Squad Designated Marksman
The primary mission of the SDM is to deploy as a member of the rifle squad. The SDM is a
vital member of his individual squad and is not a squad sniper. He fires and maneuvers with
his squad and performs all of the duties of the standard rifleman. The SDM has neither the
equipment nor training to operate individually or in a small team to engage targets at
extended ranges with precision fire.
The secondary mission of the SDM is to engage key targets from 100 to 550 meters with effective,
well-aimed fires using the standard weapon system and standard ammunition. Therefore, the SDM must
possess a thorough understanding and mastery of the fundamentals of rifle marksmanship as well as
ballistics, elevation, windage hold-off, sight manipulation, and range estimation.
The SDM course will provide the squad with a designated marksman that has been trained to engage
targets from 100 to 600 meters with and without optics. The SDM will operate and maneuver as a
rifleman, but will have the added responsibility of engaging targets with effective, well-aimed
fire out to 600 meters. The SDM can also be used to help direct the fire of other squad members
into enemy positions. Due to the increased skill level required for his position, the SDM must
maintain a high level of proficiency through continued training of the required skills. The SDM
graduate will return to his/her unit to use the "Train the Trainer" concept and train
The platoon sergeant and squad leaders must take special consideration in selecting the SDM. The
SDM must have a solid marksmanship performance, must have a clear understanding of the fundamentals,
and must be able to apply these fundamentals consistently during dry-fire and live-fire training.
Even though the SDM in the field will be the junior enlisted, the immediate supervisor must know
the capabilities of the SDM. Soldiers must bring a copy of their last M16 series qualification
scorecard showing a qualification of at least Sharpshooter. Soldiers must be in the pay grade of
E-2 through E-7 and O-1 through O-2.
The NGMTC provides Mobile Training Teams (MTTs) that conduct SDM courses to individual states
and/or units. This expansion of the SDM program allows states and units to increase their
instructor base of trainers to assist and conduct marksmanship qualification, unit readiness,
and mobilization training on all small arms. All states are eligible and encouraged to request
the SDM course to augment their marksmanship and weapons training program.
Questions concerning the SDM course or MTTs may be directed to the NGMTC Schools,
(DSN) 962-4554/4381 or (Comm) (501) 212-4554/4381.
For a current listing of all our school dates, please search the ATRRS Couse Catalog under
the appropriate fiscal year, school code 1029, and course number MTC-005.
Click Here to Watch the SDM Informational Video.