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How Our Instructors Are Made

RWVA is 'setting the pace' when it comes to training and certifying rifle marksmanship instructors, as Project Appleseed Instructors undergo one of the most rigorous training programs there is.

A full fledged instructor starts out as an IIT (Instructor In Training). But first, in order to become an IIT, the potential instructor must shoot "expert" on the AQT (Army Qualification Test) before he can even volunteer to become an IIT.

Then he embarks on "the Appleseed Trail", where he:

  • Must participate in at least two Appleseeds as a shooting student.
  • As an Instructor-in-training must study online training materials and the RWVA Instructor Guide, as well as understudy other instructors at a minimum of four Appleseeds. It usually takes more than four events before the IIT is ready to become a full Instructor.
  • Must perform selected teaching duties under the supervision of a Full Instructor for at least three Appleseeds, and, at the fourth Appleseed, tell the Story of April 19th, 1775.
  • Must receive at least four positive Instructor Evaluation Forms.
  • Must be able to consistently score 210 on the AQT.
  • Must demonstrate mastery in running a safe line.

It's a tough process - but it makes for extremely competent instructors.


  • 30+ hours of initial training
  • 96+ hours of actual on-hands experience under supervision (the apprenticeship portion).
  • Continuing education teaching several hundred new students over the subsequent 12 months; initially under the careful supervision of an experienced instructor, and finally, once he's proven - where the rubber meets the road, out on the firing line - that he can do the job, on his own.

What's the major factors of becoming an Appleseed Instructor?

Our first requirement for a potential instructor is that he be able to do what he is going to teach - in other words, he has to be able to shoot an "Expert" score with a rifle on the Army Qualification Test (AQT). Second, we require our instructors to go out and instruct hundreds of students under the tutelage of an experienced instructor and gain valuable "hands on" experience - all the while he is being evaluated via IEFs (Instructor Evaluation Forms) to see that he measures up to our high standards. You can bet an RWVA instructor has a lot of miles of experience under his belt, even before he earns the coveted "Red Hat" of a Full Instructor. The tremendous amount of "hands-on" training every RWVA instructor receives makes for an excellence hard to find elsewhere.

It's a process that produces, not just trained and paper-tested instructors, but trained, line-tested, and experienced instructors.

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