According to Sgt. 1st Class Robert Bandy, State Marksmanship Coordinator, the D.C. National Guard competitive marksmanship program continues to grow.

"We have a great group of Soldiers here over the past few days," he said. "I am encouraged by what I saw in terms of the skills and willingness to help one another."

Spc. Jeffrey Balough and Spc. Simeon Brown are veterans on the team having participated in events at the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center, Camp Joseph Robinson, North Little Rock, Arkansas.

"This isn't just a competition; it's a great training opportunity too," said Brown, who was among the top five competitors in the 2015 special zero competition at the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center.

Balough and Brown joined eight other Soldiers from units across the D.C. National Guard, who accepted the challenge to sharpen their marksmanship training and engage in healthy competition in hopes of earning being among the top marksmen in the D.C. National Guard.

Along with giving the Soldier's more experience with their weapons, the state level match builds camaraderie and teamwork, Bandy said.
In order to reflect the joint nature of the National Guard, Bandy says that Airmen are also being encouraged to participate in upcoming matches.

This year's competitors were: Sgt. Francois Alfred, Spc. Jeffrey Balough; Sgt. 1st Class Catalina Blackman, Spc. Simeon Brown, Sgt. Derek Carter, Spc. Marquise Darnell, Spc. Ibrahim Kallon, Spc. Hilary Kiundi, Spc. Arsham Orami and Cpl. Duane Smith.

Carter, Orami, Alfred, Brown, Balough and Kiundi were the top six finishers and will form the nucleus of the state marksmanship team. The other participants are eligible to compete for the two remaining team positions.