Sgt. Sherri Jo Gallagher Wins Military Marksmanship Association Soldier of the Year
By Michael Molinaro
FORT BENNING, Ga. –-(Ammoland.com)- Sgt. Sherri Jo Gallagher, a service rifle shooter with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, was selected as the Military Marksmanship Association Soldier of the Year for 2010.
Outgoing MMA president Col. (Ret.) Robert I. Hoidahl, Jr. made the announcement at the MMA Annual Membership Meeting February 4 at the Pool International Shooting Complex. Hoidahl presented the Soldier of the Year Award to Gallagher – a .45- caliber pistol donated by the Smith and Wesson Corporation.
A Prescott, Ariz native, Gallagher had a remarkable year on and off the range. She was a member of the team's victorious 10-man team at the Interservice Rifle Championships in July, setting the stage for bigger things to come at the National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio a few weeks later. Gallagher became the first servicemember in 23 years to win the National High-Powered Rifle Championship, establishing 11 new national records along the way.
She won the championship despite minimal preparation for the matches. Gallagher spent the majority of 2010 participating in Soldier of the Year contests, beginning at the unit level and going all the way to the Best Warrior Competition, the culmination of a year-long test to recognize the Army's Soldier and NCO of the Year for 2010. At the annual Association of the United States Army meeting Oct. 24, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston announced that Gallagher was the 2010 Army Soldier of the Year.
“I want to thank the MMA for all that they do,” Gallagher said. “They supported me throughout the year as I went to all of the Soldier of the Year boards. I couldn't have done it without the help of my teammates and all of the Soldiers in the unit. The USAMU is without a doubt the best unit in the Army.”
The MMA's objectives are to provide a link to the history of the USAMU, host ceremonies and social events, and support the goals and objectives of the USAMU. It also presides over the hall of fame voting. The MMA now boasts more than 600 members.
Gallagher has served with the unit since 2008. She has been awarded and earned the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, four Army Achievement Medals, Distinguished Rifleman Badge, President's Hundred Tab, Schutzenschnur badge, and the Accession Support Brigade Soldier of the Quarter and Soldier of the Year, Fiscal Year 2010.
Besides being named Army Soldier of the Year, she was also named Soldier of the Year in 2010 for Training and Doctrine Command, U.S. Army Accessions Command, and Accessions Support Brigade. She is currently training for an upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.
The MMA 2010 Soldier of the Year nominees were: Staff Sgt. Travis Tomasie from the Action Shooting team; Staff Sgt. Robert Park from the Service Pistol team; Shotgun team member Staff Sgt. Josh Richmond; Sgt. Joe Hein from the International Rifle team; and from the Custom Firearms Shop, Spc. Thomas Marshall.
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.