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Sgt. 1st Class Brian Stoa serves as an Operations NCOIC for a Recruiting Battalion while also building a championship shooting record.
The Army Reserve recognizes numerous shooting disciplines and has Soldiers proficient in many of them. Sgt. 1st Class Brian Stoa champions in competitive shotgun events. As an aerial target shooter, he competes in Trap, Skeet, and Sporting Clays and has enjoyed a solid win streak in 2019.
“In July, I competed in Amarillo, Texas for the Texas State Trap Shoot with 208 shooters in the Championship Events,” Sgt. 1st Class Stoa says. “I tied for Class AA Champion in Friday’s Doubles event. Saturday held the Nostalgia Shoot, where shooters competed with shotguns that pre-dated 1964. I used a classic Ithaca M37T pump built in 1948 to win this event by two targets. In Sunday’s Handicap event against tough competition and close scores, I ended up in a six-way tie and eventually won the 27 Yard Championship.”
This month’s success is now three in a row for Stoa. “In May, I was selected to shoot on the Army Skeet Team again, competing at the Armed Services Skeet Championship. Our Team made a strong showing, winning several team events and I won in the individual sub-gauge events,” said Sgt. 1st Class Stoa. “In June, I competed in the Oklahoma State Trap Shoot with about 150 other competitors for the Championship events and finished as AA Class Champion in both Singles and Doubles target events. Both events were decided after shoot offs.”
Sgt. 1st Class Stoa maintains his championship record while continuing to serve and fulfill his Army Reserve duties, currently as the USAR Operations NCOIC for the Oklahoma City Recruiting Battalion. As with all Army Reserve shooters, competition shooting is an additional duty on top of the tasks and responsibilities of the assigned unit.
Sgt. 1st Class Brian Stoa doesn’t often shoot issue military weapons on typical military ranges. He is a aerial target shooter and competes in multiple competitive shotgun disciplines, including Trap, Skeet, and Sporting Clays. This year he earned his way on to the Army Skeet Team to compete in the Armed Forces Skeet Championship, winning in two events both with the team and as an individual. Stoa has earned shooting titles in Minnesota, South Dakota, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Alaska.
“I am an Army Reserve Soldier serving on Active Guard Reserve status and shoot on the Army Skeet Team. I took third place at the Utah State Trap Shooting Championship competing against over 300 competitors, some of which are professionals.” say Sgt. 1st Class Stoa. “I enjoy traveling the country to shoot at all the different facilities in competition. You don’t give up your life when you join the Army, you enhance it!”
Sgt. 1st Class Stoa is from southern Minnesota where he was assigned as a Reserve Recruiter and is currently stationed in Alaska where he serves as a Reserve Guidance Counselor and Recruiter (MOS 79R) assigned to United States Army Recruiting Command (USAREC) at the Anchorage Military Entrance Processing Station. He believes that competitive shooting sports in general and shotgun shooting in particular have a largely untapped recruiting potential.
“The Minneapolis Recruiting Battalion found there were more high school kids shooting trap than playing any other sport in that area, “ says Sgt. 1st Class Stoa. “OCAR says their priority is recruiting and this is definitely a way to do it. I believe that if the Army Reserve fielded an American Trap Team, even if it was for a few events a year, like the Grand American, it would help recruiting efforts tremendously.”
The Army Skeet Team after winning the Skeet Team Doubles at the Armed Forces Skeet Championship in Tucson, Arizona on May 2018. From left to right, SFC Brian Stoa, LTC Carl Wojtaszek (West Point Trap and Skeet coach), SGT Dustan Taylor (Army Marksmanship Unit Skeet Team), CPT John Hedlund (Ft. Hood), SPC Christian Elliot (AMU Skeet Team). SFC Stoa was the only Army Reserve member and won the Doubles and 28 Gauge events for his class.