~2019 WPW Machine Gun Championship Complete, Results
by Spc. Stephen M. Wright, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas – Twenty-two National Guardsmen, eleven different teams, from across the nation gathered at the Robinson Maneuver Training Center near North Little Rock, Arkansas, to compete in the 2019 Winston P. Wilson Machine Gun Competition May 6 through 10, 2019.
Some of the most notable awards given at the ceremony, hosted annually by the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center, were the Chief’s 50 badge, Overall Light Machine Gun Team Champions, Overall Aggregate Machine Gunner Champion and the Overall Aggregate Assistant Gunner Champion.
The Overall Light Machine Gun Team Champions are Staff Sgt. Joseph Noe and Spc. Heriberto Tapia, Arkansas National Guard. Both earned the Chief’s 50 and Noe also claimed the prestigious title of “Overall Aggregate Machine Gunner Champion.”
The title “Overall Aggregate Assistant Gunner Champion” was awarded to Sgt. Levi Loomis of the Nebraska National Guard.
The overall match aggregate for top machine gunner and top assistant gunner consisted of seven different matches completed over the five days of competition.
All Winston P. Wilson Championship matches promote friendly competition, increase battlefield survivability and enhance unit readiness for both Army and Air National Guard units.
“Combat readiness begins with effective and lethal marksmanship at the individual Soldier level. There are three basic principles of effectively engaging and defeating the enemy: shoot, move and communicate. WPW is designed to challenge each participate and team in these principles. Those who can do it best are generally the winners.” Col. Marty Curtright, National Guard Training Center commander.
These competitions test shooters physically, mentally, tactically and strategically. They must be proficient in their marksmanship knowledge, skills and abilities to place high in the matches.
“Alexander the great said that it was not the brilliance of generalship and it was not his expertise in logistics that made his army so successful he said it was the individual warriorship,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Kepner, senior enlisted advisor to the Chief, National Guard Bureau. “Back then that meant expertise with sword, spear, and shield. Today that means expertise with weapons, and this competition highlights our expertise with weapons which will win the next war for us.”
48th Winston P. Wilson Results
Overall Machine Gun Champions
Recipient of the Overall Light Machinegun team Aggregate Champions Trophy: Arkansas-Alpha: Staff Sgt. Joseph Noe and Spc. Heriberto Tapia
Second Place- Michigan Bravo – Sgt. David Dohnal and Spc. Lucas Elliott
Third Place- Michigan Alpha – Staff Sgt. Cameron Higgs and Spc. Calvin Halfacre
Top Overall Aggregate Machine Gunner
First Place: Staff Sgt. Joseph T Noe (Arkansas)
Second Place- Sgt. David Dohnal (Michigan)
Third Place- Staff Sgt. Freeman Sandquist (Nebraska)
Top Overall Aggregate Assistant Gunner
First Place: Sgt. Levi Loomis (Nebraska )
Second Place- Maj. Samuel Freeman (Arkansas )
Third Place- Sgt. 1st Class Luke Katz (Nebraska)
Chief’s 50 Marksmanship Badge Recipients
- Staff Sgt. Joseph Noe, Arkansas
- Spc. Heriberto Tapia, Arkansas (new recipient)
- Sgt. David Dohnal, Michigan
- Spc. Lucas Elliott, Michigan (new recipient)