FORT BENNING, Ga. - The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit will host the 2009 Army Rifle and Pistol Championships in conjunction with the U.S. Army Infantry Center from February 21 to 28 2009. Training and competitions are open to all Soldiers of all Army components, of any rank, with of any military occupational specialty, including West Point and college ROTC cadets.

"The All-Army is an advanced combat marksmanship training event and competition," in accordance with Army regulation 350-66, said USAMU Commander Lt. Col. Frank Muggeo.

All Soldiers will fire both the M-16 rifle and M-9 pistol in helmet and load-bearing equipment (body armor optional) from 25 to 500 yards with the M-16 and 7 to 35 yards with the M-9. Teams from battalion-level compete for unit recognition and team awards. All Soldiers will receive advance marksmanship instruction and training materials to conduct Train-the-Trainer clinics on return to their home station. The Long-Range portion will provide M-24 long-range shooting training from 800 to 1,000 yards.

Soldiers will compete in separate Cadet, Novice, Open and Pro classes based on their competition experience. The USAMU has a limited number of M16, M9, and M24 weapons available for Soldiers and cadets who do not have assigned weapons.

"This is an excellent vehicle for those Soldiers and units reorganized into brigade combat teams and reconnaissance battalions who do not hold MOS 11 (Infantry) or 18 (Special Forces) and cannot attend the U.S. Army Sniper School," Muggeo said.

"The All-Army Matches are designed to raise the shooting proficiency of Soldiers and units across the Army by teaching advanced combat marksmanship techniques using issue rifles and pistols," Muggeo continued. All soldiers will be issued a certificate of training at the completion of the championship.

At the matches, coaches and noncommissioned officers in charge of the U.S. Army Rifle and Pistol Teams, will scout, identify and invite selected Soldiers to compete at the Interservice Championships and the National Matches. Soldiers selected to represent the Active Army are funded by the USAMU.

The All-Army Matches consist of Small Arms Firing Schools, Excellence-in-Competition Matches and special combined arms combat matches. Champions will be awarded All-Army Trophies and Excellence-in-Competition Marksmanship Badges, which are permanent-wear Army awards as described in Army Regulation 600-22 and are above the standard marksman, sharpshooter and expert qualification badges. The most coveted awards, Muggeo said, are Secretary of the Army Trophy M-1 Garand Rifles.

There are special category awards and trophies also for High Drill Sergeant, High Novice and high enlisted Soldier, Guard, and Reserve (E1-E4). Cadets enrolled in an Army ROTC program are eligible for $6,000.00 worth of scholarship money.

For additional information, registration and match bulletin visit the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit website at or contact Michael Behnke, the USAMU chief of competitions, at (706) 545-7841 or or .

(Formed in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to raise the standards of marksmanship throughout the U.S. Army, the Army Marksmanship Unit is assigned to the Accessions Support Brigade of the U.S. Army Accessions Command. The Marksmanship Unit trains its Soldiers to win competitions and enhances combat readiness through train-the-trainer clinics, research and development.