FORT BENNING, Ga. (March 9, 2012) -- The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit is expanding with creation of a Marksmanship Instructor Group and Paralympic Section, the first-ever Army units designed specifically for wounded warriors deemed able to continue to serve on active duty.

Approved by the Army earlier this week, the expansion is part of the Army chief of staff's initiative supporting wounded warriors.

For these Soldiers, serving in the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, or USAMU, will involve raising Army combat readiness by providing the absolute best shooting instruction for all Army units, USAMU officials said. The instructors will also showcase the Army by competing at a world-class level in national and international competition as part of the USAMU's efforts to connect the Army to the nation's citizens.

Sgt. 1st Class Josh Olson, an Operation Iraqi Freedom combat-wounded veteran and USAMU Paralympian, is the first active-duty Soldier to be nominated to the U.S. Paralympic Team and will compete in London this summer.

This ground-breaking approach inspires wounded combat veterans to remain on active duty, enhances combat readiness, and highlights ability rather than disability, said Lt. Col. Daniel Hodne, USAMU commander.

"Despite their injuries, these Soldiers are stronger for serving and continuing to serve. Now they will make the Army even stronger," Hodne said.