Competition Shooting in Special Operations

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.

https://armyreservemarksman.info/tung-nguyen-memorial-match/

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.”

Local Unit Readiness Creates All Army Success

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Local events that can be held at every Army Reserve unit in conjunction with Battle Assembly schedules are an enabler that increase readiness and improve retention.

Fort Benning, Ga.
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Sharpened Steel Improves Leadership, Training

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Fort Knox, Ky.

Events held by the Hatchet Battalion leads to multiple Soldier training successes, Excellence In Competition, and the Army Reserve’s national-level marksmanship program.

Soldiers of the 2-397th (104th Training Division) conducted a Leader Training event called Sharpened Steel at Fort Knox to hone skills necessary to Soldiers and leaders. The Hatchet Battalion successfully completed two Excellence In Competition events with several Soldiers earning permanent awards for their superior performance.

Holding both pistol and rifle versions of Service Conditions (Combat) Excellence In Competition events at Fort Knox, the pistol event resulted in one Soldier being awarded the EIC Bronze Pistol badge and the rifle event had two Soldiers achieving the distinction. This was the first time the Hatchet Battalion held either event and their command reports a heightened Soldier interest growing as a result.

Their training began with each Soldier establishing Data On Previous Engagements at each yard line and cadre like Sgt. 1st Class Frasier noticed the advantage of using these types of targets. “For many, it was their first time seeing how their shot groups opened up as they moved further from the target.”

The training culminated in an Excellence In Competition Rifle event consisting of timed stages from 400, 300, 200, and 100 yards, and then a Close Quarter Battle stage shot at 75, 50, and 25 yards. The Pistol event was a mix of precision and speed from multiple positions and distances at 30 yards and in. This training is a holistic test of Soldier lethality because it incorporates short and medium range engagements, different shooting positions, speed reloads, and – in the Rifle event – a 25 yard rush to each firing line.

Even Soldiers finishing lower in the rankings found value in the event. Supply NCO Sgt. Vanderpool explained, “I’ve never been taught a lot of the marksmanship techniques that were shown. I learned a better way to hold the M16 and gained confidence in my marksmanship skills.”

In addition to the event being a tremendous training opportunity, Sgts. 1st Class Daugherty and Combs received their EIC Bronze Badge, which supersedes the expert badge on the Army Service Uniform, for scoring in the top 10% of the match.

Also during training year 2019, the Hatchet Battalion had two Soldiers compete as members of USAR Competitive Marksmanship Program, with Sgt. 1st Class Combs participating on the Service Pistol team and Command Sgt. Major Michael Ball participating with the Service Conditions/Combat team at the Armed Forces Skill At Arms Meeting. Their participation on the teams has improved the Battalion’s marksmanship training as they bring what they’ve learned back to the unit. As an Army Reserve Drill Sergeant unit, the Hatchet Battalion’s Drill Sergeants will take what they’ve learned and teach it to new Soldiers in Initial Entry Training, which will immediately impact marksmanship skills across the entire force.

https://www.usar.army.mil/News/News-Display/Article/1965677/sharpened-steel-improves-leadership-training/

2019 Army Reserve Small Arms Championship Results

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Congratulations
High Overall
High Overall
Presented by SFC Daniel Horner
3rd place SPC Roland Sink, 2nd place and top overall Army Reserve Soldier receiving a certificate from Sig Sauer SFC Tor Peterson, Overall Rifle Champion US Army National Guardsman SSG Steve Ophoff

1st Place overall Team

303rd PSYOP Company
1st Place overall Team

SGT Phillip HOCHEVAR
SPC Michael Mitchell
SPC Sean Murphy
SPC Roland Sink

ALBUM

IMG_20190824_074902059

Overview:
Camp Atterbury, Ind. —
The Army Reserve Marksmanship Program hosted a retention and training event at Camp Atterbury. Open to all Army Reserve Soldiers, the Army Reserve Small Arms Championship is an Army Regulation directed event consisting of a mix of precision and timed action shooting events using issue service equipment shot on paper, pop-up, and steel targets from 25 to 400 meters. The event also included a formal qualification with a 100% go rate among all attending Soldiers.

“Events like the Army Reserve Small Arms Championship provide solid training and are great for Soldier retention,” said Command Sgt. Major Larry May, 84th Training Command. “This is an opportunity that many Soldiers (including me, before I attended) don’t realize exists. I consider this to have the same value as the pending ACFT and deserving of the same amount of attention.”

The precision events provided the benefits of shooting at full distance (25 to 400 meters) from multiple positions with full feedback of each shot. The precision requirements were more stringent than those commonly found in sniper training as the silhouette targets featured a number of concentric scoring rings inside the target’s center area.

The action events combined a fitness add-in based on the pending Army Combat Fitness Test with timed shooting on reactive steel and pop-up targets in various scenarios. Shooting positions were based on the new Army qualification with an emphasis on using barricades for kneeling and standing positions to engage targets while being timed.

In addition to the training, the Army Reserve Small Arms Championship also served as a retention event. “Events like these Small Arms Championship are what the Army needs to do. In addition to training, events like this have a high retention value. Retention ultimately saves money because Soldiers decide to stay in the Army, instead of leaving,” said Lt. Col. Charles Hensley, 310th ESC (377th Theater Sustainment Command). “This event has provided good quality team building. For instance, my team has Soldiers from different units within our Major Command. Being part of a team keeps Soldiers in, especially when they can attend events like this.”

Members of the Army Reserve Marksmanship Program also provided coaching to the Soldiers. “Too few Soldiers experience true marksmanship instead of mere qualification,” said Cpt. Amnouayphonh Thammarath, 310th ESC (377th TSC). “Events like this are great for building confidence by providing full feedback to maximize training on a variety of scenarios, especially shooting at long distance. Looking at trends for the past 20 years, we need true subject matter experts capable of teaching at a higher level.”

“I’ve been passionate about shooting for 30 years and have been in the Army for 16. Members of the Competitive Marksmanship Program have instructors that help Soldiers absorb quality information easier versus the forced approach more common in the Army,” said Spc. Nakia Petersen, 390th Regiment (108th Training Command). “Soldiers are often hampered from the ineffective drill sergeant approach, which is too one way. The skilled competitive shooter-instructors in the Marksmanship Program use teaching methods more conducive to learning. They want you to learn and know the best way to teach you.”

Directed by Army regulation, the Army Reserve Small Arms Championship are held as often as Soldier interest and funding allows. In addition, all Army Reserve Soldiers are eligible to host and participate in Postal Matches during their any unit qualification as a means to get started on these retention and training events. This event featured Soldiers from the 84th, 108th, and 80th Training Commands, USACAPOC, ARCD, 83rd ARRTC/RTA, 100th TD, MIRC, First Army, and the National Guard, and the USARCMP would have liked to host more.

NEWS:

https://www.usar.army.mil/News/News-Display/Article/1952388/retention-event-creates-100-qualification-rate/

https://www.usar.army.mil/News/News-Display/Article/1851983/2019-army-reserve-small-arms-championships/

Registration Info
https://armyreservemarksman.info/2019-usar-champs/

#RoadtoAwesome #KeepPounding #AmericasArmyReserve #USArmyReserve #WeaponsMastery #USARPostalMatch #USARCombatTeam #USARRifleTeam #USARPistolTeam #ServiceConditions #LetsGoShooting