Fort Benning to honor a U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit coach upon his Retirement
By Paula J. Randall
FORT BENNING, Ga. – -(AmmoLand.com)- More than 100 people from all over the world will be coming to Fort Benning to honor a U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit coach upon his retirement. Frank Briggs, International Rifle Team coach and former head coach of the International Pistol and Service Rifle teams, will retire this month from the federal government. Briggs is one of only 19 International Shooting Sport Federation Class A coaches in the world.
The Army Marksmanship Unit will be hosting his retirement dinner at the Benning Club Dec. 13. Some of the VIPs attending the dinner include: Dr. Robert Bridges, one of the world’s top research scientists from the Chicago Medical Center; Dr. Alfredo Colon, an international pistol champion and pediatrician from Puerto Rico; West Point Golf Pro Dan Cardinale Jr.; Patrick Holland-Moritz, a corporation president in Berlin, Germany; former ambassador John King of Geneva, Switzerland; West Point Rifle Team Coach Maj. Ron Wigger; Patrick Squire, former vice president of Crosman, Colt and other firearms companies; retired NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) agent Glenn Pfeiffer; Olympic Pistol Gold Medalist Ragnar Skanaker of Sweden; and Phil McGuire and Dough Painter, both former directors of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Also attending will be John Beake, former senior vice president of the National Football League. Beake also served as the general manager of the Denver Broncos for 14 years during John Elway’s tenure.
Media are invited to attend. Contact Maj. Michael Anti at (706) 545-2343 for more information.
While the head coach for Service Rifle, Briggs produced 28 national and interservice champions and set 13 national records. During his time with the international teams, the USAMU won numerous Gold Medals in international competitions and sent many Soldiers to the Olympics.
Briggs said his success would not have been possible without the great shooters and gunsmiths of the Army Marksmanship Unit.
A resident of Columbus, Ga., Briggs started shooting in 1949. He graduated from Forest Hills High School in Queens, N.Y., where he won the Outstanding Service Medal, created especially for him. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from St. John’s University of New York in 1957; the school is the largest Catholic university in the nation. He was the university’s Outstanding Athlete of the Year, a two-time member of the All-American Shooting Team and a charter member of its Athletic Hall of Fame.
As a U.S. Marine Corps captain, Briggs served for four years and was captain of the Marine Corps International Shooting Team and a member of the U.S. Shooting Team that competed in the World Shooting Championships in Moscow in 1958.
He taught and coached the basketball team at Forest Hills in the early 1960s until he became the president of the Shoot-o-Rama Corporation of Waukegan, Ill., in 1967. He was the first director of Olympic Shooting Programs for the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., before taking over as the director of public relations for Crosman Airguns in East Bloomfield, N.Y., in 1981.
He also worked as a consultant for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, authored the “You Can Be an Expert Rifleman” book and developed the “Six Step Method for Teaching Position Rifle Shooting,” which is used by many top U.S. shooting coaches. Briggs also set 18 national records and was the head coach of the U.S. Air Force International Rifle Team, the Puerto Rican Olympic Rifle and Pistol Team and the Indian and Thailand National Teams.
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