Brothers to Compete In 56Th Annual Interservice Pistol Championship Matches

By Brenda Rolin, USAMU PAO

United States Army Marksmanship Unit
United States Army Marksmanship Unit
United States Army Marksmanship Unit
United States Army Marksmanship Unit

FORT BENNING, Ga. –-( Service members from the Army, Army Reserve, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard, including two brothers assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, will compete to decide the military’s best pistol shooters June 8-12 2015 at Fort Benning.

Hosted by the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, the 56th Annual Interservice Pistol Championship takes place on Phillips Range where the military’s best pistol shooters will be crowned.

The USAMU Service Pistol Team has won the overall team championship 14 times since 2001 and has the current record high score of 4673-217, which was achieved in 2012.

Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Franks and his brother, Spc. Ryan Franks are both members of the Service Pistol Team. Sgt. 1st Class Franks, with six years at USAMU, most recently won the gold in the metallic division of the 2015 USA Midway Bianchi Cup May 23 with a total score of 1902-140X.

This was the first time the Service Pistol Team has participated in the Bianchi Cup.

“I met and exceeded my goal of being in the top ten in my first year in the competition,” Patrick said.

Two other Service Pistol Team members were also successful during the Bianchi Cup. Staff Sgt. Lawrence Cleveland placed 6th in metallic with a score of 1859-124, and Sgt. 1st Class Adam Sokolowski placed 4th in the production division with a score of 1862-110.

Spc. Franks, who joined USAMU in January, most recently fired his personal best score of 2595-97 on May 22, 2015, at the Match Masters Regional in Columbia, Tenn.

Two other USAMU Service Pistol Team members won gold and bronze in that regional match- Sgt. 1st Class Michael Gasser won 1st place, while Sgt. 1st Class Sean Watson won third.

With their reputations on the line in this upcoming Interservice Pistol Championship, Sgt. 1st Class Franks, Gasser and Cleveland are honing their skills this weekend at the Civilian Marksmanship Program facility in Talladega, Ala. Gasser is close to being the first Soldier on his team to be distinguished with a .22 caliber pistol. To be distinguished, each open class competitor will compile 900 point and 2700-point aggregates, according to the National Rifle Association rules for conventional pistol.

Marksmen will compete in individual and team matches with multiple pistols, including .22- and .45-caliber, 9mm and service pistols. They will also shoot service pistols in an excellence-in-competition match to conclude the week.

Besides crowning the best military pistol shooters, the Interservice Pistol Championship is also an opportunity for service members to share techniques, develop new ideas and enhance the overall combat readiness of the joint force.

Updates and photos from the competition can be found daily on the USAMU Facebook page, and

“USAMU is part of the U.S. Army Accessions Brigade, Army Marketing and Research Group, and is tasked with enhancing the Army’s recruiting effort, raising the standard of Army marksmanship and furthering small arms research and development to enhance the Army’s overall combat readiness.”

About USAMU:
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