National Guard Marksmanship Training Center

Story by Army Sgt. Richard W. Hoppe

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.”

For photographs from the  ceremony visit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ngmtcpao/albums/72157668182554668


WPW Machine Gun Match Overall Team

Champions: Sgt. David Dohnal and Cpl. Nolan Davis, Michigan National Guard, Team Alpha

Overall 2nd place: Staff Sgt. Noah Matthews and Sgt. Nathan Forrest, Alabama National Guard, Team Alpha

Overall 3rd place: Staff Sgt. Thomas Davis and Cpl. Michael Parris, Colorado National Guard, Team Alpha

WPW Machine Gun Match Top Machine Gunner

Champion: Sgt. David Dohnal, Michigan National Guard Team Alpha

2nd place: Sgt. Nicholas Peters, Michigan National Guard, Team Bravo

3rd place: Sgt. Maximil Archambault, Vermont National Guard, Team Alpha

WPW Machine Gun Match Top Assistant Gunner

Champion: Sgt. Jared Parahm, Michigan National Guard, Team Bravo

2nd place: Cpl. Nolan Davis, Michigan National Guard, Team Alpha

3rd place: Staff Sgt. Kyle McRae, Vermont National Guard, Team Bravo




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.


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.


by Major Theresa Austin, public affairs officer National Guard Marksmanship Training Center

ROBINSON MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Ark. -This year’s marksmanship championships information has been released for service members to begin signing up to attend.

WPW & AFSAM Sniper Championship: 20-26 April 2018 (Fort Chaffee, AR)
Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting: 24 April-04 May 2018 (RMTC, N. Little Rock, AR)
WPW Small Arms Championship: 28 April-03 May 2018 (RMTC, N. Little Rock, AR)
WPW Machine Gun Championship: 15-21 April 2018 (RMTC, N. Little Rock, AR)
CNGB Postal Phase III: 20-25 May 2018 (RMTC, N. Little Rock, AR)

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.

RFO (request for orders) as of Jan. 2018

DTS issues affect voucher process

by Theresa Austin, Maj. National Guard Marksmanship Training Center

GUERNSEY, Wyoming- National Guard marksmanship competitors and support staff who participated in marksmanship events in June and July will have a huge delay receiving travel reimbursement if they submitted their vouchers with missing documents or errors.

Normally, the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center (NGMTC) has been able to assist the service members with making necessary corrections, however the Defense Travel Management Office (DTMO) recently sent out a notice announcing that they launched a new version of the Defense Travel System (DTS) that has now eliminated the NGMTC’s DTS reviewers’ ability make edits and upload needed documents.

Fixing these two major issues now falls on the service members or their NDEAs (Non-Duty Entry Agent) to fix, and the NGMTC reviewing officials will have to review all vouchers and then return all affect vouchers back to the service members, which will take some time due to the high volume of vouchers required to process.

The NGMTC resolution for the issues below is that all affected DTS Vouchers will be returned to the individual service member with a remark on the digital signature page that will specify the required corrections needed. Service members or NDEAs will need to make the appropriate changes, upload all required supporting documents and then resubmit their vouchers back to the NGMTC Finance for processing.

The NGMTC finance team will attempt to contact service members or the units to inform them of the new changes and explain the new required steps to successfully resubmit their DTS Vouchers.

Here are more details about the issues from the DTMO notices received by the NGMTC finance team/ DTS reviewers:

Issue 1: The receipts that were attached to documents prior to July 29, 2017 may improperly appear as “Missing”. DTMO Operations is working to restore the receipts. Receipts that are “missing” in documents currently routing for approval should be re-attached to ensure that they are available to be viewed by the routing officials.

Issue 2: On Friday, August 11, 2017, a software release was implemented in DTS that consolidated the current expense screens and introduced new receipt functionalities. In doing so, DTS routing officials and reviewers no longer have the capability of uploading files into the Substantiating Documents tab. It is now the responsibility of the traveler / service member to upload or attach all documents into DTS.

The finance team points of contact are Finance Operations NCO Sgt. Taja Lewis at taja.l.lewis.mil@mail.mil; and Senior Financial Management Technician, Sgt. 1st Class Khuong Tieu at khuong.q.tieu.mil@mail.mil.


Iowa Guard outshoots rest of country in national marksmanship competition

By Sgt. Garrett L. Dipuma, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas – More than 300 U.S. Army and Air National Guard marksmen from 47 states and territories competed in the 46th annual Winston P. Wilson Small Arms Championship at the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center at the Robinson Maneuver Training Center in North Little Rock, Arkansas, July 23-27.

“The WPW matches test the full range of shooting skills, from precise long range shots that demand discipline and patience to rapid reaction engagements at close range that demand quick, decisive action,” said Col. Dennis Humphrey, the officer in charge of NGMTC. “This is not a competition for specialists in a single event. The teams that compete and hope to win here must excel from one end of that spectrum to the other.”

Iowa’s A team, comprised of Sgt. 1st Class Paul Deugan, Staff Sgt. Karl John, Tech. Sgt. Matthew Waechter and Sgt. Brent Smith, took the all-state trophy with a total rank score of 50. Wisconsin’s A team followed in 2nd place with 69 points, and Illinois’ A team took third with 73 points

Although Iowa’s team came in 1st place among all of the states, two shooters distinguished themselves from all of the individual marksmen who competed.

Deugan, a veteran in these competitions, and Smith, who competed in the novice category, both made several trips to the stage during the awards ceremony to accept multiple first place trophies in individual events. Deugan has only missed four of these matches over the past 11 years, due to deployments.

“I’ve shot on the All Guard Combat Team for about a year and a half now,” said Deugan. “With the experience I’ve gained from going to England and Canada last year, I had a lot more time behind a gun practicing and training with the best marksmen in the National Guard.”

Smith said that he started his Army marksmanship career last year and that he was glad that he was able to progress to a national match so quickly. “The key to being successful is to watch the old guys,” he said. “I just watch them to pick up on any tips or tricks they can give me.”

Shots fired
South Carolina National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Eric Lawrence fires a pistol at the Winston P. Wilson Small Weapons Championship at Robinson Maneuver Training Center in North Little Rock, Arkansas, July 25, 2017. Elite Guardsmen from 47 states and territories are competing to be recognized as the Guard’s best marksmen July 23-28. (U.S. National Guard photo by Sgt. Garrett L. Dipuma, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center)

The WPW, usually held in April, was held in July this year. The three-month delay brought on much hotter weather than usual. Temperatures soared over 100 degrees at the peak of every day, but the competitors slogged through the hot, muggy weather to continue with the match.

The NGMTC holds four other national competitions every year, including the Armed Forces Skills at Arms Meeting (a multi-national competition), a sniper competition, the Chief National Guard Bureau Postal Match and a light machine gun match.

“Although highly competitive, the WPW matches are not games. They are an objective assessment of the top products of our marksmanship training throughout the force,” said Humphrey. “They validate what works and they identify what does not work. With that information, we can optimize the effectiveness and efficiency of our training throughout the total force.”

NGMTC WPW Championship
National Guard competitors sprint to the firing line at the Winston P. Wilson Small Weapons Competition at Robinson Maneuver Training Center in North Little Rock, Arkansas, July 27, 2017. Elite Guardsmen from 47 states and territories are competing to be recognized as the Guard’s best marksmen July 23-28. (U.S. National Guard photo by Sgt. Garrett L. Dipuma, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center)

In addition to holding competitions, the NGMTC also teaches several marksmanship courses to National Guardsmen from around the country. These courses include Squad Designated Marksman, Sniper School and the Small Arms Weapons Course.

Deugan, who is the state marksman coordinator for Iowa, and Humphrey both stressed the need for proper training to be a good marksman whether a Troop plans to compete or not.

“There’s always been a mystique, this myth of the American Soldier as this magical marksmen,” said Humphrey. “Natural talent for shooting only goes so far. It takes the education piece of it as well.”

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.

“The key to success is focusing on the details and getting proper instruction, because you don’t know what you don’t know,” said Deugan. “Day one of SDM, the first thing I heard was to forget what I’ve been taught about about marksmanship.” He said that even though he was stubborn when it came to changing his technique when he began training as an Army marksman, the advice from the NGMTC instructors ultimately made him the decorated marksman he is today.

*In a previous release, we reported that Vermont won first place in the state championship. Due to computer errors, this was incorrect and has been rectified.

The award photos

The news video

The 46th WPW Small Arms Wrap up Video

46th WPW Results


2017 Sniper WPW & AFSAM Results


Winston P. Wilson Sniper Championship

Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting Championship