2018 WPW participant update

20180412 WPW Participation 2018 #5


Currently there are only eight states that have not said they are attending this year out of the 54 States and Territories.

Periodically this map will be updated to reflect the current commitments to participate in this year’s 2018 Winston P. Wilson Small Arms Championships. So check back here.

For more info on the matches click here.



Outstanding performance by National Guard

~1st place in overall team and individual at All Army

by Maj. Theresa Austin, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center

ROBINSON MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Ark. – The National Guard took first overall individual and team during this years’ 2018 U.S. Army Small Arms (“All Army”) Championship at Ft. Benning, Ga. Mar. 11-17, 2018.

The National Guard sent 11 teams to challenge 26 Active Army and Reserve teams with Missouri National Guard as the overall team small arms champions and Sgt. Justus Densmore with the Texas National Guard taking home the M-1 Grand as the overall individual small arms champion.

Sgt. Alexandra Wilson, Virginia Army National Guard, engages steel targets with her M9 pistol during the Multi-gun Match at the 2018 U.S. Army Small Arms Championships Mar. 11-17, 2018 at Ft. Benning, Ga. Wilson placed fourth overall in Service Pistol, was first in the Pistol EIC National Match Championship, and was awarded the Distinguished Pistol EIC Badge.

“Performances like this show how military competitions directly enhance Soldier lethality and combat effectiveness,” said Maj. David Stapp, operations chief for the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center (NGMTC).

National Guard Soldiers and Airmen really show their value during a performance like this..

“The National Guard leverages marksmanship competitions to help improve unit and individual readiness, especially through the use of the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center,” said Stapp. “The NGMTC conducts marksmanship competitions that give Soldiers the experience and knowledge to be good subject matter experts who then go back and train their units.”

Senior Airman Gavin Rook, North Dakota National Guard, maintains muzzle awareness while sprinting to his first firing point during the Multi-gun Match, which requires the competitor to fire with the rifle and then switch to the pistol, at the 2018 U.S. Army Small Arms Championships Mar. 11-17, 2018 at Ft. Benning, Ga. Rook placed third in the Pistol EIC National Match Championship, and was awarded the Distinguished Pistol EIC Badge.

National Guard members who attend these competitions, whom have received this experience and knowledge, must practice often not only with their team, but also on their own time.

“We practice, on our team, quite a bit in our personal life,” said Sgt. Adam Michael Mathis, Illinois National Guard team member; and we perform well here at the competition, take it back to our units, and increase our overall unit qualification scores on the ranges.

When it comes to competing in marksmanship events at this level, you get what you give. Many put in their own time and money.

“My guys put in a lot of work on their own time before the match,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Richey, Missouri National Guard team captain, and “they got out of it what they put in.”

Sgt. David Ball, Missouri Army National Guard, practices service pistol engaging paper targets with his M9 pistol during a train up at Tullahoma, TN Mar. 9, 2018 in preparation for the U.S. Army Small Arms Championships “All Army.” The National Guard Marksmanship Training Center hosted the train up for the 11 National Guard teams that attended All Army.

Sharing knowledge is essential in the National Guard, which is evident from six of the 11 states placing in the top three of each category. The top National Guard teams who took home first, second, or third included: Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Vermont, North Dakota, and Illinois. Each of these teams consist of a four-man squad competing with primary and secondary weapon systems.

Missouri is really bringing the heat this year. They placed within the top three overall teams for every team category during this competition.

“All Army was just our warm up,” said Richey, the team captain. “We’re bringing the same team to the Winston P. Wilson Matches.”

Staff Sgt. Michael Richey, Missouri Army National Guard, engages targets with his M16 rifle during the Multi-gun Match at the 2018 U.S. Army Small Arms Championships Mar. 11-17, 2018 at Ft. Benning, Ga. Richey was the captain for the Missouri team, whom placed in the top three in every category, and took home the coveted title of Small Arms Team Champions.

The Winston P. Wilson (WPW) National Championship is hosted by the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center and is like the “All Army,” but is solely between the Army and Air National Guards in the 54 states and territories.

The WPW will be held April 28th– May 3rd at Robinson Maneuver Training Center, North Little Rock, Ark. For more information about getting involved, contact the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center at 501-212-4531 or visit us on Facebook.

Overall Category Scores:

U.S. Army Small Arms Overall Individual Champion

1 Densmore, Justus, SGT, Texas ARNG 2,011 – 46
2 Mccombs, Jeremy, SPC, Colorado ARNG 1,972 – 49
3 Tucker, Robert, SGT, Vermont ARNG 1,949 – 47

U.S. Army Small Arms Team Champions

1 Missouri National Guard 3791 – 125
2 Iowa National Guard 3761 – 111
3 Wisconsin National Guard 3633 – 81

U.S. Army Service Pistol Individual Champion

1 Tucker, Robert, SGT, Vermont ARNG 788 – 32
2 Mccombs, Jeremy, SPC, Colorado ARNG 764 -35
3 Larsen, Nicholas, 1LT, USA 758 – 28

U.S. Army Service Pistol Team Champions

1 Missouri National Guard 1533 – 92
2 Vermont National Guard 1471 – 68
3 North Dakota National Guard 1448 – 52

U.S. Army Service Rifle Individual Champion

1 Densmore, Justus, SGT, Texas ARNG 939 – 19
2 Mccombs, Jeremy, SPC, Colorado ARNG 930 – 14
3 Goldade, Tyler, SGT, North Dakota ARNG 929 – 16

U.S. Army Service Rifle Team Champions

1 Iowa National Guard 1325 – 41
2 Missouri National Guard 1216 – 33
3 Wisconsin National Guard 1195 – 16

U.S. Army Multi-Gun Match Individual Champion

1 Fuentes, Rafael, SSG, USAR 362
2 Brotherston, Curtis, 2LT, USAR 352
3 Balsley, Brad, SSG ,   USA 322

U.S. Army Multi-Gun Match Team Champions

1 Artic Warrior A-Team, USA 1049
2 Missouri National Guard 1042
3 Illinois National Guard 1036

The six top National Guard Teams:

Missouri Team: Staff Sgt. Michael Richey (ARNG), Sgt. David Ball (ARNG), 1st Sgt. James Phelps (ARNG), Staff Sgt. Jerry Dement (ARNG)

Iowa Team: Tech. Sgt. Micah Larson (ANG), Sgt. 1st Class Paul Deugan (ARNG), Sgt. Karl Johnk (ARNG), Staff Sgt. Tyson Fisher (ARNG)

Wisconsin Team: Sgt. Brandon Swanson, ARNG, Sgt. 1st Class Jordan Cegler (ARNG), Staff Sgt. Jameson Nelms (ARNG), Staff Sgt. Robert Marciniak (ANG)

Vermont Team: Sgt. Robert Tucker (ARNG), Senior Airman Justin Oddy (ANG), Sgt. Maxim Nickerson (ARNG), Staff Sgt. Robert Marciniak (ANG)

Illinois Team: Staff Sgt. Jacob Blount (ARNG), Sgt. 1st Class Tracy Mix (ARNG), Sgt. Adam Mathis (ARNG), Sgt. Nolan Murray (ARNG)

North Dakota Team: Senior Airman Gavin Rook (ANG), Sgt. Andrew Maley (ARNG), Staff Sgt. Matthew Jasper (ANG), Sgt. Tyler Goldade (ARNG)

2018 WPW: Half way to goal

20180321 WPW Participation 2018 #3by Theresa Austin, Maj. National Guard Marksmanship Training Center

ROBINSON MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Ark. – Last year, 53 states and territories confirmed to participate in the 47th Annual Winston P. Wilson (WPW) National Championships prior to moving the matches due to the possibility of a government shutdown, and we are now half way to the goal of all participating this year.

As of Mar. 22, 2018, the National Guard is half way towards the goal with 30 states and territories confirmed participation out of all 54. Not only do we host the national matches, but also concurrently, a multi-national competition drawing in competitors from across the globe.

WPW is a training opportunity, hosted by the NGMTC each year, which is held concurrently with NGB’s multi-national competition the Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting (AFSAM). AFSAM currently has Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, and Poland competing as well as other military components such as the U.S. Army Reserve, and U.S. Army 7th Infantry Division.

Change your state from red to green by contacting us. All you need is a four-man team, which NGMTC will pay to attend.

The intent behind these competitions is learning to be a better marksmen, and with the additional focus of WPW being that these competitors take this knowledge and share it with others in their home units. Every competition is a training opportunity, with the ultimate goal of increasing weapons familiarization and skill for increased battlefield survivability and combat readiness.


WPW: You play, America wins

NGMTC WPW Participation 2018
by Kathrine Grandori, Sgt. National Guard Marksmanship Training Center

ROBINSON MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Ark. – The Winston P. Wilson National Championships at the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center will begin in April 2018. Several states have already submitted their letters of intent (LOI), as of March 3, 2018, and the goal is to have all 50 states and territories participate.

Many may think that this competition is only valuable as a “play to win,” but when it comes to marksmanship in the National Guard, we must “train to win.” Every competition is an opportunity to increase readiness and learn new skills. Marksmen always learn from other participants and improve their skills. That knowledge will return to their home states and fellow service members.

The NGMTC will be tracking confirmations to attend on this map. Be proactive with your marksmanship program and help NGMTC achieve the goal of participation across all 50 states and territories in 2018. Contact your state marksmanship training coordinator (SMC) or marksmanship regional coordinator (MAC) to get involved.

Click here for more information on 2018 WPW Sniper, Machine gun, and small arms, as well as AFSAM and CNGB.

Top Shot Pistol Team Work

~All Guard Service Pistol Team

By Maj. Dwayne Page, NGMTC chief of competitions

The All Guard Service Pistol Team consists of the most elite pistol shooters in the Air (ANG) and Army National Guard (ARNG). Some shooters have come from a long history of shooting that started in high school and some have come from performing well during military marksmanship competitions at state, regional and national levels. The National Guard Marksmanship Training Center (NGMTC) has developed elite shooters through the program since 1968.

Shooters on the All Guard Service Pistol Team are selected at the end of an intensive tryout process. The top accomplishments for these shooters are the President Hundred Tab, the Chief’s 50 Badge, Distinguished Rifleman and Distinguished Pistol Badge. In addition, the All Guard competes against other services and civilians, and as always, the All Guard Teams strive to be the best service shooters on the circuit.

Funding continues to be a hurdle for the Air and Army Guard. However, in 2016, the availability of funding to support the overall marksmanship program was better than it had been in a very long time, which provided more shooting opportunities. The multiple shooting opportunities provide the NGMTC the ability to train and develop future shooters for the All Guard Team. In return, the shooters assist their units and states, as subject matter experts, in order to improve marksmanship effectiveness.

Many times our competition is the Active Component, which has a full time job shooting with plenty of resources to train and improve. This provides the active service shooters an advantage over the All Guard shooters. Majority of the All Guard shooters that represent the Air and Army National Guard have full time civilian jobs when they are not shooting. The All Guard members have to find time to train on their own, which takes away from other areas in their lives. Not only do the All Guard members commit time to this precision shooting, but they also spend their own money for ammunition and equipment. The National Marksmanship Training Center is thankful that our shooter’s leaders, organizations and employers support their Soldiers while they are shooting for the National Guard.

During the last few weeks in July, the All Guard Service Pistol Team achieved multiple high level accomplishments. Learning about this team and the individual shooters over the past year, has shown the high level of intensity and concentration it takes to compete at this level. Every shot has to be precise and the number of X’s within the X-ring can determine if you win or lose. The X-ring breaks ties between shooters that are shooting the same score. In this business, elite shooters do not drop many points outside the 10-ring. Each shot can earn a maximum of ten points, but the shooter has to hit a ring 4” in diameter at 25 and 50 yards. The X-ring is in the center of the ten ring and it is about 2” in diameter. The X ring is the area on the target that determines the best shot. All shots must be fired with one hand, unlike most pistol competitions that use two.

One of the teams, known as All Guard Team Red competed in a team competition consisting of three team matches .22 Caliber, .45 caliber iron sights and .45-caliber optics in Canton, Ohio. On July 8, 2016, this team shot a total score of 1178 with 49x (x-ring shots) out of 1200 points in the .22 Caliber Team Match. The number of X ring shots is the tiebreaker in the event that shooters have the same score. This score put the All Guard Team in 1st place by seven points over their competitors. This team had a grand aggregate 3470-133x, which put them in 2nd place overall in team matches.

Teamwork is the most important aspect, which is ingrained in these elite shooters. They all care about shooting well as individuals and producing top scores. When these shooters are shooting a team match, their motivation to shoot well intensifies. Each shooter focused more on putting their team in the top position on the rankings. As shooters, they do not want to let their fellow teammates down. Every team has a coach that helps them make good calls on their shots and provides guidance during the match. The coach must be an experienced shooter to help support the team to aim for the best scores possible.

The individual scores during this particular team match were very high. Sgt. 1st Class Eric Lawrence, Joint Force Headquarters, S.C. ARNG, shot 300-13x out of 300 in this match, and followed it up with 297-16x out of 300 in the .45 Caliber Center Fire Team Match. Lawrence shot 891-43x total during the three team matches, only dropping nine total points throughout the duration! The other team members also posted very high scores. Staff Sgt. Leigh Jenks, NGMTC, Ark. ANG, a shot 297-12x out of 300 with a .22 caliber. Spc. Nester Peña, Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 65th Infantry Brigade (Air Assault), Puerto Rico ARNG, shot 291-12x out of 300 with a .22 caliber. Staff Sgt. Daniel Kupar, Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division, Penn. ARNG, shot 290-12x out of 300 with a .22 caliber. The team coaches were Peña and Lawrence.

Watching Lawrence shoot the 300-13x, which is a perfect score, was exciting. The first string of fire was ten rounds from 50-yards away. He shot 100-2x out of 100 during the ten-minute slow fire. Peña was his coach as well as for Jenks. During the slow fire string, Lawrence only looked through his scope for his first four shots and they were 10’s and X’s. After that, he never looked through his scope again. Most shooters shoot the first few shots and if they are on call, they will not look in their scope again. The reason for this is to mitigate some of the pressure associated with shooting a perfect target and to allow the coach to do his job. Peña instructed Lawrence to come up one click. Lawrence trusted his judgment and without hesitation, he made the adjustment aiding him in shooting the perfect score.

Then Lawrence moved to 25-yard line to shoot the timed (20 seconds, five rounds, twice) and rapid (10 seconds, 5 rounds, twice) courses of fire. During these he was not looking at his impacts on the target, he was relying on Peña to provide him feedback on any adjustments to his weapon. After the first stage of timed fire, Lawrence looked back at Peña to ensure his first group was centered up. Peña told him to come down one click, so he rotated his elevation knob down one click. He shot 100-6x in timed fire and followed it up with 100-5x rapid fire. Once Lawrence shot all 30 rounds, he turned around, looked at Peña, and asked, “Did we get it?” Peña gave him a thumbs-up with a nod, and exclaimed, “You did it!” Lawrence looked back at the rest of the team, standing 25 yards behind him, and threw his fists up in the air. Immediately, we all knew he just shot a perfect score.

One interesting fact, typically team members do not usually talk about their score while on the firing line. Sometimes it puts more pressure on the teammate shooting beside you or the ones that are following you, however in this case we talked about our score the entire time. Lawrence stated, “what was funny is MAJ Page was repairing our targets and after every string of fire he would bring sergeant Lawrence and sergeant Jenks their targets back and he would always say, “I think you all need to tighten up your shot groups.” We joked about it the entire time which helped create a relaxed atmosphere.” This goes to show that the climate shooters operate in is stressful and it is important to help alleviate stress.

After Lawrence was done shooting, he was not thinking about the 300, he was thinking about his next two teammates coming up to shoot and if we could possibly break the national record for the .22 Caliber Team Match. Lawrence coached the next two shooters, Peña and Kupar. They did not set a national record, but it is the highest the All Guard team has shot in a long time and maybe the best ever in the history of the All Guard program. It was definitely a great score, and it won the .22 Caliber Team Match!

Lawrence stated that he could not have shot his score without his teammate Peña communicating with him. It takes good communication, respect and patience with each individual on the team to work so well together. When you work well together and respect each other, you succeed together, no matter the rank structure or background of the individuals. This All Guard Pistol Team has been successful for many years and has made many outstanding national level accomplishments that go unnoticed everyday like the one above.

The NGMTC tries to ensure these All Guard Shooters are recognized for their hard work and dedication. These shooters learn a lot when shooting service rifle and pistol matches that are carried over to the combat style of shooting. All the firing positions are different, but the fundamentals are still the same. The NGMTC does everything in its power to ensure the All Guard Teams have shooting opportunities to excel and be the top shooters at these matches. In return, we push the shooters to be the subject matter experts in marksmanship in their state and units. The NGMTC strives to make the service members in the National Guard the best-trained marksmen our Army has to offer in defense of our Nation.