~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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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.
~Missouri National Guard sweeps the Winston P. Wilson overall team awards by Maj. Theresa Austin, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center
ROBINSON MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Ark. – The Missouri Army National Guard Team and Spc. Thomas Carpenter with the South Dakota Army National Guard swept during the 2018 Winston P. Wilson Small Arms Championship Award Ceremony hosted by the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center in Sherwood, Ark. May 3, 2018.
Missouri took home all three overall team awards and two overall individual awards, as well as a plethora of individual and team match awards. The overall team champion awards were for Overall Aggregate, Pistol and Rifle. The overall individual awards were Overall Aggregate and Pistol.
Missouri wasn’t the only one sweeping. There is a new competitive shooter working his way up, Spc. Thomas Carpenter with the South Dakota Army National Guard. He took all three Overall Individual Novice awards, the Overall Aggregate, Pistol and Rifle, as well as earned his Chief’s 50 Badge. There were 14 other new recipients of the Chief’s 50 Badge and the other 35 are multiple recipients of the Chief’s 50 Badge.
The Chief’s 50 Badge far surpasses the Basic Marksmanship Qualification Badges, and is a difficult award to earn since previous recipients are included in top 50. It is awarded on behalf of the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, and is a permanent National Guard Marksmanship Badge that can be worn on the duty and dress service uniforms. The Chief’s 50 is modeled after the President’s 100 Marksmanship Tab award and the Governor’s Twenty is modeled after the Chief’s 50.
For nearly half of a century, the WPW matches have shown that the National Guard is a formidable force when it comes to deadly accurate marksmanship. Most of the top competitors have attended at least one of the courses offered at NGMTC, and some of those marksmen are members of the prestigious President’s 100, which is made up of the top 100 shooters in the country and is open to military personnel and civilians.
“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.”
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.
For many soldiers, this one of the few times they get to fire their weapons each year. “This is the most range time we get all year,” said Sgt. Dustin Fox, a 214th MP with the Alabama National Guard.
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 on their own time. These Soldiers then take their skills learned through these competitions back to their units and pass it along to improve the overall lethality and effectiveness of the unit.
WPW Small Arms Championship Team Results
Overall State Team Champion
1 Missouri (Alpha) National Guard
2 Texas (Alpha) National Guard
3 Illinois (Alpha) National Guard
Overall Rifle Team Champion
1 Missouri (Alpha) National Guard, scoring 2455
2 Illinois (Alpha) National Guard, scoring 2363
3 Missouri (Bravo) National Guard, scoring 2269
Overall Pistol Team Champion
1 Missouri (Alpha) National Guard, scoring 3134
2 Texas (Alpha) National Guard, scoring 2775
3 South Carolina (Alpha) National Guard, scoring 2723
WPW Small Arms Championship Individual Results
Overall Individual Champion-Open
1 Staff Sgt. Michael Richey, Missouri Army National Guard, scoring 1761 with 20 Xs & 27 Vs
2 1st Sgt. James Phelps, Missouri Army National Guard, scoring 1753 with 22 Xs & 21 Vs
3 Sgt. Brandon Swanson, Wisconsin Army National Guard, scoring 1752 with 19 Xs & 19 Vs
Overall Individual Champion-Novice
1 Spc. Thomas Carpenter, South Dakota Army National Guard, scoring 1575 with 18 Xs & 18 Vs
2 Sgt. Dwight Bushong, Kentucky Army National Guard, scoring 1447 with 15 Xs & 9 Vs
3 Sgt. David Anderson, California Army National Guard, scoring 1440 with 16 Xs & 6 Vs
Overall Rifle Individual Champion-Open
1 Sgt. Brandon Swanson, Wisconsin Army National Guard, scoring 960 with 9 Xs & 19 Vs
2 Master Sgt. Nathan Watters, Arkansas Air National Guard, scoring 959 with 12 Xs & 21 Vs
3 1st Sgt. James Phelps, Missouri Army National Guard, scoring 955 with 12 Xs & 21 Vs
Overall Rifle Individual Champion-Novice
1 Spc. Thomas Carpenter, South Dakota Army National Guard, scoring 854 with 7 Xs & 18 Vs
2 Staff Sgt. Morgan Davidson, Utah Army National Guard, scoring 817 with 5 Xs & 12 Vs
3 Sgt. Zachary Walker, Missouri Army National Guard, scoring 803 with 10 Xs & 11 Vs
Overall Pistol Individual Champion-Open
1 Staff Sgt. Michael Richey, Missouri Army National Guard, scoring 810 with 12 Xs
2 Sgt. 1st Class Paul Deugan, Iowa Army National Guard, scoring 798 with 13 Xs
3 1st Sgt. James Phelps, Missouri Army National Guard, scoring 798 with 10 Xs
Overall Pistol Individual Champion-Rifle
1 Spc. Thomas Carpenter, South Dakota Army National Guard, scoring 721 with 11 Xs
2 Maj. Aaron Combs, Ohio Army National Guard, scoring 692 with 13 Xs
3 Spc. John Jordan, South Carolina Army National Guard, scoring 684 with 8 Xs
WPW Small Arms Championship Chief’s 50 Badge Recipients
Sgt. 1st Class John Paul Cholak, Texas Army National Guard, Badge # CR-325
Sgt. Alexandra Wilson, Virginia Army National Guard, Badge # CP-222
Staff Sgt. David Ball, Missouri Army National Guard, Badge # CP-223
Staff Sgt. Justin Oddy, Vermont Air National Guard, Badge # CP-224
Staff Sgt. Patrick Stuckey, South Carolina Army National Guard, Badge # CP-225
Master Sgt. Kirk Holmer, Utah Army National Guard, Badge # CP-226
Staff Sgt. Jerry Dement, Missouri Army National Guard, Badge # CP-227
Sgt. 1st Class David Paquette, Virginia Army National Guard, Badge # CP-228
Spc. Thomas Carpenter, South Dakota Army National Guard, Badge # CP-229
Story by Army Sgt. Richard W. Hoppe, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center
Sunday, April 22, 2018
ROBINSON MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Ark. – Thirty-two National Guard soldiers representing 11 states competed in the 47th Annual Winston P. Wilson (WPW) Machine Gun Championship hosted by the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center (NGMTC) at Robinson Maneuver Training Center, Ark. from April 15-21.
The Machine Gun Championship is one of several events included in the Winston P. Wilson Championship, a prestigious marksmanship competition that tests the skills of some of the finest military marksmen in the world.
Michigan National Guard won the title of overall team champions and Chiefs 50, taking home a combined 29 awards between two, two-man teams and proving their mettle for the second year in a row. Michigan takes marksmanship seriously and provides their teams training prior to the matches, but when facing the top marksmen from around the nation, nothing is to be expected.
“This is my second time winning this. We came down last year and had absolutely no idea what we were doing or what we were in for,” said Sgt. David Dohnal with Company D, 3rd Battalion, 126th Infantry Regiment and winner of the Top Machine Gunner award. “We came down here and we did a whole lot better than I thought we were going to do. I actually had no idea that I was going to win until the awards ceremony.”
The competitions are conducted under the directive of the Chief of the National Guard Bureau to help improve the effectiveness of National Guard Soldiers. Competitions like these help inspire Soldiers to advance their skills in an experience-rich environment that is both challenging and enjoyable.
“What we’re trying to accomplish with the match is to develop an improved standard of marksmanship amongst National Guard Soldiers and Airmen, and to allow them to compete with each other and learn from each other,” said Air Force Capt. Barry Owens, Air National Guard Program Manager for the Marksmanship Training Center. “Because everybody has experience that they can share when they come here and everyone picks up some new ideas and training value.”
The collection of skills available at the competition ensures that everyone gains important weapons skills to take back to their units, whether they’re new or experienced. Every year the Marksmanship Training Center works to improve their matches and the advanced training that they can offer Soldiers and Airmen.
“I think they stepped it up this year … it was a little bit more competitive this year than it was last year,” said Dohnal. “I’ve really enjoyed myself. There was no hesitation to come back.”
Newcomers and younger Soldiers are encouraged to attend the matches in order to help build knowledge and expertise that can be disseminated throughout the National Guard. The Marksmanship Training Center offers a free-flow of professional knowledge comprised of years of experience between leadership and cadre alike.
“The vast majority of [cadre] are SAW-E qualified. They went to Small Arms Weapons Expert course, so they know quite a bit and they can teach you a lot,” said Spc. Aaron Newton, a Combat Engineer with Company A, 239th Brigade Engineer Battalion. “Especially 1st Sgt. Marchand, Master Sgt. Lindsey, and Maj. Stapp. All of them are very knowledgeable and can teach you a lot as long as you’re willing to listen.”
Many of the competitors and cadre look forward to next year’s Machine Gun Championship and add to the wealth of knowledge that the National Guard has to offer – and perhaps send a few more rounds down range.
“Come out here. Have fun,” said Dohnal. “You’re getting paid to shoot machine guns. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
~1st place in overall team and individual at All Army
Missouri National Guard (MONG) team poses with the Overall Small Arms Team Champion Trophy and their portion of the spoils from the 2018 U.S. Army Small Arms Championships Mar. 11-17, 2018 at Ft. Benning, Ga. As a team, MONG displayed superior performance and placed in the top three of all categories: Overall Team, Service Rifle, Service Pistol, and Multi-gun. Left to right: Sgt. David Ball, Staff Sgt. Jerry Dement, 1st Sgt. James Phelps, Staff Sgt. Michael Richey. (“Released” U.S. National Guard photo by: Maj. David Stapp, U.S. National Guard Marksmanship Training Center; caption by: Maj. Theresa Austin, U.S. National Guard Marksmanship Training Center)
Sgt. Justus Densmore, Texas Army National Guard, sprints to engage his first target 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. Densmore was the Overall Small Arms Individual Champion as well as the Overall Service Rifle Individual Champion. (“Released” U.S. National Guard photo by: Maj. David Stapp, U.S. National Guard Marksmanship Training Center; caption by: Maj. Theresa Austin, U.S. National Guard Marksmanship Training Center)
by Maj. Theresa Austin, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center
ROBINSON MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Ark. – The National Guard took firstoverall 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.
“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.”
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.”
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.”
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
Densmore, Justus, SGT, Texas ARNG
2,011 – 46
Mccombs, Jeremy, SPC, Colorado ARNG
1,972 – 49
Tucker, Robert, SGT, Vermont ARNG
1,949 – 47
U.S. Army Small Arms Team Champions
Missouri National Guard
3791 – 125
Iowa National Guard
3761 – 111
Wisconsin National Guard
3633 – 81
U.S. Army Service Pistol Individual Champion
Tucker, Robert, SGT, Vermont ARNG
788 – 32
Mccombs, Jeremy, SPC, Colorado ARNG
Larsen, Nicholas, 1LT, USA
758 – 28
U.S. Army Service Pistol Team Champions
Missouri National Guard
1533 – 92
Vermont National Guard
1471 – 68
North Dakota National Guard
1448 – 52
U.S. Army Service Rifle Individual Champion
Densmore, Justus, SGT, Texas ARNG
939 – 19
Mccombs, Jeremy, SPC, Colorado ARNG
930 – 14
Goldade, Tyler, SGT, North Dakota ARNG
929 – 16
U.S. Army Service Rifle Team Champions
Iowa National Guard
1325 – 41
Missouri National Guard
1216 – 33
Wisconsin National Guard
1195 – 16
U.S. Army Multi-Gun Match Individual Champion
Fuentes, Rafael, SSG, USAR
Brotherston, Curtis, 2LT, USAR
Balsley, Brad, SSG , USA
U.S. Army Multi-Gun Match Team Champions
Artic Warrior A-Team, USA
Missouri National Guard
Illinois National Guard
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)
by 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.
The Official Match Programs are linked above for release (Machine Gun posted 2/26/18). 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 1 March 2018 Pre-registration 20 March 2018 WPW & AFSAM Small Arms – LOI due 1 March 2018 Pre-registration 1 April 2018 WPW Machine Gun – LOI due 20 March 2018 Pre-registration 1 April 2018 CNGB – match scores and targets be submitted until 1 April 2018
Contact your State Marksmanship Coordinator for more information on attending these National Guard premier marksmanship competitions.