I've long maintained that the Navy does an OK job of training you to operate small arms.
They do not teach you how to shoot them well.
For a time in the 2010-2014 time-frame I recall that every single duty watch had to do a refresher with small arms as part of our daily force protection briefing. That was good - the sailors got a refresher on how to load, ready, and unload their rifles, and the POOW/OOD got a review on the Sig.
I'm not sure when that stopped, but it did help the sailors maintain their hand-skills with the weapons.
Unfortunately, they never got to the point of actually teaching you how to shoot or employ the weapons effectively.
I had exactly 1 (one) OOD who brought us up to the bridge and briefed us on his 'naval version' of a range card, and how that related to the real world with some useful questions.
- how far away is that bouy?
- how fast does a RHIB or Zodiac go?
- how long will it take that small boat to cover the distance from that bouy to the ship?
- how do you plan to escalate from waving a stop sign, honking an air horn, presenting a rifle, cocking it, firing warning shots, then firing to stop?
That OOD's briefing was actually useful. It made us think. He's now a CO of a ship.
The only organization in the RCN that actually taught marksmanship was the Shooting Team. Which, IAW NAVGEN 030/17 was formally shut down, and the responsibility for marksmanship in the navy was handed to the NST's and the NTOG folks.
I sat down and did the math on who the shooting team trained over the years at one point and realized that in the span of 10 years, we'd had over 300 people cycle through the team. People that were motivated, people that were skilled, and people who went back to their units to share the knowledge. Some ended up as the bridge rifleman, others went to the NBP, and a couple ended up with NTOG.
Having that 'salting' of 'seasoned' and knowledgeable marksmen (and women) throughout the fleet helped. Helped operationally, and in morale as well. Having a 'fun' thing to do was a good thing. The fun has gone, and those shooters are now mostly pulling time rather than targets.
Interestingly, one would think that jumping from the Navy to the Infantry would see a focus on marksmanship...because soldiers need to know how to shoot, right? Yes. They need to do the gateway qualification training (PWT 3) so that they can go on an exercise. The concept of doing other marksmanship training....yeah....there's no ammo budget for that. The COVID shutdown hasn't helped. Minimizing in-person training for 2 years has resulted in significant skill-fade in running ranges as well.
Marksmanship is a perishable skill. Sadly, it is quick to fade, and tough to relearn.