Soldiers win National Trophy Rifle Team matches
August 27, 2008
By Steve Cooper
CAMP PERRY, Ohio (Army News Service, Aug. 27, 2008) - In three team matches of the 2008 National Trophy Rifle Matches, the Army's Sgt. 1st Class Grant Singley found himself playing an important role in his team's capture of the Hearst Doubles, National Trophy Team and National Trophy Infantry Team matches.
Always in the hunt, Singley along with Sgt. 1st Class Lance Hopper, won the 2006 Hearst Doubles Match, and he was a member of the winning Army Infantry Trophy team. It was the first year for the newly-created two-member team service rifle match that resurrected the William Randolph Hearst Trophy. In 2007, Singley won the Mountain Man Trophy to become the top overall service rifle shooter in those matches. He was a member of two winning Army teams that year.
This year Singley and Army teammate Sgt. 1st Class Lance Dement returned to the top of the Hearst Trophy podium with a team aggregate score of 587-16X, nipping Marine Reservists Gunnery Sgt. Justin Skaret and Staff Sgt. Sean Bell (587-14X) in a tiebreaker. The Army National Guard team of Staff. Sgt. Leigh Jenks III and Staff Sgt. Richard Zolnowsky finished in third position with a team aggregate score of 586-19X.
The Hearst Doubles Rifle Team Match is one of the National Trophy Rifle Matches where all competitors fire competition-class service rifles.
Today, almost all competitors in these matches fire accurized M16s or commercial equivalents. The Hearst Doubles Match follows the President's Rifle 30-shot first phase course of fire. Shooters fire 10 shots standing at 200 yards, 10 shots rapid fire prone at 300 yards and 10 shots slow fire prone at 600 yards with no sighters in any stage. A total of 236 teams completed the 2008 match.
Regarded by many as the most prestigious trophy match, the National Trophy Team Match was won by the Army Marksmanship Unit-Praslick Team. Firing members were Singley, Spc. Ty Cooper, Sgt. Brandon Green, Spc. Calvin Roberts and Sgt. 1st Class Kyle Ward with a combined team aggregate score of 2948-16X.
One of the key features of this match is the requirement that each team include at least one "new" shooter - someone who has not fired in this match before. This mandate places emphasis on training and assimilating the new member into the squad in less than a year's time. Roberts was the Army's new shooter in this match this year. He fired a 488-15X. USAMU-Praslick was captained by Sgt. Walter Craig and coached by Sgt. 1st Class Emil Praslick III.
As winners, USAMU-Praslick was awarded the National Trophy, also known as the 'Dogs of War' trophy, which was commissioned by Congress in 1903. This team match has each competitor complete a National Match Course consisting of 10 shots standing and 10 shots sitting rapid at 200 yards, 10 shots prone rapid at 300 yards and 20 shots prone slow fire at 600 yards. No sighters are permitted in National Trophy Team matches so a premium is placed on the coaches ability to dope wind.
The Army Reserve Gold team finished second with a combined team aggregate score of 2926-93X and US Marine Corps Gold placed third with a score of 2914-101X.
The Hilton Trophy for the top Reserve Component Team was awarded to Army Reserve Gold, who fired a combined aggregate score of 2926-93X. Team members were Spc. Christopher Atkins, Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Dorosheff, Sgt. 1st Class Leslie Lewis, Maj. Scott Klawon, Sgt. Kristoffer Friend and Sgt. 1st Class Norman Anderson. Army Reserve Gold was captained by Sgt. Maj. Neal Dickey and coached by 1st Sgt. Mark Bearnson Sr.
All Guard McCollom and USMCR Gold placed second and third respectively.
Cooper fired a 498-21X and won the 2008 Pershing Trophy that is awarded to the competitor who fires the highest individual score in the National Trophy Team Match.
The USAMU-Praslick team captured its second of the three elite team matches by winning the 2008 National Trophy Infantry Team Match on Aug. 1.
The NTIT event, commonly referred to as the "rattle battle," simulates a six-person infantry team that must distribute fire at eight different targets at distances of 600, 500, 300 and 200 yards, using F silhouettes at 600 and 500 and shorter E silhouettes at 300 and 200. Hits at 600 count four points, three at 500, two points at 300 and one at 200 yards.
Each team receives a bonus at each yard line equal to the square of the number of targets with six or more hits. Teams start with 384 rounds and must distribute them among their six team members according to their "fire plan." Firing stages at each of the four yard lines last 50 seconds.
Strategies vary, but with the low recoil, rapid fire capabilities of the M16 rifle, top teams like the Army and Marines now strive to fire all 384 rounds at 600 and 500 yards where hits count the most. That's an average of 32 accurate shots in 50 seconds for each team member.
USAMU-Praslick won this year's Infantry Trophy Match and Trophy with a score of 1409, distributing all of their points at 600 and 500 yards. Army team members were Cooper, Dement, Green, Singley, Ward and Staff Sgt. William Pace. Pace was the new shooter. The team captain was Staff Sgt. Daniel Peters and the team coach was Praslick.
All Guard McCollom won the Celtic Chieftain Trophy as the high Reserve Component team with a score of 1238. Their members are Spc. John Coggshall, Staff Sgt. Leigh Jenks III, Chief Warrant Officer David Kerin, Master Sgt. George Morgan Sr., Capt. J. Treharne and Staff Sgt. Richard Zolnowsky. The team was captained by Capt. Rodney Jenkins and coached by Warrant Officer Malcolm Hayes.