By Michael Molinaro, U.S. Army Marksmanship UnitJuly 24, 2013
FORT BENNING, Ga. (July 24, 2013) -- Soldiers from the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit captured the overall individual and team championships at the 52nd Annual Interservice Rifle Championships, July 16-23, at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.
Staff Sgt. Brandon Green won his third individual championship and was also a member of the winning Army team, who claimed their seventh consecutive team championship, and 16th in the past 19 years.
"The whole match went very well," Green said. "The weather was perfect, the guns and ammo shot well. You have to be focused out there and be on top of your game because the guy shooting next to you is just as good as you are."
Green made history with this third championship. He is only the second Soldier to win the Interservice championship three times. Sgt. 1st Class Grant Singley did so four times before his retirement.
"It means a lot to me," Green said. "With all of the great champions our unit alone has produced and the caliber of guys who shoot this match, to be one of only two to win it three times is pretty cool. It really is a reflection of the service rifle team because we train hard, we push each other hard, and we make sure that we get the best out of each other when we compete."
More than 100 competitors from the Army, Army Reserve, Marine Corps, Navy, and National Guard service members fired on targets from 200, 300, 600 and 1,000-yard distances. The championship consisted of several individual and team matches, as well as an Excellence-in-Competition match. Total aggregates from the matches amounted to the overall champion being crowned.
Green shot a 992 (out of 1,000) with 56 hitting the "X" ring, just beating his U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, or USAMU, teammate Sgt. Kevin Trickett, who shot a 992-33x. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jeffery Rossfield finished in third with a score of 991-33x. Sgt. Amanda Elsenboss, USAMU, shot a 983-30x, finishing first amongst female competitors.
Staff Sgt. Ty Cooper won the match rifle long-range championship, and Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Peters won the service rifle long-range championship. Peters also set a new service rifle 1,000-yd record with a score of 200-11x. Sgt. Augustus Dunfey won the prestigious Lt. Col. C.A. Reynolds Memorial Trophy for high score in the 10-man team match with an outstanding 499-22x.
USAMU swept all team matches, including the 1,000-yard, Commanding General, Marine Corps Infantry Trophy, and 10-man Interservice Rifle Team Championship matches, maintaining a cumulative string of victories at the Interservice Rifle Championships since 1995.
"The team continues to be successful because of the holistic approach that the unit takes towards marksmanship," said Capt. Ryan Calhoon, USAMU operations officer. "We combine a world-class custom firearms shop; a load facility that continues to develop and test ammunition for our weapons; and world-class shooters who understand that their responsibility to the Army is to train the warfighter but recognize that their credibility is forged through their success in competition."
The competition, which dates back to 1960 when the value of Interservice marksmanship competition was recognized in a Memorandum of Understanding by the chiefs of each service, highlights the professional capacity and versatility of military service members.
"Our Army directly benefits from the success of the Service Rifle team and the whole USAMU as the unit continues to train the warfighter in our Squad Designated Marksmanship courses as well as our Close Quarters Marksmanship courses, while continuing to support the Army through testing and innovation in small arms development," Calhoon said.
The USAMU rifle team is now focused on Camp Perry, Ohio, where they will conduct the annual Small Arms Firing School, followed by competing in the National Rifle Championships and National Trophy Matches.
USAMU is part of the U.S. Army Accessions Brigade, Army Marketing and Research Group and is tasked with enhancing the Army's recruiting effort, raising the standard of Army marksmanship and furthering small arms research and development to enhance the Army's overall combat readiness.