Army Marksmen Shoot To The Top At 50Th Interservice Pistol Championships
By Michael Molinaro
U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit PAO
FORT BENNING, Ga. – -(AmmoLand.com)- Soldiers with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit dominated the competition at the 50th Interservice Pistol championship matches held here June 8-12.
The unit’s Blue team swept the team awards, winning the .22-caliber team match, .45-caliber match, center fire match, service pistol match, and the prestigious overall team championship against teams from across the military. The Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Army Reserves, Army National Guard, and Coast Guard were all represented at the event, totaling 79 marksmen and a total of 14 teams.
“All who competed are champions in their own right,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Hodne, commander, USAMU. “They didn’t get here by accident.”
The USAMU’s Blue team consisted of Sgt. 1st Class Gregory Wilson, Staff Sgt. James Henderson, Staff Sgt. Robert Park II, Staff Sgt. Lyman Grover, and Staff Sgt. Adam Sokolowski.
Individually, Henderson led the individual competition after taking home 10 first-place awards, including breaking two match records. Henderson broke records in the .22-caliber national match course, breaking a mark held since 1987; and the .22-caliber individual championship, formerly held by a nine-time national champion from the Marines.
Henderson won the top honor as overall individual pistol champion, missing his overall match national record by four points, and was followed by USAMU Soldiers Park II in second place and Staff Sgt. Timothy Barber in third place.
Henderson’s other first-place finishes were in the center fire individual; .45-caliber individual; service pistol individual; .22-caliber slow-fire; .22-caliber rapid fire; .45-caliber national match course; service pistol national match course; National Rifleman’s Association 2700 match; and the overall individual aggregate.
Right behind Henderson in the individual competition was a slew of his USAMU counterparts. Park II was awarded three first-place finishes with the top scores in the .45-caliber rapid fire, service pistol slow fire, and service pistol rapid fire.
The center fire timed fire and the .45-caliber timed fire matches were won by Sokolowski. Wilson won for center fire aggregate and the center fire national match course.
Sgt. 1st Class Daryl Szarenski won the coveted Excellence in Competition match; Sgt. 1st Class Eric Daniels took home top honors in the center fire slow fire; Staff Sgt. Jason Sargent won the .22-caliber timed fire match; Grover had the best score during the .45-caliber slow fire match; and Sgt. Jean-Noel Howell was top dog in the combat pistol match 30.
“They take a lot of pride in being the best in the entire military,” said USAMU service pistol team training instructor Rick Hawkins. “One reason is that they know they have worked harder at being the best than the other shooters. By knowing they have worked harder than the others, their expectation of their success is higher than the others.”
The USAMU continues to raise the standards of marksmanship proficiency and enhance the Army’s combat readiness as it continues to be recognized as the best shooters and most competent gunsmiths in the world.
The USAMU’s mission is to raise the standard of marksmanship proficiency and combat readiness throughout the Army by sharing knowledge gained from competing and winning in national/ international competitions, research and development and advanced training programs while enhancing the Army’s recruiting effort through an active public information and public relations program. For more information on the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, contact the Public Affairs Office at (706) 545-5436, [email protected] or www.USAMU.com . The U.S. Practical Shooting Association is a nonprofit membership association affiliated with the International Practical Shooting Confederation, which is comprised of approximately 67 nations.