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NEWS | Aug. 10, 2012

USAR Rifle Shooting Team 2012

By Sgt. 1st Class John Buol Army Reserve Marksmanship Unit

The U.S. Army Reserve Shooting Team well represented the entire Army Reserves by offering training to service personnel and civilians, as well as by winning a number of important trophies and awards in national competition.

Organized shooting competition and marksmanship training is mandated by Federal law and the U.S. military has a legal requirement to send skilled personnel in a shooter-instructor role. Title 36 U. S. Code, 40701-40733 mandates that marksmanship instruction be made available to the citizens of the United States, the promotion of firearms safety and practice, and the conduct of competitions in the use of firearms. The services, including the US Army Reserve, meets these legal obligations by sending teams of shooter-instructors to conduct the Small Arms Firing School and to enhance their skills by competing in open competition.

The 2012 season began with the Interservice Rifle Championship Matches at Marine Corps Base Quantico and hosted by their Weapons Training Battalion. Notable individual performances began with Capt. Kirk Freeman winning the 600-yard Air Force Match and tying the current record score of 200-14X. This set him up to finish as the High Reservist in the Individual Aggregate. In team matches, Freeman followed this up with a perfect 300-15x in the MCCDC Team Match. In Long Range, Master Sgt. Norman Anderson finished in the top three of the Division B "Any/Any" category, shooting a 200-12x with his Palma rifle and competing against competitors with dedicated Match rifles.

In team events, the USAR took high Reserve team, beating out the National Guard, Marine, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard teams. One of the top awards at Interservice, the Lt. Col. C. A. Reynolds Memorial Trophy, awarded to the best individual performance in the Interservice 10 Man Team Match. This was won by Sgt. Kris Friend, posting a 499-19X.

Interservice Air Force Match Winner - Capt. Freeman (tied record)
High National Guard or Reserve Individual - Capt. Freeman
Division "B" 1000 Yard Match - Master Sgt. Anderson
High National Guard or Reserve Team - USAR
Lieutenant Colonel C. A. Reynolds Memorial Trophy - Sgt. Friend

From Interservice, the team went to Camp Perry. On the first day of competition, team coach and top shooter Anderson made the shoot-off event of the President's Match, the shooting competition first started by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt with top marksman acknowledged by the President of the United States. Top individual performances continued with Friend earning the Pershing and Rattlesnake trophies.

The Pershing Trophy was first presented by Gen. John J. Pershing (1860-1948), commander of the American Expeditionary Force of World War I, for team competition at the Inter-Allied Games in Paris in 1919. It is awarded to the highest shooter at the National Trophy Team match. The Rattlesnake Trophy, established in 1938, is awarded to the highest scoring individual Army competitor.

Having the highest scoring individual shooter helps the team overall. The USAR team finished out by taking the Hilton and Celtic Chieftain Trophies. The Hilton Trophy was presented by the Honorable Henry Hilton in 1878 and is awarded to the highest scoring Reserve Component team. The Celtic Chieftain Trophy, first presented by the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice in 1958 is awarded to the highest scoring Reserve Component team in the National Trophy Infantry Team match, known as the “Rattle Battle” that simulates an Infantry engagement.

These events were followed by the National Rifle Association Rifle Nationals. Freeman took was the high overall Reservist in the Service Rifle category. The USAR team took second overall in the Enlisted Men's Trophy, a team match fired across the National Match course.