MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. --
Keeping his rifle firmly tucked tight to his shoulder, Recruit Francis Flannery’s eye focuses on the chevron aligned directly above the target. Diligently, he times his shot.
Inhale. Exhale. Pause. Bang!
Flannery fires off the last round that tallies his range score to 249, one-point shy of perfect.
Joining the Corps
Growing up in the suburbs of South Plainfield, New Jersey, Flannery realized early in life that the Marine Corps was going to be part of his future.
“The older I got, I realized that becoming a Marine was what I wanted more than anything else.” said Flannery.
He arrived to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in August and picked up with Charlie Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion.
As he progressed through recruit training, Flannery’s ambition led him to outperform his peers. So much so, his drill instructors assigned him the billet of squad leader, a leadership role designated to the four most qualified recruits amongst the platoon.
Sgt. Bryan C. McGuigan, one of his drill instructors, describes him as “an above average recruit…able to retain knowledge quicker than most…”
Growing up in central New Jersey, Flannery had never handled a firearm. His first time firing his weapon would come during the second phase of recruit training as part of the company’s marksmanship training.
Sgt. Juan C. Jimenez, a Primary Marksmanship Instructor, would be the Marine responsible for teaching him the fundamentals of marksmanship.
As a marksmanship instructor, Sgt Jimenez’s role is to instruct recruits on the proper maintenance and maneuver of a weapon, specifically the M16A4 Service Rifle, prior to them shooting on the range.
Aware that recruits share different experiences with firearms, the instructor uses the fundamentals of Combat Marksmanship to instill the same discipline and shooting habits within all recruits.
“They see movie scenes of Marines kicking in doors and sending rounds down range. But to get there, they have to first learn the fundamentals. So that, they can do it fast, but right”, states Sgt Jimenez.
On qualification day, Flannery applied everything Jimenez had taught him. When the day ended, Flannery was one-point shy of perfect, tying the depot record for the highest marksmanship score in the history of the base.
Reflecting back on his performance, Flannery said he was in disbelief of his score.
“I guess when you do what you’re supposed to, you do it right. You do no more or no less, you get it perfect.”
Flannery graduated recruit training today with Charlie Company and was awarded as the Company High Shooter.
Flannery believes his achievements in recruit training exemplifies the continuation of Marines upholding the Marine Corps reputation as the world’s most lethal fighting force.