U.S. Army Reserve Soldier competes in Army's American Skeet Team

By Amber Osei | U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion - Oklahoma City | Jan. 21, 2020

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. —

Growing up in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, Sgt. 1st Class Brian Stoa, a member of the All-Army Sports Team and Army’s American Skeet Team, enjoyed hunting, shooting and the outdoors. He became avid in shooting competitively in American trap, American skeet and sporting clays.

Stoa is an Active Guard Reserve recruiter for the U.S. Army Reserve. In 2005, when he took the job as a recruiter, Stoa had no idea how many opportunities it would open for him.

“I enjoy what I do in the military, and I can’t imagine you’d be able to go up to your civilian boss and say, ‘Hey, can I have a week off, and you pay me to travel to this tournament,’ ” Stoa said. “I mean, that’s just not going to happen.”

But that’s exactly what he gets to do each year as he gears up for the Armed Services Skeet Championships and World Skeet Championships.

Some of the titles Stoa received in 2019 include Alaska All State Team (Sporting Clays), Oklahoma State Champion (Trap) and Texas State Champion Non-Resident (Trap).

Since 2008, he’s won more than 163 trophies for the All-Army’s Sports Team and also the National Skeet Shooting Association. According to Stoa, he’s had the most success in trap shooting.

He also enjoys being a part of skeet shooting because of its historical origins in the U.S. Army during World War II.

“When planes became more prevalent, the U.S. Army needed to be able to shoot down those planes to defend their troops, ships and aircraft,” Stoa said. “They used skeet as the way to train on hitting a moving target. It’s still a useful tool for training in the present.”

On most days, Stoa spends hours preparing, mentoring and qualifying future Soldiers through their candidacy process into the U.S. Army. Such responsibilities aren’t taken lightly by Stoa, who says he feels that the nation is always calling out for someone to serve.

“Being a part of the U.S. Army Reserve has been the most important decision I’ve ever made.”

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