The cornerstone of soldiering (MAC 1)

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The bright red, yellow and white muzzle flash can be seen milliseconds before the bullet leaves the rifle barrel as an Air National Guardsmen fires his rifle during one of the many marksmanship matches that make up the Marksmanship Advisory Council (MAC) Region 1 Marksmanship Championships held June 20-23, 2019 at Camp Ethan Allen in Jericho, Vermont. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. Theresa Austin)

~Vermont Army National Guard wins 2019 MAC 1 Championship
by Maj. Theresa Austin, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas – “Marksmanship is the basic Soldier skill that forms the cornerstone for our Soldiers to bring lethal effects on the enemy,” said Maj. Brooks Hayward, New Hampshire Army National Guard.

How does one build upon the cornerstone of Soldier marksmanship? Participating in shooting competitions like the Marksmanship Advisory Council (MAC) Region One Marksmanship Championships.

The MAC 1 Marksmanship Championships were held June 20-23, 2019 at Camp Ethan Allen in Jericho, Vermont and had 74 competitors from the Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhoad Island and Vermont Army and Air National Guard, as well as two visiting teams from Nebraska, MAC 5.

National Guardsmen from Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire and Nebraska took home the top three overall team and individual titles.

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The Vermont Alpha Team, Army National Guard, pose for a photo with Chief Warrant Officer 5 Larry Grace, Vermont Army National Guard, after receiving their Overall Team Champions Certificate and individual team medallions on June 23, 2019 at the conclusion of the Marksmanship Advisory Council Region 1 “MAC 1” Marksmanship Championships held June 20-23 at Camp Ethan Allen in Jericho, Vermont. (left tor right: Sgt. Maxim Nickerson, Staff Sgt. Robert Tucker, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Larry Grace, Sgt. Benjamin Carey, Sgt. Conner Norton) (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. Theresa Austin)

Staff Sgt. David Musso, New Hampshire National Guard, not only earned third place overall individual but also shot his personal best in the Pistol Excellence-in-Competition Match. He currently works full time for the New Hampshire National Guard and serves as a marksmanship trainer for their state Warrior Training Team, which focuses on building readiness and lethality among the New Hampshire guard units.

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Tech Sgt. Jennifer Knipp, 157th Air Refueling Wing, New Hampshire Air National Guard, fires the M9 service pistol while standing on the 30-yard-line during the Pistol Excellence-in-Competition Match June 22, 2019. The Marksmanship Advisory Council (MAC) Region 1 Marksmanship Championships were held June 20 thru 23 at Camp Ethan Allen in Jericho, Vermont and had 74 competitors from the Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhoad Island and Vermont Army and Air National Guard, as well as two visiting teams from Nebraska, MAC 5. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. Theresa Austin)

Musso says, “More Soldiers need to take advantage of the National Guard’s competitive marksmanship programs; they are additional training. States don’t have time and funding to support additional marksmanship training. The competitive marksmanship program is fully funded by the NGMTC (National Guard Marksmanship Training Center), and they fund Soldiers to attend competitive events at regional, national and international levels.”

State National Guards, who take advantage of this additional marksmanship training and competitive marksmanship programs, provided by the NGMTC, know it is influential in improving combat effectiveness.

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As a .45 caliber pistol casing leaves the ejection port, the sound of a multitude of pistols firing repeatedly at the same time can be heard while observing Staff Sgt. Orville Porter, Forward Support Company 204th Engineer Battalion, 53rd Troop Command, New York Army National Guard, who has a calm almost rhythmic firing pattern while engaging the Excellence-in-Competition (EIC) targets during the EIC match of the Marksmanship Advisory Council (MAC) Region 1 Marksmanship Championships that were held June 20-23 at Camp Ethan Allen in Jericho, Vermont. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. Theresa Austin)

One of the areas Musso feels is important for combat effectiveness is the ability to accurately engage targets beyond the standard qualification distance of 300 meters.

“Most [Soldiers] don’t shoot at distances beyond 300 meters or shoot at 300 [meters] well,” said Musso, “but, here, they are expected to shoot from 400 meters and they realize they can accurately engage targets out to 400 meters.”

Both, Musso and Maj. Hayward, are huge advocates for the NGMTC marksmanship programs and both agree, When you practice marksmanship it’s for lethality.

Below are the team and individual champions and more results can be found at https://wpwafsam.weebly.com/mac-regional-events.html.

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Sgt. Maxim Nickerson, Vermont Army National Guard, poses for a photo with Chief Warrant Officer 5 Larry Grace, Vermont Army National Guard, after receiving the Individual Aggregate Champions trophy on June 23, 2019 at the conclusion of the Marksmanship Advisory Council Region 1 “MAC 1” Marksmanship Championships held June 20-23 at Camp Ethan Allen in Jericho, Vermont. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. Theresa Austin)

Team Pistol and Rifle Championship Aggregate:
1. Vermont-Alpha, Vermont Army National Guard, score 2505-29X
(Staff Sgt. Robert Tucker, Sgt. Benjamin Carey, Sgt. Conner Norton, Sgt. Maxim Nickerson)
2. Nebraska-Bravo, Nebraska Army National Guard, score 2163-22X
(1st Lt. Jonathan Lintz, Sgt 1st Class Heath Wragge, Staff Sgt. Seth Gorham, Spc. Spencer Kort)
3. Vermont-Bravo, Vermont Army National Guard, score 2150-29X
(Capt. Cliffton Allen, Capt. Christopher Clements, Tech Sgt. Robert Marciniak, Staff Sgt. Erick Willis)

Overall Aggregate Champion:
1. Sgt. Maxim Nickerson, Vermont Army National Guard; score 1139-22X
2. Staff Sgt. Nicholas Giradin, Maine Army National Guard; score 1066-24X
3. Staff Sgt. David Musso, Vermont Army National Guard; score 1041-18X

About Us: Established in 1968, the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center (NGMTC) is the National Guard Bureau’s (NGB) center for managing marksmanship training courses and competitive marksmanship programs. It serves all 54 states and territories and is located on Robinson Maneuver Training Center in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The NGMTC is headquarters for the “All Guard” service rifle, service pistol, multi-gun, and international combat teams. The NGMTC is also home to the annual Winston P. Wilson National Championships, where guardsmen may earn the NGB Chief’s 50 Marksmanship Badge. For more information call 501-212-4531/4549, visit us at https://ngmtc.wordpress.com or http://www.facebook.com/NGMTC.

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