• FORT BENNING, Ga.--Sixteen juniors who competed in the 2010 U.S. Army Junior Air Rifle Championships are recognized at the awards banquet Mar. 23 in Columbus, Ga. These fine young individuals have committed to a future in the military after they graduate from high school this spring. 
(Photo by Michael Molinaro, USAMU PAO)

    USAMU hosts junior championship

    FORT BENNING, Ga.--Sixteen juniors who competed in the 2010 U.S. Army Junior Air Rifle Championships are recognized at the awards banquet Mar. 23 in Columbus, Ga. These fine young individuals have committed to a future in the military after they...

  • FORT BENNING, Ga.--Junior shooters in the precision class compete in the day two finals at the 2010 U.S. Army Junior Air Rifle Championships, held at the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit’s Pool Indoor Range Mar. 23.
(Photo by Michael Molinaro, USAMU PAO)

    USAMU hosts junior championship

    FORT BENNING, Ga.--Junior shooters in the precision class compete in the day two finals at the 2010 U.S. Army Junior Air Rifle Championships, held at the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit’s Pool Indoor Range Mar. 23. (Photo by Michael Molinaro, USAMU PAO)

  • FORT BENNING, Ga.--Two juniors competing in the sporter class prepare for a match at the 2010 U.S. Army Junior Air Rifle Championships. More than 900 junior shooters from 41 states started the competition in state matches in January and the top ten teams and individuals from each class earned their way to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit\'s Pool Indoor Range for the national championship Mar. 21-23.
(Photo by Michael Molinaro, USAMU PAO)

    USAMU hosts junior championship

    FORT BENNING, Ga.--Two juniors competing in the sporter class prepare for a match at the 2010 U.S. Army Junior Air Rifle Championships. More than 900 junior shooters from 41 states started the competition in state matches in January and the top ten...

FORT BENNING, Ga. - The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit continued its full-fledging support of America's youth when it hosted the 2010 U.S. Army Junior Air Rifle Championships Mar. 21-23 at Fort Benning's Pool Indoor Range.

This was the fourth year the U.S. Army sponsored the event, fostering junior participation in prestigious state and national rifle competitions, promoting firearms safety and connecting the youngsters with the expertise and professionalism of the USAMU.

"Youth shooting programs require dedicated mentors in order to be successful and U.S. Army Soldiers are the ideal mentors and role models for our Nation's youth," said Lt. Col. Daniel Hodne, commander, USAMU. "The Army's involvement in youth shooting programs is a perfect fit; the USAMU is designed to fill this role. We teach, coach, and mentor junior shooters on a weekly basis."

The competition is conducted in two phases: a state championship postal phase and the national championships, said Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Heerman, accessions liaison, USAMU. State Championship matches enable sporter- and precision-class position juniors of all marksmanship levels an opportunity to test their talent against other junior shooters in their home states.

"Coming from numerous shooting clubs, high schools, junior ROTC's, 4-H and other organizations, there were more than 900 initial entries from 41 states participating in this year's state qualifying matches," he said. "The best state championship teams then are invited to compete against the top junior teams and shooters in the nation, along with the ten highest ranking at-large individual competitors in each class, at the National Championship."

In the precision class, the Fort Benning Junior Rifle Club, Ga., took home first place in the team category. The Delta Rifles, Alaska, came in second. Emily Holsopple, Wilcox, Pa., won the individual championship. Arielle Mouhot, Columbus, Ga., came in second and Catherine Green, Coventry, R.I., finished in third place.

In the sporter class, the King George Navy JROTC, Va., team won the championship. They were followed by Zion Bention High School, Ill. Christopher Potts, New Market, Ala., won the sporter class individual championship. Tyler Rico, Tuscon, Ariz., was the runner-up and Mikaelah Atchley, Daleville, Ala., came in third.

The intense preparation for the competition makes all of the competitor's winners before they even arrive, said Hodne. Becoming a good shooter requires discipline, focus, and commitment, all essential traits that translate directly to success in life. Sixteen of the competitors at the championships will carry those traits with them to the military upon graduation from high school.

"These fine young men and women made a decision that will undoubtedly produce a profound positive impact, not only on their own lives, but also on the military," said Hodne.

"I know it's going to open up a lot of opportunities," said Kamaren Braxton, New Market, Ala., who will enroll in the Auburn Univ. ROTC program on a scholarship this fall. "If you're in the Army, it makes you a better leader and makes you better prepared for the real world."

Page last updated Mon March 29th, 2010 at 10:08