U.S. All-Army Small Arms Championships Set for March
By Michael Molinaro
FORT BENNING, Ga. –-(Ammoland.com)- The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, in conjunction with the Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning, will host the 2011 U.S. All-Army Small Arms Championships March 19-26.
The competition is open to all Soldiers of any rank in the entire Army formation, including West Point and college ROTC cadets, Army Reservists and National Guardsmen. The 2010 championships set a record for attendance.
The All-Army Matches consist of Small Arms Firing Schools, Excellence-in-Competition Matches, rifle and pistol matches, and special combined-arms combat matches. Champions will be awarded All-Army Trophies and all Soldiers can earn EIC Marksmanship Badges, which are permanent-wear Army awards as described in Army Regulation 600-22 and have precedence above the standard qualification badges. The most coveted awards given out are Secretary of the Army Trophy M-1 Garand Rifles.
“The ‘All-Army’ is designed to test the entire depth of a Soldier’s shooting ability,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Hodne, commander, USAMU. “To succeed in the U.S. Army Small-Arms Championships, Soldiers must effectively employ their individual weapons at short and long ranges. Doing so with precision while under the stress of competition will challenge even the most experienced of shooters.”
Soldiers will compete in separate Cadet, Novice, Open and Pro classes based on their competition experience. Soldiers will fire M-16 or M-4 service rifles at distances between 25-500 yards and M-9 pistols between 7-35 yards.
“One of our most basic skills required as a Soldier is marksmanship,” said Army Reservist Sgt. 1st Class Russell Moore, last year’s overall individual champion. “Take away our small arms and what are we? The All-Army Small Arms Championships not only provides the training every Soldier needs to excel in marksmanship, it also provides a means in which to test it among their peers.”
There are special category awards and trophies also for High Drill Sergeant, High Novice and high enlisted Soldier, Guard, and Reserve (E1-E4). Cadets enrolled in an Army ROTC program are eligible for scholarship money.
Battalion-level and up teams compete for team awards and unit recognition. All Soldiers will receive advanced marksmanship instruction and training materials to conduct Train-the-Trainer clinics upon return to their home station.
“All Soldiers will receive training from the absolute best shooters and marksmanship instructors in the world prior to the start of the match program,” Hodne said. “This sort of competition serves to raise the Army’s overall combat readiness as all Soldiers will leave the ‘All-Army’ as more capable marksman, no matter where they find themselves in the overall standings.”
At the matches, coaches and noncommissioned officers-in-charge of the USAMU Service Rifle and Pistol teams will scout, identify and invite selected Soldiers to compete at the Interservice Championships and the National Matches later this summer. Soldiers selected to represent the Active Army are funded by the USAMU.
“I feel every commander and Senior NCO should come to this event,” Moore said. “They need to see the relevance of true marksmanship training and see that this can be conducted in a safe and fun environment.
“No other Army event brings together so many MOS’s, branches, and components in one place, nor does any other event support the individuals and teams like the All-Army.”
For additional information, to register and check out the match bulletin, visit the USAMU website at www.usamu.com or contact Michael Behnke, the USAMU chief of competitions, at (706) 545-7841 or [email protected].
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. 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.