December 7, 2022

DVIDS – News – Army Soldiers Say They’re Still Winning Tradition at National Rifle Matches in Ohio

Each year, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit Service Rifle Team competes in the annual Civilian Marksmanship Program National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio, and this year has remained in keeping with tradition. – multiple match wins have been achieved.

However, before the trophies could add up, the USAMU Service Rifle Team kicked off National Rifle Matches by conducting the annual CMP Small Arms Shooting School. This two-day course attended by nearly 300 people from across the United States teaches snipers of all skill levels everything from the basics to the intricacies of reading the wind.

To execute classroom instruction and gunnery operations for this large number of personnel, USMAU Duty Rifle Team leaders were supported by CMP personnel and National Guard members from the Army, Army Reserve, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard, and Air Force. It really is a joint effort to accomplish, according to CMP staff.

Once the SAFS was over, all shooters put on their game faces for nearly two weeks of competition. Each of the soldiers on the USAMU Service Rifle Team are all Marksmanship Instructors/Competitive Marksmen who are stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia.

In the CMP Games part the national matches, Staff Sgt. Verne Conant of Billerica, Massachusetts put in a strong performance in the CMP 2400 Aggregate Series Service Rifle category placing second overall with 2377-125x, beating 330 other service rifle competitors and even passing the best match rifle score of 2375- 110x.

sergeant. 1st Class Erin O’Neill, a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, won the High Woman title with her 2370-102x, which puts her in seventh place.

USAMU Greenwood won the CMP Four-Man Team Match against 40 other teams when they put up a solid score of 1971-77x. This team included Conant, O’Neill, Staff Sgt. Jarrod McGaffic and Master Sgt. Jacob Blackburn as Team Members. sergeant. Forrest Greenwood served as coach while O’Neill was the team’s captain.

Conant led the team in the individual four-man team category with his score of 495-24x, making him third overall out of 188 total competitors.

In the prestigious President’s 100 Match, Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Crody, a Cotopaxi, Colorado native, earned third place, beating 844 other competitors with a score of 387-15x. Although Crody was of course chasing the top spot, he was happy to earn his personal best of the Chairman’s 100 in his final season with the Home of Champions. And the fact that first place was won by a former USAMU, Staff Sgt. Amanda Elsenboss, who now shoots for the Army National Guard, created even more camaraderie. (Elsenboss became the first woman to win the President’s 100 in game history!)

The next match on the schedule was the National Trophy Individual Match, where 789 competitors competed for the Daniel Boone Trophy. Six of the top ten spots were taken by USAMU soldiers, but it was McGaffic who took the win with an impressive 500-24x. It was not only a big win for the West Milton, Ohio native, but it set a new national record, breaking the 2017 record by 499-30x by USAMU teammate Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Green from Bogalusa, Louisiana.

In the same match, O’Neill set the women’s record with her score of 497-22x, earning her the Women’s Rifle Trophy and beating 785 other competitors with her fourth place finish behind teammate State Sgt. -major. Ben Cleland’s 497-27x. Cleland’s third place earned him the 25th Infantry Division’s trophy as top infantryman.

Cleland and Green then teamed up and took victory in the Hearst Doubles Match with a combined score of 589-22x, beating 260 other teams from across the United States. Cleland’s personal score of 297-11x earned the Swanton, Ohio native the Hearst Individual Doubles Champion title.

The coveted Dogs of War trophy is awarded to the winning team of the National Trophy Team Match. This historic six-man rifle tag team match has been in national play since 1903. And the USAMU Greenwood team earned their second straight victory with their combined score of 2960-128x, beating 24 other teams. (In national games last year, USAMU Greenwood set the current national record of 2971-155x.)

This year’s victory by USAMU Greenwood makes it the 39th time the Home of Champions have won the Dogs of War trophy since its inception in 1956, 66 years ago. The team members were: Cleland, Green, McGaffic, O’Neill, Staff Sgt. David Bahten and Staff Sgt. Shane Butler. Greenwood and Sgt. 1st Class Alexander Deal was the coach and captain respectively.

Cleland’s personal score of 498-32x in the National Trophy team game was the highest overall and earned him the Pershing Trophy, as well as the Rattlesnake Trophy for being the highest shotgun score by a soldier.

Cleland’s strong performance in those three games earned him two more trophies: the US Forces Command Trophy and the Mountain Man Trophy. The United States Forces Command Trophy is awarded to the active Army competitor with the highest overall score in the National Trophy Individual Match and the National Trophy Team Match. Cleland’s aggregate was 995-59x. The Mountain Man Trophy is awarded to the competitor with the highest total in the President’s 100 Match, National Trophy Individual Match, and National Trophy Team Match. Cleland won his first Mountain Man trophy with a total of 1288-71x, beating 897 other shooters.

And wrapping up the national matches in style, USAMU Greenwood earned a second consecutive victory in the Infantry Trophy team match with their score of 1344, beating 19 other teams. The team members were Butler, Bahten, Cleland, Conant, Crody and Green. Greenwood and Deal served as coach and captain, respectively. This historic match has been part of the National Rifle Matches since 1922 and USAMU has won the title 32 times since its unit was established in 1956.

Date taken: 21.09.2022
Date posted: 21.09.2022 16:47
Story ID: 429807
Hometown: SWANTON, OH, USA

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