~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.