By Sgt. !st. Class Julius ClaytonOctober 31, 2016
FORT BENNING, Ga. (Oct. 31, 2016)-- Sgt. 1st Class Josh Richmond, U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) Shotgun Team, was named the 2016 Soldier of the Year by the Military Marksmanship Association (MMA) during its annual meeting at the Pool Range Finals Hall Oct. 14.
Richmond, a native of Hillsgrove, Pennsylvania, was a 2016 U.S. Olympic Team member in the double trap event finishing seventh, missing his 12th target in a three-way shoot-off for the final spot in the semifinals. This was his second consecutive Olympic Games.
"My greatest accomplishment this year has to be making my second Olympic team, because it is so tough to make the United States Shooting Team with all the great shooting athletes we have in this country," Richmond said.
Richmond has established himself as one of the world's best double trap shooters, winning multiple world-level competitions to include two World Championships, six World Cup gold medals and four U.S. National Championships. He also collected a gold medal at the 2016 International Shooting Sport Federation's World Cup in San Marino, Italy, in June.
"Winning the Soldier of the Year has great significance, especially since I have seen other shooters with many more accomplishments than me win this award in previous years so it is a great honor to now be among those outstanding Soldiers," Richmond said.
Richmond began shooting competitively at the age of 11. He joined the Army in 2004 and has been assigned to the USAMU since 2005, deploying to Afghanistan in 2011 as a marksmanship-instructor.
Sgt. 1st Class Mark Weeks, USAMU Shotgun Team Chief said Richmond was a well-deserving recipient of the MMA Soldier of the Year selection.
USAMU Commander Lt. Col. James Barrows agreed with Weeks.
"Sgt. 1st Class Richmond absolutely deserved to be selected as MMA Soldier of the Year," he said. "His shooting performance throughout the year(s) and at the Olympics sets him apart from others in the sport, but it's not just about his shooting. He is a great spokesman and ambassador for the USAMU, the Army and the United States. A professional in every respect."
"The USAMU has contributed greatly to my success," Richmond said. "The structure, coaching, mentoring, funding and teamwork has all made me a better shooter with the ability to compete internationally against the best in the world."
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.