The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) took home both the individual and team championships at the 55th Annual Interservice Pistol Championships June 15-20, on Phillips Range at Ft. Benning, Ga.
Service members from the Army, Army Reserve, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard descended on Fort Benning to decide the military’s best pistol shooters. The competition crowns the best pistol shooters while providing the opportunity for service members to share techniques, develop new ideas, and enhance the overall combat readiness of the joint force.
Competitors shot matches with .22-caliber, .45-cal., centerfire and service pistols, ensuring proficiency in a broad array of pistols and enabling the competition to crown the best of the best.
USAMU Blue won the overall team championship for the ninth-consecutive year, while Staff Sgt. Patrick Franks claimed his first overall individual championship.
“One of the reasons why we’ve been so successful is our ability to have the discipline to train wisely,” said Franks. “We really take advantage of the experience that other people have on the team to learn from. Sometimes our military coach sees things that we don’t see ourselves, or the other shooters give us insight that help us to be better.”
The individual match came down to the final day, with Franks edging out Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Jonathan Shue by one point and USAMU teammate Sgt. 1st Class Michael Gasser by three points.
The USAMU Blue team led the team match from start to finish. Along with Franks, team members consisted of Gasser, Sgt. Greg Markowski, and Staff Sgt. Jeffery Lewis. They were coached by Staff Sgt. Adam Sokolowski.
Besides winning the overall title, Franks also claimed the .22-cal championship and was high shooter in the 2700. Shue won the centerfire, service pistol, and Director’s matches, while Gasser won the .45-cal match. Sgt. 1st Class Lawrence Carter won the Excellence-in-Competition match. USAMU Blue swept all of the team matches to go along with their overall championship. South Carolina Army National Guard won the high post or station team championship.
The USAMU pistol team next turns its focus to the National Pistol Championships at Camp Perry, Ohio next month. Next up in the Interservice Match Series is the Interservice Rifle Championship, scheduled to be held July 5-13 at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.
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, Michael.Molinaro@usaac.army.mil or www.USAMU.com.
Were you in the armed forces and did you enjoy shooting your pistol in training? Do you still shoot and how often? What is you pistol of choice?
(Story/Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit)