The official site for the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center. The NGMTC plans, resources, and conducts relevant marksmanship training that enhances the effectiveness of the National Guard and improves readiness across the force.
by Theresa Austin, Maj. public affairs officer, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center
ROBINSON MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Arkansas – The Winston P. Wilson National Rifle and Pistol Championship at the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center is set to begin in April 2019. 17 more states have already submitted their letters of intent (LOI), as of February 19, 2019, bringing the total to 24, but the goal is to have all 50 states and territories participate.
This competition is fun, but ultimately it is about training America’s military to become better marksmen. When America’s military are better marksmen, this increases lethality, and that is how we are going to win America’s wars. Every marksmanship competition is an opportunity to hone in on accuracy and effectiveness which increases lethality. The added bonus is that during this event competitors will always learn from other participants, who are performing on various levels from novice to professional and who have different experiences. The knowledge that is shared between the competitors will return to their home states and fellow service members.
The NGMTC is tracking confirmations to attend on this map. Be proactive with your marksmanship program and help NGMTC achieve the goal of 100% participation across all 50 states and territories. Contact your state marksmanship training coordinator (SMC) or marksmanship regional coordinator (MAC) to get involved.
Click here for more information on 2019 WPW Sniper, Machine gun, and Rifle & Pistol, as well as AFSAM and CNGB.
by Major Theresa Austin, public affairs officer National Guard Marksmanship Training Center
ROBINSON MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Arkansas -This year’s National Guard marksmanship championships information has been released for service members to begin signing up to attend theses events here in Arkansas.
The Official Match Programs are released. (Machine Gun and CNGB are pending publish). RFO (request for orders) has been updated; see link below. Click each competition above for the OMP.
We are now accepting Letters of Intent (LOI) for team participation; the dead-lines are below:
WPW Sniper & AFSAM – LOI due 15 February 2019 Team-registration 1 March 2019 WPW & AFSAM Small Arms – LOI due 1 February 2019 Team-registration 1 March 2019 WPW Machine Gun – LOI due 15 March 2019 Team-registration 1 April 2019 CNGB – match scores and targets may be submitted until 15 April 2019
Contact your State Marksmanship Coordinator for more information on attending these premier National Guard marksmanship competitions.
~Spouse of fallen sniper unveils memorial award during competition by Army Sgt. Richard W. Hoppe, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center
FORT CHAFFEE JOINT MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Ark. – Standing on the stage of an empty theater as the last few ceremony members clear out, Jane Horton gazes down at a glowing, holographic award that softly lights up her face in the dim room. As an advocate for service members and their families, Jane has made it her life goal to give back to all who serve her and her country – a goal she feels she will never fully achieve.
“One of the last things my husband asked me to do; I was an intern in congress for Senator Inhofe from Oklahoma, and [my husband] asked me to get sniper tabs authorized. And I was like ‘honey, I’m an intern,’” said Jane, Survivor Advisor to the Chief of Staff of the Army. “When he was killed, Gen. Odierno, the Chief of the Army, came to his funeral in Arlington and asked me ‘What can I do for you?’ and I said, ‘You can authorize sniper tabs.’ And so that’s kind of where it started.”
Jane’s husband, Spc. Christopher Horton died in Afghanistan while defending his country on September 9, 2011 shortly after completing sniper school. Since his death, Jane has been pushing to make her husband’s last request a reality.
‘I’ve been working with the Army and I’ve been working with Gen. Milley and Sgt. Maj. Dailey to get sniper tabs authorized, but also to make sure that we take care of our snipers,” said Jane. ‘My husband wanted nothing more than to serve his country and he chose to be a sniper because he was such a good shot, and that was the best way that he could use his God-given-skills to serve and to take out the enemy, and ultimately, its why he gave his life.”
Jane began re-counting Chris’ steps in the military shortly after he died, which eventually led her to Fort Chaffee where he attended Sniper School in 2009. She called the school and spoke with one of Chris’ former instructors.
“After Chris’ death, [Jane and I] spoke on the phone, and she wanted to come visit and retrace his steps through the military,” said Sgt. First Class Jon Plummer, Marksmanship Training Battalion NCOIC for the Marksmanship Training Center. “Since then, she’s been in contact with us three or four times a year to see if were doing okay or see if we need anything and she’ll visit probably once a year.”
Over the years, Jane and the school instructors have developed a relationship that has helped her connect with her husband due to his passion for shooting and his long-time goal of going through the sniper program.
“The sniper school has been incredibly welcoming to me and incredibly kind to me and they’ve let me come up a couple times and shoot some of the rifles, get to know some of the snipers, and just create a relationship with them,” said Jane. “It’s been one of the most meaningful relationships of my life because snipers were so important to my husband, and it was such an important part of his identity. In fact, when I buried my husband at Arlington, they gave me two lines, thirteen characters each, to describe him and I put valiant warrior, fearless sniper.”
This year however, the members of the Marksmanship Training Center are giving something back to Chris and Jane. A memorial award was commissioned by the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center at Robinson Maneuver Training Center, Ark. to honor Chris Horton, a loving husband, Army Sniper, and American patriot.
“[The award] is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s a dream come true for me,” said Jane. “My husband was 26-years old when he gave his life and it’s been almost six and a half years, which is mind boggling for me, but there’s never been enough, and there is never enough, that I could do in this life to thank him for giving his life for me, or those that have given their lives.”
Jane was invited to be a guest speaker at the Winston P. Wilson and Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting National Guard Sniper Competiton matches this year, but that was all she knew before walking up on stage to help present the award to the Wisconsin National Guard Sniper Team.
“She knows nothing about the award. We got a picture from her. I asked her what picture is her favorite of Chris. She said ‘easy’ and she sent me a picture,” said Plummer. “It had passed through several email chains and the quality wasn’t that great. So I contacted Kellogg, one of the guys in his sniper section who made it out, and I asked him if he knew where the original was. He sent it to me within about five minutes…”
After arriving on stage, the award was unveiled to Jane, the awardees, and the audience for the first time. To Jane’s surprise the competitors, cadre, and official party all rose to their feet with a round of applause.
“There’s never enough that I could do for any of you guys who have chosen to serve your country, fight and defend me. I’m truly grateful for them, and I’m here to help any service member with whatever I can and grateful today to know that my husband will always be remembered here at Fort Chaffee Sniper School, so I’m blown away.”
The memorial award will be kept at the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center at Robinson Maneuver Training Center and designated to the top precision engagement team, which is the team with the highest aggregate score in the precision engagement matches, each year during the WPW and AFSAM Sniper Championship matches in honor of Spc. Christopher Horton.
The WPW match included 13 National Guard teams from across the country. The Guard members trained through competition for three awards, including precision engagement, field craft, and overall sniper team, during the competition. The AFSAM teams, including teams from Canada, Denmark, Italy, Poland, U.S. interservice and the National Guard All Guard Sniper Team, competed for the same awards in the international category. The WPW and AFSAM matches were held April 21-26, 2018 at Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center, Arkansas.
~Six new President’s 100 Tab and three new Distinguished Badge recipients by Maj. Theresa Austin, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center
Six members of the National Guard All Guard Team earned the rare President’s 100 Tab for the first time during the 2018 Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) National Matches held at Camp Perry, Ohio July 1-August 8, 2018.
The Tab is awarded to the top scoring 100 rifle and 100 pistol shooters who compete in the President’s 100 match each year at the CMP and when earned by military personnel, the President’s 100 Tab may be worn on the uniform of several branches of service. The National Guard had 16 recipients this year.
“President’s 100 tab is one of those things that not very many people earn. It signifies that you are at the top of that category as the go to person for marksmanship in a profession where marksmanship is everything,” said Spc. Andrew Traciak, National Guard All Guard Service Rifle Team member from Washington Army National Guard.
Spc. Traciak earned his President’s 100 Rifle tab for the first time this year during the CMP and there were, also, five others who earned the President’s 100 Tab for the first time.
The President’s 100 Rifle Tab:
– Staff Sgt. Joseph Berendzen, South Carolina Army National Guard
– Master Sgt Donnie Hicks, Texas Air National Guard
The President’s 100 Pistol Tab:
– Cadet Lisa Emmert, Michigan Army National Guard
– Sgt. Brian Bleuer, Iowa Army National Guard
– Sgt. 1st Class Seth Innes, Florida Army National Guard
Several team members continued to demonstrate outstanding performance as multiple recipients of the President’s 100 Tab.
The President’s 100 Rifle Tab:
– Master Sgt. Mike Hester, Arkansas Army National Guard
– Sgt. 1st Class John Paul Cholak, Texas Army National Guard
– Staff Sgt. John Coggshall, Connecticut Army National Guard
– Master Sgt. Greg Neiderhiser, Pennsylvania Army National Guard
The President’s 100 Pistol Tab:
– Master Sgt. Morgan Jenkins, Wyoming Army National Guard
– Sgt. 1stClass Eric Lawerence, South Carolina Army National Guard
– Sgt. Nestor Pena, Puerto Rico Army National Guard
– Spc. Carl Trompeter, New York Army National Guard
– Capt. Travis Whalmeir, Nebraska Army National Guard
– Master Sgt. Travis Zwickle, Nebraka Army National Guard
The President’s 100 wasn’t the only prestigious award won this year.
Technical Sgt. Eric Rueth with the Wisconson Air National Guard earned his Distinguished Rifleman Badge this year. (photo by Maj. Theresa Austin/Released)
Master Sgt. Hester with the Arkansas Army National Guard earned his Distinguished Rifleman Badge this year. (photo by Maj. Theresa Austin/Released)
Technical Sgt. Eric Rueth with the Wisconsin Air National Guard and Master Sgt. Hester earned their Distinguished Rifleman Badge and Cadet Emmert earned her Distinguished Pistol Badge.
The President’s 100 Tab and the Distinguished Rifle and Pistol Badges are not often earned by military personnel and seen worn on the uniform, but when recognized, these awards identify them as being among the most elite marksmen in their service.”
Traciak may only be a specialist in the National Guard, but he is now officially one of the nations elite marksmen, and he has altruistic goals for his new proclaimed status as well as a vision for his State’s marksmanship program to “change the culture back towards focusing on marksmanship as a core competency to increase the lethality across the force as a whole.”
“My goal this year was making the President’s 100, and with that my primary goal was to be able to take this back to my State and talk to State leadership about helping other individuals get to this level,” said Traciak.
The Washington Army National Guard is currently rebuilding its marksmanship program, and Spc. Traciak hopes to influence the program to make their Soldiers more lethal on the battlefield.
“My state is trying to build a marksmanship program right now, and I’m trying to come in and assist the State with getting that program up and running,” he said. “I can take this back to my State, in a coaching position for a State training team or State marksmanship team and continue developing more coaches and shooters that could be utilized across the State to build force readiness amongst all of our other units.”
Staff Sgt. John Coggshall, a President’s Rifle Tab repeat recipient from Connecticut Army National Guard, explained what it is like being at the highest level of competition on the All Guard Service Rifle Team.
“When you get to our level, your gains in level of ability are minimal, but we still practice and gain more knowledge of troubleshooting and analyzing other peoples problems. It’s not as much about my skills; it’s making me a better teacher and instructor of others faster and more efficiently,” said Staff Sgt. Coggshall
Through the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center, the primary goal of the competitive events program and the All Guard Shooting Teams is to develop subject matter experts who take the advanced marksmanship training knowledge gained through competitions back to their regions and states to train, mentor and coach others to improve their marksmanship skills. Through this method the National Guard can more efficiently and effectively train the most Soldiers to increase force readiness.
Spc. Traciak summed it up saying, “We’re not exactly the Peace Corps. Our job is to go out, put rounds on target, and increase the lethality of the force.”
~North Dakota National Guard team wins the MAC 6 Regionals by Sgt. 1st Class James McGuire, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center
CAMP GUERNSEY JOINT TRAINING CENTER, Wyo. – North Dakota’s Alpha team topped
the standings in the overall team events at the National Guard’s Marksmanship Advisory Council (MAC) Region VI Combat Marksmanship Training Sustainment Exercise, hosted by the Wyoming National Guard at Camp Guernsey Joint Training Center Aug. 17-19.
The NoDak team, comprised of Senior Master Sgt. Wade Swenson, Senior Airman Gavin “Lil” Rook, Sgt. Tyler Goldade and Sgt. Brendan Dean scored 916 points to top South Dakota’s Alpha team of Staff Sgt. Nicholas Dooley, Maj. Justin Aylward, Sgt. 1st Class Clint Sandness and Sgt. Eric Grage who scored 892 points during the weekend for a second-place finish.
Wyoming finished third in the team standings. The Alpha team of Staff Sgt. Brody Staman, Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Edwards, Master Sgt. Glenn Worley and 1st Sgt. Timothy Smith earned 841 points.
The three-day competition pitted National Guard soldiers and airmen from Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska and Idaho in shoulder-to-shoulder competition with service-issued rifles and pistols in a range of matches that involved a variety of physical challenges and varied distances.
Wyoming’s A team took first in the Covering Fire competition, topping second-place South Dakota A, and third-place North Dakota A.
Worley placed first in the 100-500 Zero Special match followed by Wyoming teammate Smith and South Dakota’s Staff Sgt. Jory Rogers.
North Dakota’s Goldade took home the Combat Rifle Individual Aggregate Champion title with 714 points. He was followed by Worley in second and Idaho’s Staff Sgt. Adam Witte. Goldade also won the Close Quarter Battle, followed by Worley in second and Wyoming’s Spc. Bradley Holloway in third.
The Reflexive Fire crown went to Goldade, followed by Senior Airman Rook and Witte. “Lil” Rook topped the individual Combat Pistol standings over Alaska’s Master Sgt. Neal Waltman and Senior Master Sgt. Brian Rook, also of North Dakota.
Like airman Rook, another new shooter had a great Wyoming weekend-Alaska’s Pfc. Dalton Dorn won the Novice Individual Grand Aggregate championship, Individual Novice Combat Pistol, Novice Reflexive Fire, Novice 100-500 Zero Special and took third in the Excellence in Competition behind airman Rook and Idaho’s Master Sgt. Robert Earley, who placed second. Dorn was also named the top pistol shooter in the Novice EIC followed by Spc. Brandin Wendland of North Dakota and Master Sgt. James Seigneur of Alaska.
Senior Airman Rook earned the Individual Open Grand Aggregate Championship followed by Goldade and Witte. Both Senior Airman Rook and Pfc. Dorn were on top-three teams in the Gen. George Patton Combat Pistol Exercise. Alaska’s Alpha team of Dorn, Master Sgt. James Seigneur, Master Sgt. Neal Waltman and Staff Sgt. Brian Felts took first place with 623 points, followed by North Dakota’s A team with 617 and South Dakota’s Alpha team with a score of 567.
Wyoming has hosted the Region VI competition all but one year since 1997 and did not get any takers when an invitation to host in 2019 was offered by Master Sgt. Morgan Jenkins, Wyoming state marksmanship coordinator and match director. So, it looks like Camp Guernsey will be the place to see some of the Guard’s best hard-charging shooters again next year.
For more photos visit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wyoguard/albums/72157700339960215
~National Guard holds the MAC I Regionals by Spc. Patrik Orcutt, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center
FORT DEVENS, Massachusetts – The National Guard Marksmanship Training Center held the Marksmanship Advisory Council (MAC) region one small arms championship at Fort Devens, Massachusetts August 17-19, 2018.
The training offers shooters a chance to exercise one of the most important Army skills, marksmanship. Competitors were required to engage targets from multiple positions, including sitting, standing, and prone while moving from multiple firing lines during courses of fire. Some drills required the competitors to shoot from great distances and run to their next firing line with no time to rest before targets presented themselves.
The championship also offered teams a chance to build camaraderie between themselves and opposing teams. Friendly inter-state rivalry helps the competitors get to know new and old faces while fighting for the first place slot.
Honing marksmanship skills to this level doesn’t come easy and often requires hours of practice and patience. Most of theses Soldiers find time throughout the year to get together and practice their marksmanship skills in preparation for competitions like the MAC. These Soldiers then take their skills back to their units and pass it along to improve the overall lethality and effectiveness of the unit.
MAC 1 SCORES
Overall Team Champion
1 Maine National Guard, scoring 2256 with 29 Xs
2 Vermont National Guard, scoring 2128 with 21 Xs
3 New Hampshire National Guard, scoring 1962 with 17 Xs
Overall Individual Champion
1 Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Holmes, Maine Army National Guard, scoring 1199 with 15 Xs
2 Sgt. 1st Class Kyle Bartman, Maine Army National Guard, scoring 1194 with 21 Xs
3 Sgt. Maxim Nickerson, Vermont Army National Guard, scoring 1186 with 10 Xs
~South Carolina National Guard wins the MAC III Regionals by Maj. Theresa Austin, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center
TULLAHOMA, Tenn. – National Guard Soldiers from six states gathered at the Volunteer Training Site in Tullahoma, Tenn. July 27-28, 2018 to compete in the Marksmanship Advisory Council (MAC) Region Three-Small Arms Championship.
South Carolina took first place overall, while the Kentucky team placed in second and Tennessee placed in third. Kentucky, also, claims the individual open class champion, Sgt. Dwight Bushong, and Georgia claims the individual novice class champion, Sgt. Ryan Machan, and Rifle Excellence in Combat (EIC) Champion, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Caleb Ralston.
The first place team consists of Tech. Sgt. Kenvyn Lewis, Air National Guard; Staff Sgt. Patrick Stuckey, Army National Guard; Staff Sgt. Matt David, Army National Guard; and Spc. John Jordan, Army National Guard; all of the South Carolina National Guard. Jordan was, also, the Pistol EIC Champion.
Each MAC Regional Competition and TAG Match holds an EIC event, for pistol and rifle that have their own Gold, Silver and Bronze Badges.
“Many people don’t realize that there are many more prestigious marksmanship badges than the three marksmanship qualification badges, and some of those are the Excellence in Combat (EIC) Badge and Distinguished Shooter,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Mike Brumer, the new Tennessee State Marksmanship Coordinator.
The top three marksmanship badges an individual can earn are Distinguished (International Shooter, Rifleman, and Pistol) according to the Guide to the Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia DA PAM 670–1 chapter 20 paragraph 15.
“The heritage behind it gives it its level of importance and meaning, and being Distinguished is the pinnacle for a shooter,” Brumer continued.
Distinguished refers to the marksmanship skill level of a shooter, which is determined by an individuals performance over years of competition in the EIC event.
“The EIC program encourages others to become more combat effective and share their knowledge base with others back in their home units who don’t participate,” stated Brumer.
“It’s not a shooting club, like many think,” continued Brumer referring to marksmanship competitions like the MAC regional. “It’s a developmental program to improve combat effectiveness.”
“A marksmanship event,” he expanded, “is not just a competition it’s a training event. It’s, also, a place where we find new shooters and where we kind of identify those that we seek to go back to their units to become trainers there, but also developmental shooters that we want to spend time and energy on to maybe become State representatives at the Wilson Matches or maybe Camp Perry.”
The National Guard Winston P. Wilson Matches held at Robinson Maneuver Training Center, Ark. and the Civilian Marksmanship Matches held at Camp Perry, Ohio are national level matches that are advanced competitive training events.
“Sgt. Amanda Gentry is a fulltime Army National Guard supply sergeant for the Volunteer Training Site (VTS) in Smyrna, Tenn. and is one of our newest developmental shooters,” said Brumer.
Not only is she the supply sergeant, but she helps on the many ranges they conduct throughout the year as well.
Soldiers go to the VTS before they go to their pre-mobilization stations, said Gentry. “We have a lot of Soldiers that are deploying that come through there, so I work the range a lot.”
Gentry, being a developmental shooter for Tenn. puts her advanced knowledge to good use in her home unit that not just helps them out, but, also, a multitude of Tenn. Soldiers who go through that training site before they deploy.
“I can bring this back to other Soldiers when I am working the range over there and help them out when they aren’t shooting very well. You learn a lot out here,” she said referring to participating in marksmanship events like the MAC, “that you can bring back to other Soldiers that are about to put it to use.”
Not only is this practical for Gentry, but, also, enjoyable as a stress reliever.
“Shooting for me is a stress reliever and it’s so out of the ordinary as a supply sergeant,” she shared. “There is a lot of stress behind that and coming here, out of the office, is relaxing, because I can focus on just one thing, instead of a million things at once, learning something new.”
This stress reliever teaches self-control under pressure and helps Soldiers become more combat effective.
Brumer shared a quote about self-control and said, as the new State marksmanship coordinator, he hopes to make it the motto of the Tenn. National Guard Marksmanship Program, because this is what they aspire to.
“A good shot must necessarily be a good man since the essence of good marksmanship is self-control and self-control is the essential quality of a good man.” – President Theodore Roosevelt
For more photos from this event visit us on Flickr.
To find out more about how to participate contact the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center at 501-212-4420/4517/4520 and email@example.com or visit us on Facebook.
~Pennsylvania Army National Guard wins 2018 Marksmanship Advisory Council Region 2 Championship recipients by Maj. Theresa Austin, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center
ROBINSON MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, North Little Rock, Arkansas – Fifty competitors from Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia Army and Air National Guards came together for a time of learning, camaraderie and competition during the 2018 Marksmanship Advisory Council Region Two (MAC 2) Marksmanship Championships held at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania August 23-26, 2018.
Pennsylvania Army and Air National Guards took home the title of first and second place combined arms team aggregate champions, and they, also, claim the first, second and third place combat pistol individual aggregate champions with Capt. James Kistler, Army National Guard, in first place.
180826-Z-BF582-1035 – Spc. Zachary Wilson with the Virginia Army National Guard scored 563 points with 10X earning the title Combined Arms Individual Aggregate Champion for the Marksmanship Advisory Council Region Two Championships at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania August 23-26, 2018. (Photo by Maj. Theresa Austin/Released)
180826-Z-BF582-1025 – Staff Sgt. Basil Woodall with the Delaware Army National Guard scored 406 points with 6X earning the title Combat Rifle individual Aggregate Champion for the Marksmanship Advisory Council Region Two Championships at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania August 23-26, 2018. (Photo by Maj. Theresa Austin/Released)
Delaware and Virginia Army National Guards also took home top honors. Spc. Zachary Wilson with Virginia Army National Guard is the combined arms individual aggregate champion and Staff Sgt. Basil Woodall with the Delaware Army National Guard is the combat rifle individual aggregate champion.
It’s not surprising that Pennsylvania performed so well, with their long history of performing very well in competition. Out of all 54 states and territories, Pennsylvania holds the record, 54 recipients, for the highest number of Chief’s 50 Badge recipients dating back to the programs inception in 1971, according to the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center Chief’s 50 program-manager.
A Chief’s 50 recipient hailing from Pennsylvania was this year’s MAC 2 Regional Championship Director. 1st Lt. Garrett Miller is, also, a member of the U.S. National Guard All Guard Combat Team. He said, “In these [MAC] competitions we have a unique ability to give some units what they usually wouldn’t get any exposure to.”
Capt. Kistler expounded on that saying, “The MAC is the same as last year except we are using M14’s instead of shotguns. There’s a lot of people who aren’t experienced on that rifle, so it’s a level playing field.”
The M14 is a rifle that fires 7.62 mm rounds. In 1959, the M1 Grand was replaced by the M14 as the standard issue rifle for military troops. However, today in the Army this rifle is usually only used by specially trained Soldiers called squad designated marksmen (SDM).
“We have some national match M14’s in our inventory,” said Miller. “We took M14s and M118 ammo to give them additional familiarization with a weapon system that they may not get the chance to shoot. Many units don’t get any real exposure shooting real 7.62 platforms like the M14 that SDM’s get assigned to shoot when they are overseas.”
Master Sgt. Eric Moskel is extremely knowledgeable on the use of small arms weapon systems. He is a state policeman and a member of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard security forces. Notably this summer, using only iron-sights, he made the President’s 100, placing him among the elite shooters in the nation, which is quite a feat in an of its self, but especially because most competitors today are using scopes on their rifles.
Soldiers and Airmen who have deployed overseas in a force-on-force duty position can tell you that it is stressful and there is a lot of pressure. Master Sgt. Moskel explains how competition helps with training for that type of situation.
“Competition adds a level of stress,” said Moskel. “Other than force on force, the best way to add stress to shooting is competition, because if you’re just out there shooting by yourself you don’t have the level of stress that you do when you’re competing against your peers.”
Not many Soldiers or Airmen have the opportunity to use the M14 Service Rifle, and the use of that weapon during this year’s MAC 2 Championship was a unique learning opportunity for all.
Combined Arms Team Aggregate Champions:
Pennsylvania- Alpha from the Pennsylvania Army National Guard score 2722-47X (Team members: Chief Warrant Officer 4 Richard Jones; Chief Warrant Officer 3 Denver Gillham; Capt. James Kistler; Sgt. 1st Class Scott Sheroky)
Pennsylvania- Bravo from the Pennsylvania Air National Guard score 2568-30X (Team members: Master Sgt. Eric Moskel; Senior Airman Robert Lydic; Staff Sgt. Cory Walker; Tech. Sgt. Shawn McCreary)
Delaware- Alpha from the Delaware Army National Guard score 2562-21X (Team members: Chief Warrant Officer 3 Robert Stike; Staff Sgt. Timothy Gantzhorn; Staff Sgt. Basil Woodall; Sgt. Albert Whitlock)
Combined Arms Individual Aggregate Champion:
Zachary Wilson, Virginia Army National Guard; score 563-10X
Staff Sgt. Basil Woodall, Delaware Army National Guard; score 554-9X
Albert Whitlock, Delaware Army National Guard; score 538-4X
Combat Rifle individual Aggregate Champion:
Staff Sgt. Basil Woodall, Delaware Army National Guard; score 406-6X
Zachary Wilson, Virginia Army National Guard; score 402-4X
1st Class Justin Clymer, Delaware Army National Guard; score 396-7X
Combat Pistol individual Aggregate Champion:
James Kistler, Pennsylvania Army National Guard; score 175-11X
1st Class Scott Sheroky, Pennsylvania Army National Guard; score 174-9X
Senior Airman Robert Lydic, Pennsylvania Air National Guard; score 163-4X
~ 2018 United Kingdom Defence Operational Shooting Competition by Maj. Theresa Austin, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center
NATIONAL SHOOTING CENTRE, BISLEY CAMP, England –The sun beats down on two machine gunners, from Delta and Charlie Team, as they lay prone on the grass providing suppressive fire at enemy targets 600 meters away, while their riflemen sprint forward on line with them completing their eight-man section.
As Charlie team sees the enemy appear, they leap forward into a sprint, moving up and down hills and jumping over trenches to take a prone firing position just 100 meters forward. As soon as they open fire on the enemy, Delta team takes off in a dead sprint maneuvering these same obstacles to move online with them.
Sweat pours as each team member, wearing at least 22 pounds of gear and body armor not including their helmet, weapon and ammunition, continues this explosive bounding forward maneuvering these earthen obstacles until they are 300 meters from the enemy, and within the range of the average Soldier’s marksmanship ability. They continue forward 200 meters, riflemen taking a kneeling firing position and machine gunners prone, as they take out the remainder of the enemy targets with a fierce lethality.
Reminiscent of combat environments, this was just one of over 24 different operational “combat style” shooting matches conducted at the 2018 United Kingdom Defence Operational Shooting Competitions (DefOSC) held June 17-26, 2018 at Bisley Camp and the Army Training Centre Pirbright, Woking, England.
During the Army Reserve Operational Shooting Competition portion of DefOSC, the National Guard All Guard International Combat Team displayed their lethal skills winning first place in five matches and placing top three in 11 of the 13 matches.
“This competition was challenging and more realistic in regards to combat type shooting than other matches we shoot,” said All Guard Team Member Staff Sgt. Michael Richey, with the Missouri National Guard Joint Forces Headquarters.
“All the events were like combat,” said All Guard Team Member 1st Lt. Garrett Miller, with the 2nd Squadron, 104th Cavalry Regiment Penn. Army National Guard. “Each event was custom tailored to apply competitive pressure to the participants in different ways.”
Being lethal in combat is not an easy task. One of most challenging parts to this competition, similar to combat, was the speed required to move into position and engage the targets.
“The competitors are challenged to sprint 100 meters forward, charge their rifle, obtain a steady position and fire as many rounds as possible at a 100 meter target in just 25 seconds, then remain in position and fire the rest of the remaining rounds of a 20 round magazine in 35 seconds at a 200 meter and 300 meter target. Then from there the match moves right into three more phases without any reprieve,” said Miller as he described the Attack and Reorganize Assessment.
Sgt. 1st Class Paul Deugan, All Guard International Combat Team member from Iowa Army National Guard, sprints 300 meters to the firingline to engate targets 100-300 meters away during the 2018 United Kingdom Defence Operational Shooting Competition that was held joinly at Bisley Camp and the Army Reserve Training Centre Pirbright, England during June 12-26, 2018.
Sgt. Tyler Goldade, All Guard International Combat Team member from North Dakota Army National Guard, runs to the firingline during the 2018 United Kingdom Defence Operational Shooting Competition that was held joinly at Bisley Camp and the Army Reserve Training Centre Pirbright, England during June 12-26, 2018.
Describing the Urban Contact Assessment event, Richey said “100-300 meter targets would expose themselves for only three or four seconds, during which time we had to go from the standing position to the kneeling position and engage the target.”
As if the speed of movement and target engagement was not enough of a challenge, and ease of movement was further impacted by the pounds of gear and body armor they were required to wear, which is a similar requirement for combat.
“It was difficult to balance the thrill of charging forward and diving into position, with the need to calmly place shots center mass in each target before the time expired,” said Miller, “oh, and all while wearing body armor, plates, and ten kilograms (22 pounds) of kit.”
“The requirement to wear body armor and gear during the match, greatly increased fatigue throughout the competition and also heart rate during the course of fire,” added Richey.
While the individual aspects of the competition were challenging and combat oriented, the team matches seemed to be most like combat.
“The team matches were most like combat situations,” said Michael Richey, Missouri National Guard. “You had to shoot, move and communicate as a team, which is what you’ll be doing in combat.”
Representing the U.S. National Guard All Guard International Combat Team were 10 members and two team managers who included:
Maj. David Stapp, team OIC, Arkansas National Guard
Master Sgt. Greg Neiderhiser, team NCOIC, Pennsylvania National Guard
Capt. Robert Lee, team member, Texas National Guard
1st Lt. Garrett Miller, team member, Pennsylvania National Guard
Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Catlin, team member, Colorado National Guard
Sgt. 1st Class Paul Deugan, team member, Iowa National Guard
Sgt. 1st Class David Keenom, team member, Tennessee National Guard
Staff Sgt. Brandon Hornung, team member, Illinois National Guard
Staff Sgt. Michael Richey, team member, Missouri National Guard
Sgt. Tyler Goldade, team member, North Dakota National Guard
Sgt. Maxium Nickerson, team member, Vermont National Guard
Spc. Jeremy McCombs, team member, Colorado National Guard
All Guard Team came here with the main goal of winning the Fortuna Trophy, and pushing themselves to their limits, they did that and more.
“The competition for the Fortuna is between the United States National Guard and the British Army Reserve,” said Neiderhiser. “It consists of four matches: the Advance to Contact, Defence Assessment, Pistol Close Quarter Battle, and Urban Contact Assessment-Rifle.”
In addition to the Fortuna Trophy, several other awards were won by the team and individual members:
Fire Team Combat Snap Shooting Assessment – Team
Fortuna Cup (highest individual aggregate on the Fortuna winning team) – Miller
Advance to Contact (Contributes to Fortuna Trophy)- Miller
Pistol Close Quarter Combat (Contributes to Fortuna Trophy) – Deugan
Urban Contact Assessment (Contributes to Fortuna Trophy) – Richey
Fleeting Encounter – McCombs
“Winning matches that utilize rifle and pistol show how well-rounded of a shooter you are,” said Richey. “It felt good to win a combined rifle and pistol match.”
“Winning the Fortuna Cup,” said Miller, “is what I consider the highest honor I could possibly achieve at any operational shooting competition, because of the other names that are inscribed on it.”
He continued, “Every year, the trophy is engraved with the winner’s name. There are two names in particular that have great relevance to me, 1st Sgt. Greg Neiderhiser, and Capt. J.R. Treharne. Now Master Sgt. Greg Neiderhiser and Col. J.R. Treharne, have both served as influential coaches and professional mentors to me since I was a young Cadet. I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today as a competitor and a Soldier if it wasn’t for their mentorship. Knowing that my name will be forever displayed next to theirs on that trophy pays special tribute not just to my achievement, but their skill and passion as coaches and professionals.”
The All Guard Team not only accomplished their goal, winning the Fortuna and many other honors, but the most important thing they gained was better combat oriented marksmanship skills and knowledge to bring back to the U.S.
“This competition helps us validate our training methods and strategies,” said Miller.
“Soldiers from all ranks, MOS’s, status and levels, attend and try their best. This multi-echelon exposure allows everyone to progress much faster than they normally would with just isolated training back at their home unit. Here they can pick and choose tactics and techniques they observe from Soldiers standing right next to them on the firing line and bring those back to their home unit. “
“This competition was challenging and more realistic in regards to combat type shooting than other matches we shoot,” said Richey. “Our team participating in this competition enables us to bring that challenging and realistic style of shooing back to our respective states.”
These competitions are training multipliers that need more attention and participation.
“This is a powerful tool that goes under-appreciated because some units and naive commanders call these small competitions “shooting clubs” and restrict attendance, because they don’t see the real training and exposure they provide,” said Miller. “Sharing these ideas through open competitions creates positive trends in developing marksmanship that spreads ten fold faster than it would just trickling down through a traditional training progression.”
To find out more about how to participate contact the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center at 501-212-4420/4517/4520 and firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us on Facebook.
By Spc. Patrik Orcutt, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center
ROBINSON MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Ark. —The 27th Armed Forces Skills at Arms Meeting (AFSAM) a multi-national inter-service small arms championship was held from April 29 – May 4, 2018.
The 2018 matches boasted more then 360 competitors with teams from the National Guard, United Kingdom, Canada and Italy. Competitors engaged their targets with various weapon systems including the M9, G17 and P226 pistols, M16, M4, SA80 and C7A2 rifles and M500 Shotguns. Each four-man team was evaluated on field firing, advanced marksmanship and target engagement. All of the matches were designed to focus on the fundamentals of marksmanship while implementing the stress and physical activity of combat between service members.
Established in 1991, the Armed Forces Skills at Arms Meeting (AFSAM) is a multinational competition that was created to promote marksmanship training and competition between United States military forces and allied nations.
The international marksmanship exchange program offers shooters from the U. S. and allied nations an opportunity to test marksmanship skills and weapons systems in battle-focused training events. This meeting affords opportunities for cross training on the host nation’s weapons, systems, techniques, tactics, and procedures.
“Participation in these events can provide opportunities to expose traditional Guardsmen to advanced tactics, techniques and procedures used by allied foreign military forces and active duty units,” said Maj. David Stapp, Chief of Operations for the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center, which hosts the events.
The competition is the perfect forum to allow information sharing between skilled marksmen from multiple countries. “As competitive as they are, the matches aren’t solely about defining who is the best,” said Lt. Col. Todd C. Stuff, NGMTC Administrative Officer. “Ultimately, the focus is on training…. When the best marksmen from around the globe come together,” Stuff continued, “they bring with them valuable experience and insight which they enthusiastically share with their fellow warriors. The shooters then take what they learn back to their units and pass along their new skills.”
The shared information helps improve all the participants’ home country’s marksmanship programs. “We are happy to compete, Its a wonderful experience for us, said Alessandro De Santis an Italian Army Marshal with the Folgore Brigade. “Every job has its special tools, you need to practice with them to be effective, our tools are weapons.”
For many soldiers, the competition presents a special opportunity to spend more time with their weapon system.“This is the most range time we get all year,” said Sgt. Dustin Fox, a 214th MP with the Alabama Alpha team.
“Marksmanship first” is more then just a motto for many of these competitors. “Marksmanship should be your first soldier skill, if you can’t shoot and kill the enemy, what good are you?,” said Warrant Officer 3 Kim Ralston, a coach for the Mississippi teams.
Since 1991, the AFSAM competition has been bringing together some of the best shooters the world’s armies have to offer. AFSAM continues to bring America and its NATO allies closer together one shot at a time.
Grand Aggregate Individual
Champion: Staff Sgt. Michael Richey, U.S. National Guard All Guard Team Alpha, combined score of 1778 with 24x’s
Overall 2nd place: Sgt. Brandon Swanson, U.S. National Guard All Guard Team Alpha, combined score of 1761 with 21x’s
Overall 3rd place: 1st Sgt. James Phelps, U.S. National Guard All Guard Team Alpha, combined score 1743 with 20x’s
Champion: Master Sgt. Nathan Watters, U.S. National Guard All Guard Team Alpha, combined score of 970 with 9x’s
2nd place: Sgt. Brandon Swanson, U.S. National Guard All Guard Team Alpha, combined score of 969 with 11x’s
3rd place: Staff Sgt. Michael Richey, U.S. National Guard All Guard Team Alpha, combined score of 968 12x’s
Champion: Staff Sgt. Michael Richey, U.S. National Guard All Guard Team Alpha, combined score of 810 with 13 x’s
2nd place: Sgt. 1st Class Paul Deugan, U.S. National Guard All Guard Team Bravo, combined score of 798 with 11 x’s
3rd place: 1st Sgt. James Phelps, U.S. National Guard All Guard Team Alpha, combined score of 798 with 10 x’s
International Team Champions “Match 380“
Champion: U.S. National Guard All Guard Team Alpha (Sgt. Brandon Swanson, 1st Sgt. James Phelps, Staff Sgt. Michael Richey, Master Sgt. Nathan Watters) combined score of 1708
2nd place: U.S. National Guard All Guard Team Charlie (Spc. Jeremy McCombs, Sgt. Maxim Nickerson, Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Catlin, Capt. Robert Lee) combined score of 1657
3rd place: U.S. National Guard All Guard Team Bravo (Staff Sgt. Brandon Hornung, 1st Lt. Garrett Miller, Chief Master Sgt. Edward Altmeyer, Sgt. 1st Class Paul Deugan) combined score of 1636
Overall Team Rifle “Match 350”
Champion: U.S. National Guard All Guard Team Alpha (Sgt. Brandon Swanson, 1st Sgt. James Phelps, Staff Sgt. Michael Richey, Staff Sgt. Brandon Hornung) combined score of 2502
2nd place:U.S. National Guard All Guard Team Bravo (Spc. Jeremy McCombs, 1st Lt. Garrett Miller, Capt. Robert Lee, Sgt. 1st Class Paul Deugan) combined score of 2409
3rd place: Canadian Red (Warrant Officer Luke Foster, Cpl. Michael Pelley, Cpl. James Cameron, Pvt. Evan Trask) combined score of 2391
Overall Team Pistol “Match 250”
Champion: U.S. National Guard All Guard Team Alpha (Sgt. Brandon Swanson, 1st Sgt. James Phelps, Staff Sgt. Michael Richey, Staff Sgt. Brandon Hornung) combined score of 3227
2nd place: U.S. National Guard All Guard Team Bravo (Sgt. 1st Class Paul Deugan, Spc. Jeremy McCombs, 1st Lt. Garrett Miller, Capt. Robert Lee) combined score of 2933
3rd place: U.S. National Guard All Guard Team Charlie (Sgt. 1st Class David Keenom, Sgt. Maxim Nickerson, Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Catlin, Sgt. Tyler Goldade) combined score of 2731
For the full results, and more information about AFSAM and the NGMTC visit weebly.
Take a look at the video link below to view some of the training conducted at this year’s AFSAM Championships. Also, for more information about getting involved, contact 501-212-4520 or visit us on the web athttps://ngmtc.wordpress.com.