|The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) hosted the 61st Annual Interservice Pistol Championship, June 12th-18th, on Phillips Range at Fort Benning, GA. The Interservice Championship competition is an outdoor tournament open to U.S. military members’ only. Eligible participants include individuals and teams of the Armed Forces, Active, Guard, Reserve and Military Academy, along with ROTC cadets and Officer Candidate Course (OCS) students. This is a high-level event where most services from across the Department of Defense send their best teams to compete against each other to see who is the “best in the Department of Defense.”|
This year the USAR team took 3rd Place in the Overall Team Aggregate. This means that our team performed better than most other competitors within the Department of Defense. The Active Duty US Army Marksmanship unit took 1st place and a team from the National Guard took 2nd place in the team championship.
We maintained a commanding lead all week over the Marine Corps Reserve pistol team. Despite finishing slightly ahead of us during the last team match of the week, we were able to maintain our lead and defeat them in the overall team aggregate. This year the AMU and the National Guard had very strong teams.
Performance this year was good considering that we have not been able to practice as normal due to COVID-19 mitigation policies in place during 2020. When we receive ammunition re-supply in July we should be able to issue that out and return to practicing in the hopes of defeating the National Guard teams next year. We are scheduled to receive the correct 185-grain .45 caliber ammunition that the team needs. We also need to continue to pursue requisition of 9mm match ammunition. The ammunition that we have used in the past was match-grade Atlanta Arms ammunition. The M1152 ammunition that we have tried out recently seems to work for competition at the 25 yard line. At some point we still need to procure more match grade 9mm for use at 50 yards. We have enough 9mm match grade ammunition to last for the rest of this season and into next year.
MSG Espinosa was indispensable in helping account for all our team items and update property records. He was hard at work on this all week in addition to shooting.
Overall, this was a successful event with a significant number of “new” shooters in attendance. We look forward to Nationals and continuing to train the next generation of marksmen for the Army Reserve.
COMMENTS: Thank you for the continued support. We definitely appreciate getting some 185-grain match ammunition for .45 caliber matches. We hope to be able to draw some more match grade 22 caliber ammunition soon, as well as some match grade 9mm ammunition at some point.
Lt. Col. Thomas Koh, currently assigned to the National Capital Region Cyber Protection Center (335th Signal Command (Theater), represented the Army Reserve at his own expense by competing in the Florida Sectional Championship at the Volusia County Gun & Hunt Club located in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. This two-day event was a major match held under the auspices of the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA), a primary organizer of action shooting events in the United States.
The Florida Sectional Championship consisted of ten individual stages with a total round count of 300 shots for record. The challenging action stages included eleven activated swinging targets, set in motion when a select steel target was knocked down. As with all USPSA events, each stage was timed electronically to a hundredth of a second (0.01 seconds) with the elapsed time factored into the earned points shot on the targets.
The match included international shooters, including teams from South America, as well as shooters from Range Project Group International (RPGi). RPGi is a training and shooting services company owned and operated by members of the United States Special Operations Forces community.
“This match was a great balance of speed and discipline. Seven of the ten stages had swinging targets that appeared after hitting a steel activator. Three of the steel activators actually revealed two paper targets.” Lt. Col. Koh said. “These technical stages rewarded a moderately aggressive stage plan and a discipline to stick to it, even if you had to wait a fraction of a second for the activations.”
All Army Reserve Soldiers and units are authorized and encouraged to participate in or host marksmanship events. Units can start with no-cost events such as the World-wide Chief, Army Reserve Postal Matches, Excellence-In-Competition events and more by downloading the Army Reserve Course of Fire Book at https://www.usar.army.mil/ARM .
Matt Little (Greybeard Actual) is a former member of 20th Special Forces Group, retired Chicago Police Department SWAT leader, and high-level competition shooter.
SGM (ret.) Patrick McNamara (1st SFG, SFOD-D) interviewed by LCDR (ret.) John “Jocko” Willink (SEAL Team 3) about shooting experience within special operations forces. While serving as his Unit’s Marksmanship NCO, SGM McNamara developed his own marksmanship club with NRA, CMP, and USPSA affiliations, running monthly IPSC matches and semi-annual military marksmanship championships to encourage marksmanship fundamentals and competitiveness throughout the Army. This is common throughout military special operations. All Army is an annual Service Conditions match held by the Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning, similar to Service Conditions matches held throughout all NATO and Commonwealth militaries.
3D SFG(A) Soldiers report that “Most members of SOF (Special Operations Forces) use competitive shooting as a training tool. Our gear looks like that used in 3-Gun because that sort of practical competition is how we set up equipment.”
Another idea for #USArmyReserve Soldiers training at home. Lt. Col. Garcia of the Service Pistol team set up an air gun range in his garage.
Indoor gallery courses (Smallbore and Air gun) were among the first formal #PostalMatch events directed by then Chief, Army Reserve Lt. Gen. Sutton dating back to the 1960s and featured in Army Reserve Magazine, the predecessor to Warrior-Citizen.
See this archived copy of Army Reserve Magazine from 1969.
Read more about LTG Sutton and USAR marksmanship history in the USAR Course of Fire Book.