, I was allowed to skip the first day because of my military for which I was happy. The two day people received a NRA certificate of some sort not exactly sure what it was but I only had to fire 30 rounds on a range to qualify for which that was very easy. After that you have your legal portion, and your shoot don’t shoot portion and filing the teacher’s certification and your fingerprints electronically. So, I did not learn anything about concealed carry when I had my first company (I probably won’t name it because in do not want to violate community rules if that is the rule) but at that time in 2015 there were no offerings of classes, or scenarios, or community’s such as this, or anything like we have with USCCA for which I am very grateful and love my membership here since 2017, I’m here to stay at USCCA.