FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- The Army has standardized and improved the markings of training ammunition. Fort Jackson's first shipment of the new silver "dummy rounds" is scheduled to arrive this week.

For about 18 months, the Army has worked on developing a better system for distinguishing live ammunition from training ammunition, said Fort Jackson's ammunition manager Joseph Hein.

"There have been several incidents involving (Soldiers) mixing-up dummy and live ammo. At another installation, a Soldier was killed (because of such a mix-up)," Hein said.

According to an Operations Order, the Army made the determination that "training and dummy ammunition must be easily recognized so that even the most untrained Soldier can immediately distinguish between a live round and a dummy round. ..."

Dummy rounds' casings are now silver in color, instead of copper. Also, two holes -- opposite each other - have been drilled into the casings.

The change is effective for machine gun and rifle ammunition sizes 5.56 mm, 7.62 mm and 50 caliber.

Close to 30,000 rounds of the new 5.56 mm will be shipped to Fort Jackson this month, with the others slated to arrive sometime in 2010, Hein said.
Sgt. 1st Class Marquise Goodwin of Company B, 369th Adjutant General Battalion, applauds the Army's move to make dummy rounds more distinguishable for Soldiers.

"It's a good thing. Safety first always," said Goodwin, who is also Fort Jackson's 2009 Platoon Sergeant of the Year.