MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. (July 6, 2016)--Soldiers assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) won first place in eight team and individual matches during the 55th Interservice Rifle Championship June 22-29, 2016.
This Championship, hosted by the U.S. Marine Corps, fosters competition and information sharing between Department of Defense armed services.
Sgt. 1st Class Shane Barnhart, Service Rifle Team Chief since 2015, said he was pleased with his team's performance.
"We came into this match with high expectations, everyone performed well under some tricky weather conditions, and a couple of records were tied," Barnhart said.
In team matches, USAMU Shoup, the team coached by Assistant Team Chief Staff Sgt. Robert Shoup, won the Division (Div.) A 1,000 Yard Team Match and the USAMU Barnhart team won the Div. B 1,000 Yard Team Match.
In individual matches, Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Green won the Interservice Air Force Match, tying the 1993 record, the Div. B Interservice 1,000 Yard Match and Div. B Interservice Long Range Match; Barnhart won the Div. B Interservice 600 Yard Match, tying the 2013 record; Staff Sgt. Amanda Elsenboss won the Interservice Coast Guard Match; and Sgt. Augustus Dunfey won the Div. A Interservice 600 Yard Match.
Elsenboss, one of three women competitors in the Championship, was also named highest scoring service woman in the Interservice Individual Championship although a trophy is only awarded if there are five women competing.
Additionally, USAMU team members won eight other awards: Barnhart was second in the Div. B Interservice 1,000 Yard Match and the Div. B Interservice Long Range Match; Green was second in the Interservice Marine Corps Match, and third in the Interservice Individual Championship and the Division B Interservice 600 Yard Match; Staff Sgt. Frankie Galloway was second in the Division B Interservice 600 Yard Match and third in the Div. B Interservice Long Range Match; and Spc. Ben Cleland was second in the Interservice Coast Guard Match.
Barnhart has been a member of USAMU since 1999. He was first assigned to the International Rifle Team where he won the National three-position rifle title five times. In 2011, he won both the National three-position and 50-meter prone rifle titles. Additionally, he was a member of U.S. teams competing in the Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM), World Championships and U.S. Pan American Games.
He joined the Service Rifle Team in 2012 and his international precision shooting experience was a bonus for his new teammates, who are experts in precision service rifle marksmanship.
To keep up with changes in their shooting sport, such as the addition of optics, Barnhart, a 17-year veteran, said he has changed the training plan for the team to help everyone prepare.
"I am also trying to get more experience for the younger Soldiers, so they can succeed," he said. "This is the first time at the Interservice for many of them, and it's a little different from some of the other matches, so I tried throughout the season to help them recognize what was going to happen when they got here."
Green has won numerous titles and championships in his 13 years in the Army as a member of USAMU, including most recently in 2015, his second National High Power Rifle Championship after also winning the title in 2013. He has won the Interservice overall championship three times and the Interservice Long Range overall championship four times.
Green said the Army has given him valuable experience and the opportunity to shoot next to the best marksmen in the nation.
"The sheer support from bullets, rifles, training time, travel and getting to compete against national-level shooters every day is what it takes to be a champion," he said. "You can't go out and train on your own and get the same kind of training you get with (shooters) like ours--that alone is more than you can ever hope for."
Elsenboss, too, has won many awards since joining USAMU in 2009. In her first year she was a member of the record-setting long-range service team at that year's Interservice Rifle Championship, and she was the highest scoring woman in the service rifle category at the Camp Perry, Ohio, National Matches later in the year. She continues to excel with the Service Rifle Team, winning numerous events each year.
Elsenboss said the Army has paid off for her as well. Before joining USAMU, she said she seldom trained for a match. Now, she trains almost every day with the Service Rifle Team when they are not competing, earning her countless awards and titles.
All awards from the 55th Interservice Rifle Championship can be viewed at the 2016 Interservice rifle Championship standings link.
Editor's Note: The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's mission is winning national and international shooting competitions and advancing small-arms lethality to demonstrate Army marksmanship capability and enhance marksmanship effectiveness in combat. USAMU is part of the U.S. Army Accessions Brigade and Army Marketing and Research Group.