Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska -- Paratroopers with 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, “Spartan Brigade,” took first place during a three-gun competition at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Jan., 26 to 28, 2021.
The paratroopers teamed up with Soldiers from U.S. Army Alaska’s Master Marksmanship Training Program to compete in the three-day event known as the 2021 I Corps Best Marksmanship Competition.
“We are very excited to represent Alaska in the competition,” said Staff Sgt. Joseph Donoghue, a marksmanship instructor with USARAK. “COVID limitations made attending the event stressful but we trained as much as we could and came prepared to win.”
Twelve teams of five from throughout the Army competed against each other. Their ability to shoot close and long-range targets while under stress was tested in multiple scenarios.
The paratroopers used the M4 rifle, M17 pistol, and the M500 shotgun. Some scenarios consisted of using each weapon alone and others required the paratroopers to switch between weapon systems. During the high stress scenarios, competitors were required to drag a 45-pound weight throughout each lane to maintain a high heart rate.
“We trained regularly for the event with USARAK’s marksmanship team for this event, including competing in local events,’ said Sgt. Ethan Hopkins, a section leader with 1st BN, 501st PIR. “For Soldiers interested in participating in events like this, I recommend they get in touch with the USARAK sharpshooter program and start training with them.”