Army Target Box Exercises


Army target box exercises are designed to improve a soldier's ability to shoot his assigned weapon. Generally, these exercises are only used when a soldier has difficulty zeroing on the practice range. A qualified non-commissioned officer or marksmanship trainer can use target box exercises to critique the service member's aiming procedures and provide guidance that teaches the soldier how to meet Army standards for shot groups. Generally, these exercises are only used at Basic Combat Training.

Necessary Equipment

  • Soldiers use an Army-approved rifle-holding device with the nomenclature TA-G-12A or a locally-fabricated rifle holder to conduct Army target box exercises. A target-box paddle with the nomenclature DVC-T-7-86 is used as a guide for accurate aiming procedures. An M-16 sighting device and a blank firing attachment are also used. Army Field Manual 3-22.9 provides explicit guidance for the use of these training aids.

Performance Steps

  • The firer assumes a position 25 meters away from the target box. A training NCO who has been designated as the target man places the silhouette paddle on a flat surface and moves it according to the firer's directions, while a marksmanship instructor squats near the firer and observes his techniques.
    The instructor provides on-the-spot coaching about proper aiming techniques to ensure the soldier understands the fundamentals. Once the firer has properly aimed his weapon, he signals the target man to mark it. The target man places a pencil through the hole in the silhouette and marks the paper; he then moves the silhouette and the pair repeats the process two more times.
    After three dry shots are fired, the target man triangulates the marks and labels it with a "1." The instructor and the target man inspect the shot group to determine whether it fits within the target-box paddle's template, which measures 4 centimeters.

Successful Target Box Exercises

  • Soldiers repeat the target box exercise until they are able to place six out of six shots within the parameters of the 4-centimeter paddle. When the instructor, target man and soldier are confident that the soldier has a firm grasp on basic marksmanship and aiming skills, the soldier is permitted to move to the live-fire range and zero his weapon.


  • Every firer must have a blank firing adapter affixed to his weapon for safety purposes. In accordance with Army range safety standards, the target box must be placed in a location that range safety professionals have designated specifically for this purpose.

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