FORT BENNING, Ga. (Army News Service, July 20, 2009) -- Soldiers from the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit claimed three national championships last week: one in double trap, another in skeet and a third in pistol shooting.

The winning began at the U.S. National Shotgun Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo., when Staff Sgt. Josh Richmond won the gold medal in double trap July 13.

Richmond outlasted two other competitors in a shoot-off, including fellow USAMU Soldier and teammate Spc. Jeff Holguin to claim the gold. Holguin won the silver medal. Richmond scored a total of 268 targets out of 300, not including the 15 he hit in the shoot-off.

Richmond's results were similar to other competitions he has competed in this year. He won a gold medal at the Munich World Cup event and the bronze at a World Cup event in San Marino. Next up for Richmond, Holguin and the USAMU Shotgun team are the World Championships in Slovenia, the top event of the year.

The following day the skeet shooters came out in force at the International Shooting Complex. Spc. Vincent Hancock, a gold medal winner from the 2008 Summer Olympics, claimed his first gold medal at the National Championships in skeet, defeating teammate Sgt. 1st Class Shawn Dulohery in a shoot-off.

It was a classic back-and-forth between the young and old guard. Hancock led after day one, Dulohery bounced back and was on top after day two and then Hancock put together two perfect rounds to get to the shoot-off. It was Dulohery's final National Championship as the sun begins to set on his Army career with retirement just a few months away.

A four-time National Champion, Dulohery wanted to taste victory one final time on the big stage, but Hancock came away with one more target than his wily veteran teammate. The duo scored a 268 in the event before the shoot-off.

Two time zones to the east, a Soldier from the USAMU was the first active-duty Soldier to win the Individual National Pistol Championship in 24 years at the National Pistol Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio.

Sgt. 1st Class James Henderson won the most coveted individual prize in all of national pistol shooting when his score of 2646 was enough to win the top prize at the competition, July 18.

The best civilian and military pistol shooters in the country show up for the pre-eminent event every year and Henderson, who won the award as a member of the Army Reserve, was unequivocally the top dog as he also won the individual championship for the .22-caliber and center-fire matches.

(Michael Molinaro serves as public affairs officer for the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit.)