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.
~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.”