CAMP ETHAN ALLEN TRAINING SITE, Vermont— Four New York Army National Guard Soldiers secured a second place event win at this year’s Marksmanship Advisory Council (MAC) Region 1 Match, held from Aug. 18 through 20 in Jericho, Vermont.
The team brought home silver medals in the Fire Team Assault Match, while going head-to head against 50 Air and Army Guardsmen representing Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine in over a dozen pistol and rifle events.
The New York team was comprised of:
• Sgt. 1st Class Robert Lamorte II of New York National Guard Joint Force Headquarters;
• Sgt. 1st Class Michael Trask of the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade;
• Staff Sgt. Adam Crist of 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry Regiment;
• Sgt. Craig Rowell of the 152nd Engineer Support Company, 204th Engineer Battalion.
The Fire Team Assault Match, commonly known as “falling plates,” involved the four-man team sprinting downrange to a 200-meter firing line, before dropping to the prone and shooting down eight steel plate targets as fast as possible with their rifles.
“I feel as a team, we’ve been doing great, we’ve overcome a lot of adversity,” said Lamorte, who served as team captain.
This year, aside from competing against other Guardsmen, MAC 1 participants also had to contend against the weather, as sporadic, heavy rain fogged optics and turned shooting ranges muddy for much of the event.
“There’s been a lot of poor weather conditions—poor conditions in general—and we’ve stepped up, maintained a positive attitude, stuck together as a team, maintained our plans and we’ve done a really great job,” said Lamorte.
The annual MAC competition is hosted in seven regions throughout the United States by the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center, and is designed to provide a combat-focused training event in order to ensure mobilization readiness and success.
Region 1 includes the six New England states and New York.
Participants battled it out in a series of creative matches, including the Anti-Body Armor Team Match, during which competitors had four seconds to place two shots on target in the torso region followed by a third shot in the facial area with a pistol.
The MAC also hosted Excellence-in-Competition (EIC) rifle and pistol matches, which gave Guardsmen the chance to earn points towards coveted EIC badges, the highest individual awards authorized for achievement in marksmanship competition.
Participants said that interstate marksmanship events like the MAC offer a sense of camaraderie and a chance to take away new knowledge.
“It’s been very humbling,” Trask said. “Coming here and doing precision fire is definitely a different experience, but it’s been a great learning experience—surrounded by a lot of these guys who are very competitive shooters—a great community.”
In the end, the New Hampshire “Alpha” team secured the 1st place title of Overall Team Champions, followed by New Hampshire’s “Bravo” team in 2nd place and Vermont’s “Alpha” team in 3rd place.
Vermont Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 3 Cara Krauss, the match director, encouraged participants to take what they learned and bring it back to their home units to encourage better marksmanship and drive future participation.
“If you all help one person out, we can potentially double this event next year,” said Krauss. “So I challenge you to do that.”