FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- There are shooting and marksmanship competitions around the world, and then there is the annual United States Army Special Operations Command International Sniper Competition.

A 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) sniper team earned overall first place honors in the ninth annual event after besting more than 40 special operations forces teams from around the U.S. military's most elite units and international special forces teams.

According to United States Army Special Operations Command, the International Sniper Competition consisted of 22 events over five days and four nights of physically and mentally challenging precision fires. Sniper teams converged on Fort Bragg, N.C., March 18-22, to compete in a challenging and combat oriented competition.

"We started off poorly on the first day due to some sleep deprivation," said Master Sgt. David, a Green Beret with the 1st SFG (A) and member of the winning sniper team. "We really started clicking and things began to fall into place after we regrouped and got some rest between events."

Master Sgt. David competed with his teammate Sgt. 1st Class Cuong, also a Green Beret with the 1st SFG (A).

The event is distinguished by the high level of world-class teams competing. The United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School and the 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne) hosted the competition.

"It is the level of competitors, the cadre, and the competition that make this event so unique," David said. "At this level, all of these guys are the best of the best."

The 1st SFG (A) sniper team outperformed special operations teams from the Naval Special Warfare Command, Marine Corps Scout Sniper School, U.S. Army Sniper School, 75th Ranger Regiment, and international SOF teams from Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, France, Italy, and Singapore.

Master Sgt. David and Sgt. 1st Class Cuong are humbled to have come out atop the competition.
"These guys were so good we knew whoever was going win was going to need to have a little bit of luck on their side," said David.

"We are proud of Dave and Cuong," said Command Sgt. Maj. Tony Labrec the 1st SFG (A) senior enlisted leader. "Their experience and professionalism will serve 1st Group for years to come as they pass on that knowledge to the Green Berets coming up behind them."

Editor's note: Due to the mission of Special Forces Soldiers, full names of members of the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) are not releasable.