In addition to annual physicals, each year the uniformed service members of Starfleet must be qualified on the standard-issue weapons that they carry.
Basic Qualification is a required of each uniformed service member on the three standard-issue phasers: Type-I or “Personal”, Type-II or “Sidearm”, and Type-III or “Rifle”. The Basic Qualification for each weapon is scored out of 20 possible points with 10 points needed to pass; although some branches (such as Tactics & Security and the Marines) have higher standards.
Most service members take their annual re-qualification well before it is due to allow time for retesting in case they do not receive a passing score. Failure to pass before qualification expires results in mandatory removal from active duty until the test in passed.
If a service member scores 18 points or better on the 20-point Basic Qualification, they may option for Advanced Qualification within three weeks of taking the Basic Qualification.
Advanced Qualification is available for the Type-II or “Sidearm” and Type-III or “Rifle” phasers (there is no Advanced Qualification for the Type-I or “Personal” phaser). The Advanced Qualification is scored out of 50 possible points in-addition-to the 20 possible points from the Basic Qualification – for a total of 70 possible points.
If a service member scores well enough on their combined Basic and Advanced Qualifications, they are entitled to wear the appropriate Marksmanship Ribbon. Members of Marine and Elite forces generally undertake the Marksmanship course during their basic training.
Unlike other awards in the Fleet, the Marksmanship Ribbons expire with the annual qualification and must be re-earned. Accordingly, subsequent awards of the same ribbon are not denoted by award stars; and it is impossible to be entitled to wear multiple “levels” of the same phaser’s ribbon at the same time.