The 2024 America's First Corps Marksmanship Competition comes to an end

By Sgt. Samantha CateMarch 1, 2024

Americas First Corps Hosts Annual Marksmanship Competition
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Soldiers representing the 11th Airborne Division receive the first-place trophy of the 2024 Marksmanship competition on the French Theater stage at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, March 1, 2024. The 11th Airborne Team will go on to compete in the U.S. Army Small Arms Competition. (Photo Credit: Pvt. Carlos Marquez) VIEW ORIGINAL
Americas First Corps Hosts Annual Marksmanship Competition
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Staff Sgt Ethan Hopkins assigned to 11th Airborne Division at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, poses for picture at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, March 1, 2024. Staff Sgt Hopkins won the "Top Shot," individual award for the I Corps 2024 Marksmanship Competition by having the highest score of all shooters who participated in the competition. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Kourtney Nunnery) (Photo Credit: Pfc. Kourtney Nunnery) VIEW ORIGINAL

JOINT BASE-LEWIS MCCHORD, Wash. - Soldiers from across America’s First Corps competed in the week-long I Corps Marksmanship Competition, held here February 26 - March 1.

The annual competition consists of 13 teams of four to five Soldiers from brigades across JBLM, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

The purpose of the marksmanship competition is to strengthen morale and cohesion, while challenging the competitor’s physical and mental toughness. The event recognizes preeminent marksmanship skills through competition and builds esprit de corps in the community.

Staff Sgt. Riley Cox values the competition for the emphasis it puts on camaraderie.

“Being with my team and seeing what they’re capable of is really exciting for me,” said Cox.

The events are designed to test the soldiers’ ability to perform under pressure in various positions with the M4/M4A1 Carbine Rifle, M9 or M17 Pistol, and the M320 grenade launcher.

Sgt. Nathan Woods, a Team 7 member from 22nd Corps Signal Brigade, put in extra training to prepare for the “3-Gun” event.

“Teams can win the marksmanship competition by working together and training hard,” said Woods. “It’s a culmination of all these things coming together to be the best.”

The individual based component of the competition is the Excellence in Competition Program (EIC) is part of the Army’s Small Arms Competition Program, implemented in 1884 by General Phillip Henry Sheridan to recognize top marksmanship performers throughout the Army.

“This competition is a chance to see who the best marksman in I Corps is,” said Cpt. Garrett Yee, assigned to the 555th Engineer Brigade and member of Team 8.

As the competition came to an end and scores were finalized, Team 12, representing the 11th Airborne Division “Arctic Angels” from JBER, Alaska, emerged victorious as the winners of the 2024 I Corps Marksmanship competition. This is the 11th Airborne team’s sixth consecutive win.

“I’ve been coming since 2021,” said Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Donaghue, a member of the Arctic Angles Team. “Every year it gets better.”

This year’s team was composed of both old and new competitors.

“It was a neat experience,” said Spc. Isaac Doten, a first-time team member of the Arctic Angels’ team. “It was fun to get to compete against some pretty competent shooters and experience different events that I’ve never done anything quite like before.”

The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division team out of Schofield Barracks took second place. One of the two 555th Engineer Brigade teams, from JBLM, placed third overall. The 11th Airborne Division squad will go on to compete in the U.S. Army Small Arms Championship.