Team Novosel: U.S. Small Arms Multi-Gun Champions

By Brittany Trumbull, Fort Novosel Public AffairsMarch 28, 2024

Fort Novosel soldiers participate in the U.S. Small Arms Championship 2024 at Fort Moore, Ga. in March 2024.
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Fort Novosel soldiers participate in the U.S. Small Arms Championship 2024 at Fort Moore, Ga. in March 2024. (Photo Credit: Courtesy Photo) VIEW ORIGINAL
Team Fort Novosel, USAACE (left to right) Chief Warrant Officer 2 Matthew Downing, 1st Sgt. Andrew McCallister, Maj. Nicholas Barwikowski, and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jacob Freeman win first place multi-gun champions during the U.S. Small Arms Championship 2024 at Fort Moore, Ga. in March 2024.
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Team Fort Novosel, USAACE (left to right) Chief Warrant Officer 2 Matthew Downing, 1st Sgt. Andrew McCallister, Maj. Nicholas Barwikowski, and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jacob Freeman win first place multi-gun champions during the U.S. Small Arms Championship 2024 at Fort Moore, Ga. in March 2024. (Photo Credit: Courtesy Photo) VIEW ORIGINAL
A Fort Novosel soldier participates in the U.S. Small Arms Championship 2024 at Fort Moore, Ga. in March 2024.
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Fort Novosel soldiers participate in the U.S. Small Arms Championship 2024 at Fort Moore, Ga. in March 2024.
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Fort Novosel soldiers participate in the U.S. Small Arms Championship 2024 at Fort Moore, Ga. in March 2024. (Photo Credit: Courtesy Photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT NOVOSEL, Ala. --A team of 10 Fort Novosel soldiers recently competed in the U.S. Small Arms Championship, commonly known as All Army, and brought home titles aligning well with the Army Aviation Motto, “Above the Best.”

The week-long annual competition at Fort Moore, Ga. brought together over 230 service members from the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve, Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, National Guard, and the Air National Guard from March 10-16, 2024. Competitors demonstrated their technical and tactical proficiency as individuals and in teams of four.

The soldiers that competed from Fort Novosel were led by Maj. Nicholas J Barwikowski, Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) school commander. Barwikowski has attended the competition for several years and said he was excited to bring teams from Fort Novosel for the first time.

Training for the event lasts all year, according to Barwikowski, but heavy training takes place for six months.

“Every other Wednesday we would practice pistol shooting to mirror the matches at competition,” said Barwikowski. “Rifle was a challenge because Fort Novosel doesn’t have the right type of range, only 20% of our training was rifle focused because of that.”

The Fort Novosel team was comprised of seven SERE soldiers, an Apache Instructor Pilot, and two soldiers from the Ground Combat Team.

Competitor, Capt. Aaron Churchill, wasn’t new to shooting but was new to the competition aspect.

Churchill said, “It was cool to experience for the first time. We had some pretty impressive shooters, compared to the caliber of shooters that routinely attend and focus on training year-round for this. We really held our own.”

Competition has a way of bringing individuals together, according to Churchill, and team Fort Novosel did a standout job representing that.

“I know that it was pretty rewarding for Major B here,” said Churchill pointing to Barwikowski. “He hinted at the fact that it is a passion project for him. Every division he goes to he makes it a priority. Sometimes it’s not participated in because units are busy with things like deployments and war, but he tries to stand up teams and go to this thing as often as he can. He got a lot of us to compete and highly perform which represented Fort Novosel well.”

Several individuals came home with accolades from the competition, but the team accomplishments were the most rewarding according to Barwikowski.

“I didn’t shoot as well as I wanted to, but I never was upset about it because I couldn’t believe how well everyone else was doing,” said Barwikowski. “I’ve been on other teams and been the only one producing but this year I didn’t even need to be there. It was awesome because going into it, a lot of guys get burnt out from training too hard. I thought maybe, mentally, it was going to be too daunting. But, to see repeatedly their scores were way above mine… I was really blown away and proud of their accomplishments.”

Six competitors from Fort Novosel earned the distinguished Excellence in Competition (EIC) that only 1% of soldiers have accomplished, according to Barwikowski. EIC badges were awarded to Capt. Aaron Churchill, 1st Sgt. Andrew McCallister, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Chase Johnson, Staff Sgt. Martinez, and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Matthew Downing. Fort Novosel soldiers brought home the following awards:

Overall, All Army Champion (Individual):

2nd place - 1st Sgt. Andrew McCallister, U.S. Army SERE School

Multi-Gun Champions (Individual):

1st place -1st Sgt. Andrew McCallister, U.S. Army SERE School

3rd place- Chief Warrant Officer Two Matthew Downing, U.S. Army SERE School

Novice Class Overall Champion:

1st place- 1st Sgt. Andrew McCallister, U.S. Army SERE School

Novice Rifle Champion:

2nd- Capt. Aaron Churchill

Multi-Gun Champions (Team):

1st place- Team Novosel, USAACE

Barwikowski said that the team is already gearing up for the competition next year and hopes to come home with even more accolades in 2025.

An official division order will be released in October to build the team for next year. Fort Novosel soldiers interested in further information can contact the SERE school directly from their webpage U.S. Army SERE School :: Fort Novosel.