The training value extracted from marksmanship competitions is invaluable to the missions required of Soldiers and the experience gained through competitions is invaluable to increasing readiness. The teams of shooter-instructors in the Army Reserve Marksmanship Program represent the best skilled Soldiers in the Reserve and their participation at the 2014 All Army Small Arms Championships proves that.
“At the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, we use the phrase ‘competition to combat’ to describe the experience of taking lessons learned through competition to enhance the capability and lethality of the soldier in combat,” said Lt. Col. Don King Jr., commander of the USAMU and host of the event. All Army is an advanced combat live-fire training event. Training and skill exercises are applicable to all military small arms firing disciplines.
With the championship comprising 213 competitors from all walks of the Active, National Guard and Reserve components, ARMP team shooters dominated every aggregate of the entire competition.
Starting with the combat rifle event, a NATO-style combat match fired on silhouetted targets from 25 to 500 yards, ARMP Service Rifle shooter Cpt. Samuel K. Freeman won the individual Rifle Championship aggregate. Freeman, a champion Across The Course and Long Range competitor with a string of legendary wins commented, “I’m just here to shoot X’s and deliver the news.” All Army was Cpt. Freeman’s first big combat-type match.
Sgt. 1st Class John Buol, assigned to the ARMP Service Pistol and Combat rosters and former Service Pistol NCOIC, took both the Pistol and Combined Arms Championship aggregates. Buol, a USPSA competitor recruited to the ARMP, found that his new experience with Service Pistol greatly enhanced his accuracy and helped secure his wins.
The overall Championship, a grand aggregate of the three individual aggregates, was won by ARMP Combat Team shooter Master Sgt. Russell Moore. Master Sgt. Moore has displayed an uncanny level of consistent skill that championship-level shooting requires. At the 2014 All Army, Moore was in the top three of individual aggregates. Even in those events he didn’t win, he was very close to the top.
Master Sgt. Moore received a Secretary of the Army Trophy Rifle, a picture plaque of the US Army Small Army Championship Trophy, which will be displayed at the USMAU Headquarters and a Secretary of the Army coin.
ARMP Team shooter Sgt. Major James Mauer, 3rd Battalion Army Reserve Careers Division, earned his last needed “leg” points and was awarded the Distinguished Rifleman Badge through Excellence in Competition (EIC). The Excellence In Competition program was created in 1894 and a total of 3,304 Soldiers have received the Distinguished Rifleman badge since. “Going Distinguished” is a rite of passage for all ARMP Team shooters and Sgt. Major Mauer is warmly welcomed to the club.
Results and photos of the event: