By Cadet Daniel Rindone, West Point Class of 2015December 1, 2011
WEST POINT, N.Y. (Dec. 1, 2011) -- The Combat Weapons Team traveled to Long Island Nov. 20 to compete against local skilled civilian shooters. The event, sponsored by the Long Island Practical Shooters Association, was a perfect opportunity for the team's newest members to experience their first competition after a long and nerve-racking selection process.
"It was our first chance at shooting in a real competitive environment. It was fun, and allowed us to apply our tactical skills to a new set of combat problems," Class of 2015 Cadet Pierce Willenbrock said.
The team, after reinventing their standard operating procedures and general structure, was happy to see that these new methods were having a positive and effective impact on the "new guys" in a high-stress environment.
"With nearly a semester of team training under their belts, the 'new guys' far exceeded my expectations for this past weekend at Long Island. I am very proud of their progression so far," Class of 2012 Cadet TJ Snukis, team captain, said. "It feels good to know that your training methods are solid and this weekend only served to reinforce the Combat Weapons Team's training philosophy."
The match consisted of seven uniquely designed stages made to test accuracy, speed, problem solving and many other critical values. Shooters were timed and had to complete these stages quickly, however, their hits on the targets were also graded and contributed to a portion of their score.
Those who could balance agility and precision excelled during the course of the match.
"It was a great opportunity to take the skills we learned at practice and apply them in different shooting stages," Class of 2015 Cadet Judd Ford said. "The shoot required almost all the aspects we were taught: visualization, focus, movement, accuracy, cadence and efficiency."
High scorer for the weekend went to Snukis, who ranked seventh of the 62 shooters that day. Other impressive performances were delivered by Class of 2014 Cadet Jim Fiser, who placed 22nd; and Class of 2015 Cadet Daniel Sayles, placing 25th.