On July 16, Sgt. Jonathan R. Evans, a cavalry scout with A Troop, 1st Squadron 1st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, was teaching the rudiments of marksmanship to a group of 1-1 CAV Soldiers. "I was teaching a shooting class on the four fundamentals of marksmanship," said Evans. "I was going in depth on how the bullet travels and my tricks of the trade that I've learned over my time in the Army."
A mere two days later Evans put said skill set to work, won the 1st Armored Division's first Squad Designated Marksmanship Competition held at Dona Ana Base Camp, N.M., Range 56, and was awarded a Precision rifle package optimized for military use, with a Leupold scope.
The competition was comprised of approximately 30 Soldiers from four different brigades on Fort Bliss. The 30 Soldiers were broken into three firing orders of 10 firers, all using either an M-4 or and M-110. Each firer was to fire at a static black silhouette painted over a white background. The firers would first fire 10 rounds from the standing position at 300m. Next, the firers would fire 10 rounds from a kneeling position at 400 m. Finally, the firers would fire 10 rounds from a prone position at 500 m. After all firing orders had completed their shots, scores were tallied and the firer with the most total hits to the silhouette target won.
"I felt confident with my shots, but I assumed that there was someone out there that could shoot better than me," said Evans.
His by-the-numbers training and career experience yielded a laudable championship performance as well as a familiar feeling among "Blackhawks."
"We are very proud, " said Sgt. Maj. Michael Mizell, operations sergeant major, 1-1 CAV. "We feel great that he represented our battalion and went out there and won it. It just shows how competitive we are because we are the post champions in about five different events."
In the end the competition yielded something of infinitely greater significance than bragging rights, it offered a proving ground for functional combat skills that are integral to today's war fighter.
"This competition is most important because we have units that are going to Afghanistan and in Afghanistan the fight is beyond 300 m.," said Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Reagan, Fort Bliss small arms master gunner, Team Bliss G-3.