By Paula J. RandallSeptember 19, 2008
BODEN, Sweden (Army News Service, Sept. 19, 2008) - Soldiers of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, of Fort Benning, Ga., won two medals the first two days of competition at the Conseil International du Sport Militaire - called CISM - at the Rodberget Shooting Centre.
The first CISM Gold Medal was awarded to USA's Women's Rifle Team Sept. 16. With 17 teams competing in the Women's 50-Meter Sport Rifle Prone Team Match, the Gold Medal went to Sgt. Kelly A. Dove and Spc. Nicole M. Cooper of the Army Marksmanship Unit and Army Reservist Lt. Col. Rhonda L. Bright, formerly of the USAMU. Bright scored 596 points, Dove shot 593 points and Cooper got a 586; a perfect score is 600; top scores are 590 to 595. In this match, the women fired 60 shots in 1A,A1/2 hours at a target with a bull's eye smaller than a dime. Germany took the Silver Medal and Norway the Bronze.
Three-time Olympian and former CISM Champion Sgt. 1st Class Jason A. Parker took the Silver Medal in the Men's 300-Meter Three Position Standard Rifle Slow Fire Individual Match Sept. 17. This match consisted of 20 shots in each position (standing, kneeling and prone) over 2 hours and 15 minutes at a target whose bull's eye is 10 centimeters wide, shot from more than three football fields away. With a score of 587, Parker finished just 2 points behind Sgt. Marcel Burge of Switzerland who took the Gold with a 589. Warrant Officer Robert Markoja of Slovenia received the Bronze with a 585; 54 shooters competed. A perfect score is 600 points; top scores are in the mid-580s.
In the Men's 300-Meter Three Position Standard Rifle Team Match Sept. 16, Austria set a new military world record and won the Gold Medal. The Silver Medal went to Norway and Switzerland got the Bronze. The USA Team of Parker, 1996 Olympian Sgt. 1st Class Eric A. Uptagrafft, and Staff Sgts. Armando R. Ayala and Shane M. Barnhart, all of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit; took fifth place out of 29 teams.
In the Women's 25-Meter .22-Caliber Center Fire Pistol (Precision Course) Team Match Sept. 16, the USA just missed the medal stand and finished in fourth place out of 12 teams behind China with the Gold, Germany the Silver and Belarus Bronze. USA Team members were Marine Corps Capt. Janine Mills, four-time Olympian Army Reservist Staff Sgt. Elizabeth A. Callahan and Navy Reserve Petty Officer 1st Class Sandra Uptagrafft.
The Men's Pistol Team ended up in seventh place out of 29 teams in the 25-Meter .32-Caliber Center Fire Pistol (Precision Course) Team Match. Pistol Team members were Sgt. 1st Class Thomas A. Rose and Staff Sgts. Robert S. Park II and John C. Ennis and Sgt. Michael S. Gasser of the Army Marksmanship Unit.
In the Women's 50-Meter Sport Rifle Prone Individual Match, Cooper took fifth place only 5 points behind the winner Cpl. Anzela Vornova of Estonia. Staff Sgt. Eva Friedel of Germany took second and Sgt. Kristina Vestveit of Norway was third; Bright placed 10th and Dove finished 15th.
The Men's 25-Meter .32-Caliber Center Fire Pistol (Rapid Fire Course) and Women's 25-Meter .22-Caliber Center Fire Pistol (Rapid Fire Course) team matches were also shot.
The rest of the competition schedule is as follows:
Sept. 18: Men's 25-Meter .32-Caliber Center Fire Pistol Individual Match; Women's 25-Meter .22-Caliber Center Fire Pistol Individual Match; Men's 300-Meter Military Rapid Fire Rifle Training; Women's 50-Meter Sport Rifle Three Position Training; Men's 25-Meter Military Rapid Fire .32-Caliber Pistol Training; and Women's 25-Meter Military Rapid Fire .22-Caliber Pistol Training.
Sept. 19: Men's 300-Meter Military Rapid Fire Rifle Team Match; Women's 50-Meter Sport Rifle Three Position Team Match; Women's 25-Meter Military Rapid Fire .22-Caliber Pistol Team Match; and Men's 25-Meter Military Rapid Fire .32-Caliber Pistol Team Match.
Sept. 20: Women's 50-Meter Sport Rifle Three Position Individual Match; Men's 300-Meter Military Rapid Fire Rifle Individual Match; Women's 25-Meter Military Rapid Fire .22-Caliber Pistol Individual Match; Men's 25-Meter Military Rapid Fire .32-Caliber Pistol Individual Match; and Closing Ceremony.
The team will leave Sweden Sept. 21 and return to Fort Benning Sept. 22.
Fourteen servicemembers of the U.S. Military Shooting Team left Sept. 12 for Sweden where they are competing in CISM. Team USA is competing against 550 shooters from 45 countries from around the world. Ten shooters from the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit as well as two Army Reservists, one Navy Reservist and one Marine, are representing the United States at the 43rd World Military Shooting Championships.
Also traveling with the U.S. Shooting Team from the Army Marksmanship Unit are: Michael J. Behnke, team captain; two-time Olympian Sgt. 1st Class Thomas A. Tamas, rifle coach; 1988 Olympian Ray Arredondo and Glenn Sulser, pistol coaches; Richard N. Hawkins, jury member; and USAMU Commander Lt. Col. Frank Muggeo, chief of mission; three-time Olympian retired Lt. Col. Lones W. Wigger Jr., a shooter in the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, is also accompanied the team as a jury member.
(Paula J. Randall serves as public affairs officer for the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, Accessions Support Brigade.)