Another hand grenade question - "Expert" marksman???

I have a friend, Luke, who joined the Army reserves.

He told me that in basic they trained to throw grenades - first with “duds” of course, but finally everybody got to throw two “live” ones.

He proudly told me that he not only scored “excellent” in rifle marksmanship, but in grenade marksmanship as well.

C’mon, was he pulling my leg? My entire body of knowledge on hand grenades consists of what Luke told me and what I’ve learned on this message board.

Rifle marksmanship I understand. Among other things it is a measure of precision - how precise is the shooter (repeatedly)?

But “precision” and “hand grenade” just don’t seem to go together. Remember the old saying, something to the effect of " ‘Close’ only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades."

Do they really have marksmanship scores on the hand grenade course? Which of course demands the question: does anybody ever score a “poor”?

It stands to reason that if you’re gonna throw a hand grenade, you may as well put it where it’ll do the most damage. If Private Judy Benjamin and Private Gomer Pyle are both in situations where they need to take out a machinegun nest by throwing a grenade through a window, do you want to be in Pyle’s squad when he misses the window completely, or in Benjamin’s when she tosses the grenade through the exact center of the window?

As for scoring “poor”, I’d imagine that not throwing the grenade far enough, or throwing so poorly that not so much as a single sliver of shrapnel reaches the “target” area is probably not going to get a young recruit good marks.

I’m not sure about the basic training course in hand grenades, but to qualify for the Expert Infantry Badge, one of five lobbed grenades must land within five feet of the target (a foxhole or bunker) and stay there. The test may be repeated, and repeated failure ends the testing. I suspect that basic has a similar, but perhaps looser, standard.

I thing I speak for most old soldiers when I say that my primary concern with grenades was not accuracy, but range. Usually it was a matter of chunking one in a door or window when I was standing beside it, or dropping it down a hole. No need to hit an eighteen inch strike zone at forty yards there. The concern is having a lot of distance or something solid between you and the explosion. When one of those things goes off there is a whole pot load of very hot, very sharp steel flying around.

Also, when you carry grenades on your web gear or clothing, you tape the levers down.

I wouldn’t call it a “marksmanship” badge, but yeah, you can get an Expert Badge in grenades for doing good on the grenade assault course (I forget the technical name for it) and answering correctly on a brief test given at the end of it. At least this is the way it worked when I went through Basic a decade or so ago.

Still pretty much the same as what Mephisto said. It’s not all accuracy, as it is with the rifle or pistol.

On the top of this page are pictures of your Marksman, Sharp-shooter, and Expert Badges. The US Army gives these to soldiers for proficiency on all kinds of weapons.
I didn’t bother to read anything else on this website, I just posted a link because of the pictures, so I’m not vouching for anything else on this page but the shape of the three badges. I’m not sure if the list at the bottom of the page is complete or up-to-date.

But anyway, your friend, Jimbrowski, wasn’t pulling your leg.

I’ve even seen a badge similar to the other three handed out for good driving (I don’t know what the qualifications are for that). You wear it on your uniform right next to the ones you get for rifle (or in my case, pistol), grenade, and whatever other weapons you qualify on.

Looking through the stuff on Mephisto’s link…

I know what most of these weapons are. I even know what a carbine is. But what’s an aeroweapon?

I barely qualified on grenades in basic training, so I guess I got the lowest rated qualification. I did however, qualify as an expert on the rifle range. When I got to my regular unit I competed for and received an Expert Infantry Badge.

As for the “Good Driver” badge, I believe thats one of those “atta boy” decorations for going so many miles without an accident. Yes, I recieved one of those too, but I never really valued it the way I did my EIB

Helo platform weapons. Including helmet/optic weapons like the chin gun on the Apache but also belly wepons in Nighthawks and Hueys. It’s not the same to shoot an M-60 lying prone as it is hanging out the side of a slick so they have a badge for it.

Barking Spider, we’d make a good team. I was only a sharpshooter with the rifle, but if you got close enough, I was a deadly hand grenade expert according to the Army.

Hand grenade qualification included recognizing and identifying the different types of grenades and knowing how to employ them. You then had to run through the qualification course.

For the qualification course you were given dummie grenades with fuses. The course involved crawling through mud and under – barb, barbed? – hell, concertina wire to stations for throwing grenades. Various targets included an area target (about a 10ft circle), a trench that you had to roll the grenade into, a window to pitch through, and a bunker where you had to remember to allow the grenade to cook (pull the pin and release the fuse allowing the grenade to arm) for 3 seconds before throwing it into the bunker.

Scoring was based not only on accuracy but also time.

I scored expert each time I took the qualification, once in basic and twice during ROTC.

This is sort of nothin’ about nothin’, but I thought you guys might like to know a little about the “experts” of the Kitchener Armies in the First World War: