U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit competes at The Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower

By Sgt. 1st Class Kulani LakanariaJanuary 9, 2024

U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit competes at The Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower.
1 / 15 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Dustin Carr and Staff Sgt. Jacob Blackburn, both shooter and instructors assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's service rifle team, identify and engage targets at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower, GA Jan. 5, 2023.The Service Rifle Team’s missions are to raise the standard of marksmanship and combat readiness throughout the Army and to enhance the Army’s recruiting effort. The team accomplishes the first element of its missions by conducting multiple Train the Trainer courses both at home and abroad. (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Kulani Lakanaria) VIEW ORIGINAL
Spc. Dustin Carr and Staff Sgt. Jacob Blackburn, both shooter and instructors assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's service rifle team, identify and engage targets at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower, GA Jan. 5, 2023.The Service Rifle Team’s missions are to raise the standard of marksmanship and combat readiness throughout the Army and to enhance the Army’s recruiting effort. The team accomplishes the first element of its missions by conducting multiple Train the Trainer courses both at home and abroad.
2 / 15 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Dustin Carr and Staff Sgt. Jacob Blackburn, both shooter and instructors assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's service rifle team, identify and engage targets at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower, GA Jan. 5, 2023.The Service Rifle Team’s missions are to raise the standard of marksmanship and combat readiness throughout the Army and to enhance the Army’s recruiting effort. The team accomplishes the first element of its missions by conducting multiple Train the Trainer courses both at home and abroad. (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Kulani Lakanaria) VIEW ORIGINAL
U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit competes at The Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower.
3 / 15 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Dustin Carr and Staff Sgt. Jacob Blackburn, both shooter and instructors assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's service rifle team, identify and engage targets at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower, GA Jan. 5, 2023.The Service Rifle Team’s missions are to raise the standard of marksmanship and combat readiness throughout the Army and to enhance the Army’s recruiting effort. The team accomplishes the first element of its missions by conducting multiple Train the Trainer courses both at home and abroad. (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Kulani Lakanaria) VIEW ORIGINAL
Spc. Dustin Carr and Staff Sgt. Jacob Blackburn, both shooter and instructors assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's service rifle team, identify and engage targets at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower, GA Jan. 5, 2023.The Service Rifle Team’s missions are to raise the standard of marksmanship and combat readiness throughout the Army and to enhance the Army’s recruiting effort. The team accomplishes the first element of its missions by conducting multiple Train the Trainer courses both at home and abroad.
4 / 15 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Dustin Carr and Staff Sgt. Jacob Blackburn, both shooter and instructors assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's service rifle team, identify and engage targets at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower, GA Jan. 5, 2023.The Service Rifle Team’s missions are to raise the standard of marksmanship and combat readiness throughout the Army and to enhance the Army’s recruiting effort. The team accomplishes the first element of its missions by conducting multiple Train the Trainer courses both at home and abroad. (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Kulani Lakanaria) VIEW ORIGINAL
Staff Sgt. Jacob Blackburn, a shooter and instructor assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's service rifle team, identify and engage targets at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower, GA Jan. 5, 2023.The Service Rifle Team’s missions are to raise the standard of marksmanship and combat readiness throughout the Army and to enhance the Army’s recruiting effort. The team accomplishes the first element of its missions by conducting multiple Train the Trainer courses both at home and abroad.
5 / 15 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Staff Sgt. Jacob Blackburn, a shooter and instructor assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's service rifle team, identify and engage targets at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower, GA Jan. 5, 2023.The Service Rifle Team’s missions are to raise the standard of marksmanship and combat readiness throughout the Army and to enhance the Army’s recruiting effort. The team accomplishes the first element of its missions by conducting multiple Train the Trainer courses both at home and abroad. (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Kulani Lakanaria) VIEW ORIGINAL
Staff Sgt. Jacob Blackburn, a shooter and instructor assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's service rifle team, engages targets at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower, GA Jan. 5, 2023. The Service Rifle Team’s missions are to raise the standard of marksmanship and combat readiness throughout the Army and to enhance the Army’s recruiting effort. The team accomplishes the first element of its missions by conducting multiple Train the Trainer courses both at home and abroad.
6 / 15 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Staff Sgt. Jacob Blackburn, a shooter and instructor assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's service rifle team, engages targets at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower, GA Jan. 5, 2023. The Service Rifle Team’s missions are to raise the standard of marksmanship and combat readiness throughout the Army and to enhance the Army’s recruiting effort. The team accomplishes the first element of its missions by conducting multiple Train the Trainer courses both at home and abroad. (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Kulani Lakanaria) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Green and Sgt. Forrest Greenwood, both shooter and instructors assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's service rifle team, identify and engage targets at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower, GA Jan. 5, 2023. The Service Rifle Team’s missions are to raise the standard of marksmanship and combat readiness throughout the Army and to enhance the Army’s recruiting effort. The team accomplishes the first element of its missions by conducting multiple Train the Trainer courses both at home and abroad.
7 / 15 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Green and Sgt. Forrest Greenwood, both shooter and instructors assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's service rifle team, identify and engage targets at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower, GA Jan. 5, 2023. The Service Rifle Team’s missions are to raise the standard of marksmanship and combat readiness throughout the Army and to enhance the Army’s recruiting effort. The team accomplishes the first element of its missions by conducting multiple Train the Trainer courses both at home and abroad. (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Kulani Lakanaria) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Green and Sgt. Forrest Greenwood, both shooter and instructors assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's service rifle team, identify and engage targets at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower, GA Jan. 5, 2023. The Service Rifle Team’s missions are to raise the standard of marksmanship and combat readiness throughout the Army and to enhance the Army’s recruiting effort. The team accomplishes the first element of its missions by conducting multiple Train the Trainer courses both at home and abroad.
8 / 15 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Green and Sgt. Forrest Greenwood, both shooter and instructors assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's service rifle team, identify and engage targets at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower, GA Jan. 5, 2023. The Service Rifle Team’s missions are to raise the standard of marksmanship and combat readiness throughout the Army and to enhance the Army’s recruiting effort. The team accomplishes the first element of its missions by conducting multiple Train the Trainer courses both at home and abroad. (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Kulani Lakanaria) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Green and Sgt. Forrest Greenwood, both shooter and instructors assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's service rifle team, identify and engage targets at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower, GA Jan. 5, 2023. The Service Rifle Team’s missions are to raise the standard of marksmanship and combat readiness throughout the Army and to enhance the Army’s recruiting effort. The team accomplishes the first element of its missions by conducting multiple Train the Trainer courses both at home and abroad.
9 / 15 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Green and Sgt. Forrest Greenwood, both shooter and instructors assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's service rifle team, identify and engage targets at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower, GA Jan. 5, 2023. The Service Rifle Team’s missions are to raise the standard of marksmanship and combat readiness throughout the Army and to enhance the Army’s recruiting effort. The team accomplishes the first element of its missions by conducting multiple Train the Trainer courses both at home and abroad. (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Kulani Lakanaria) VIEW ORIGINAL
U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit competes at The Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower.
10 / 15 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Green and Sgt. Forest Greenwood, both shooter and instructors assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's service rifle team, identify targets at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower, GA Jan. 5, 2023. The Service Rifle Team’s missions are to raise the standard of marksmanship and combat readiness throughout the Army and to enhance the Army’s recruiting effort. The team accomplishes the first element of its missions by conducting multiple Train the Trainer courses both at home and abroad. (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Kulani Lakanaria) VIEW ORIGINAL
U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit competes at The Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower.
11 / 15 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. Shane Butler and Sgt. 1st Class Alexander Deal, both shooter and instructors assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's service rifle team, identify and engage targets at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower, GA Jan. 5, 2023. The Service Rifle Team’s missions are to raise the standard of marksmanship and combat readiness throughout the Army and to enhance the Army’s recruiting effort. The team accomplishes the first element of its missions by conducting multiple Train the Trainer courses both at home and abroad. (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Kulani Lakanaria) VIEW ORIGINAL
U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit competes at The Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower.
12 / 15 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. Shane Butler and Sgt. 1st Class Alexander Deal, both shooter and instructors assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's service rifle team, identify and engage targets at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower, GA Jan. 5, 2023. The Service Rifle Team’s missions are to raise the standard of marksmanship and combat readiness throughout the Army and to enhance the Army’s recruiting effort. The team accomplishes the first element of its missions by conducting multiple Train the Trainer courses both at home and abroad. (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Kulani Lakanaria) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sgt. Shane Butler and Sgt. 1st Class Alexander Deal, both shooter and instructors assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's service rifle team, engage targets at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower, GA Jan. 5, 2023. The Service Rifle Team’s missions are to raise the standard of marksmanship and combat readiness throughout the Army and to enhance the Army’s recruiting effort. The team accomplishes the first element of its missions by conducting multiple Train the Trainer courses both at home and abroad.
13 / 15 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. Shane Butler and Sgt. 1st Class Alexander Deal, both shooter and instructors assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's service rifle team, engage targets at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower, GA Jan. 5, 2023. The Service Rifle Team’s missions are to raise the standard of marksmanship and combat readiness throughout the Army and to enhance the Army’s recruiting effort. The team accomplishes the first element of its missions by conducting multiple Train the Trainer courses both at home and abroad. (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Kulani Lakanaria) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sgt. Shane Butler and Sgt. 1st Class Alexander Deal, both shooter and instructors assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's service rifle team, identify and engage targets at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower, GA Jan. 5, 2023. The Service Rifle Team’s missions are to raise the standard of marksmanship and combat readiness throughout the Army and to enhance the Army’s recruiting effort. The team accomplishes the first element of its missions by conducting multiple Train the Trainer courses both at home and abroad.
14 / 15 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. Shane Butler and Sgt. 1st Class Alexander Deal, both shooter and instructors assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's service rifle team, identify and engage targets at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower, GA Jan. 5, 2023. The Service Rifle Team’s missions are to raise the standard of marksmanship and combat readiness throughout the Army and to enhance the Army’s recruiting effort. The team accomplishes the first element of its missions by conducting multiple Train the Trainer courses both at home and abroad. (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Kulani Lakanaria) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sgt. Shane Butler and Sgt. 1st Class Alexander Deal, both shooter and instructors assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's service rifle team, engage targets at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower, GA Jan. 5, 2023. The Service Rifle Team’s missions are to raise the standard of marksmanship and combat readiness throughout the Army and to enhance the Army’s recruiting effort. The team accomplishes the first element of its missions by conducting multiple Train the Trainer courses both at home and abroad.
15 / 15 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. Shane Butler and Sgt. 1st Class Alexander Deal, both shooter and instructors assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's service rifle team, engage targets at the Mammoth Sniper Challenge at Fort Eisenhower, GA Jan. 5, 2023. The Service Rifle Team’s missions are to raise the standard of marksmanship and combat readiness throughout the Army and to enhance the Army’s recruiting effort. The team accomplishes the first element of its missions by conducting multiple Train the Trainer courses both at home and abroad. (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Kulani Lakanaria) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT EISENHOWER, G.A. – The Mammoth Sniper Challenge is a 72-hour physical and mental endurance competition. Teams of two engaged in long range targets in simulated sniper hides. This year 87 teams started out on Friday morning and 54 teams were left by Sunday afternoon.

“The Mammoth Sniper Challenge has been going on for approximately 16 years,” said Chris Andrews, match director of the Mammoth Sniper Challenge. “It started as a small match in Kentucky and grew in popularity, and this is our sixth year in Fort Eisenhower.”

The Mammoth Sniper Challenge has sold out for six years straight as a result and it prompted a second event: The Mammoth Sniper Challenge II on April 11-14, 2024, at Fort Chaffee and Fort Smith, Arkansas.

“The challenge of the Mammoth Sniper competition motivated me to compete,” said Sgt. 1st Class Alexander Deal, Service Rifle team chief at the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit. “It’s nice to incorporate different challenges and test some other skill sets and push the time constraints in the limitations of your equipment and yourself.”

The Mammoth Sniper Challenge isn't just another marksmanship competition; it's an arduous three-day trial that demands participants to combine their long-range shooting skills with approximately 35 miles of rucking through rolling landscapes. Fort Eisenhower's sprawling wilderness provides the perfect setting for this ultimate test of marksmanship.

“Fort Eisenhower is a great place to hold the Mammoth Sniper Competition,” said Deal. “The terrain is reasonable, and it makes it more accessible to the competitors.”

The challenge kicks off with a rigorous course that spans 35 miles of varying terrain. Participants, in teams of two, traverse throughout Fort Eisenhower carrying all their equipment and supplies. This journey is not merely a physical feat but also a mental one. At designated checkpoints, competitors engage in a series of shooting challenges, where precision and accuracy are paramount. From long-range shots under challenging weather conditions to target identification, every shot fired is an opportunity to showcase expertise.

“Physically the only way to prepare to ruck that much is to ruck that much,” said Deal. “You can prepare all you want, and it is reflected in the attrition rate of the competition. There is no shortage of physically fit individuals but, when you pile on a cold night with a lot of rain and wind the best thing to do is dealing with it and pushing through.”

Endurance is tested as competitors endure sleep deprivation, managing minimal rest between intense shooting stages and navigating the demanding course. The relentless nature of the challenge filters out all but the most resilient participants, separating those who merely shoot well from those who can perform under extreme conditions.

“As far as the marksmanship aspect of the competition, we were fortunate enough to have a lot of our home ranges at USAMU that provide us with enough resources to test our weapons systems and have them dialed in,” said Deal.

USAMU had three teams compete this year all from the service rifle team:
Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Green and Sgt. Greenwood
Sgt. 1st Class Alexander Deal and Sgt. Shane Butler
Staff Sgt. Jacob Blackburn and Spc. Dustin Carr

The Mammoth Sniper Challenge stands as a legacy—an event that challenges the boundaries of what's possible in the realm of marksmanship and endurance. It serves as a platform for participants to not only showcase their skills but also forge lasting bonds within the global community of marksmanship enthusiasts.

“We encourage new people to come out and do it because it's a new experience”, said Andrews. “There are a lot of veteran competitors, active-duty military, civilians. I feel it's one of the most competitive fields of shooting sports in the world.”