The marines are tightening up combat skills training for the same reason the army, and even the air force, have been doing so. Experience in Afghanistan and Iraq has made it clear that during wars against irregulars and terrorists, everyone in uniform may find themselves in combat situations. The army was the first to get caught by lack of preparedness in this area. Army support troops had let their combat training slide over the last decade. Thus army support troops often found themselves fatally unprepared when they ran into a combat situations over the last few years. Marine support personnel had far fewer problems in this area, as the marines always maintained higher combat training standards for non-combat troops. But the new rifle training routine is intended to raise those combat skill levels even higher.
The U.S. Marine Corps is raising the training standards for its personnel, by making it mandatory that everyone go through a more intensive weapons training program each year. Until recently, every marine had to pass a pretty basic shooting test each year. Now everyone will get a test similar to the one every recruit has to pass in boot camp. This includes shooting in combat type situations. Failure to meet minimum qualifications in this weapons test can get you booted out of the marines.