United States Army Marksmanship Unit Celebrates 54th Anniversary
By Michael Molinaro USAMU PAO
FORT BENNING, Ga. –-(Ammoland.com)- More than 300 Soldiers, civilians and Family members, past and present, of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit gathered together to celebrate the USAMU’s 54th birthday Oct. 14-16.
The Military Marksmanship Association, the alumni association of the USAMU, hosted the reunion to afford past members of the unique unit time to reminisce with fellow former shooters and gunsmiths, as well as meet the current USAMU Soldiers and personnel.
The USAMU is the only unit of its kind in the Army. Home to 23 Olympic medalists, more than 40 World Champions, and the most competent gunsmiths in the world, the USAMU enhances the Army’s recruiting effort, raises the standard of the Army’s marksmanship proficiency, and supports the Army’s small arms research and development initiatives in order to raise the Army’s overall combat readiness.
USAMU commander Lt. Col. Daniel Hodne presided over the 2010 Hall of Fame induction ceremony Oct. 16. Sgt. Maj (Ret.) Thomas Fuller was the guest speaker and presented the new inductees with their medals and plaques. Inducted were: Lt. Col. (Ret.) Boyd Goldsby; Master Sgt. (Ret.) William O. Harden; and Sgt. Maj. (Ret.) Laurence “Red” Mosely.
“What is truly unique about the USAMU Hall-of-Fame distinction is it is an award given by the voting of every member of the MMA,” Fuller remarked. “Every man and woman in this unit is one of the best shooters on the planet. Their toughest competition is from the other Soldiers in the unit. So when these men and women select among themselves those to honor, you better believe that they are deserving of it.”
The three newly-elected members collectively served more than 120 years in the Army as Soldiers and civilians, and represent 85 years of service to the USAMU, Fuller said.
“I am so lucky to have served with this great unit for most of my military and civilian career,” said Mosely. “I have been awed by (past Soldiers’) performance and am still awed by what I see from the new shooters and young shooters.”
The Hall-of-Fame ceremony was the highlight of the weekend, but other fun and festivities were had by all. Former team members got acquainted with Soldiers currently serving in the unit at team dinners on Thursday. It wouldn’t be the USAMU without some good old fashioned competition, so a round-robin rifle, pistol and shotgun match was held during the day Friday.
Staff Sgt. Armando Ayala, a current member of the service rifle team, was elected to the Running Target team Hall-of-Fame for his years as a member of the now-defunct Olympic-sport team.
“The lineage of greatness this unit has produced is a testament to everyone here,” Fuller concluded. “That is a privilege of belonging to something greater than yourself.”
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 .