By Sgt. 1st Class John Buol
Army Reserve Soldiers competed at the 58th annual Interservice Rifle Championship hosted at Marine Corps Base Quantico by the USMC Weapons Training Battalion 23 June - 1 July 2019. This annual championship is a Service Rifle competition open to all members of the United States military and highlights some of the best shooters in the entire Department of Defense. Competitors engage targets from 200 to 1,000 yards and most events do not allow any sighting shots.
The Army Reserve team set new Interservice Reserve record in The Commanding General, MCCDC (Marine Corps Combat Development Command) Team Match. Captained by Sgt. 1st Class Paul Fleischer and Coached by Sgt. 1st Class John Arcularius, firing members included Sgt. 1st Class John Bonjour, Staff Sgt. Kristoffer Friend, Sgt. Joseph Hall, Sgt. Keith Stephens, Spc. Daniel Lowe, and Spc. Samuel Henderson.
While the main team competed in the 6-Man Infantry Trophy Team Match, four shooters currently assigned to the Army Reserve Careers Division competed in the 4-Man Infantry Trophy Team Match against other eligible Post or Station/unit teams. Not only did the ARCD members win the Post or Station category, but they also beat an 11-year-old Interservice record previously held by the Marine Corps. Firing members included Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Hayes and Sgts. 1st Class Daniel Dorosheff, John Hawes, and Matthew Anderson.
Sgt. Keith Stephens broke the record on the first 600-yard match that was set back in 1993 shooting an 8T Shilen Rifles 8T Ratchet barrel that he chambered and installed himself. His 600-yard score of 200-16X is numerically perfect with 16 of the 20 shots for record inside the one minute of angle (six inches at 600 yards) tie-breaking X ring, which is six times greater accuracy than that needed to hit a 300-meter target during qualification every time. In addition to serving in the 980th Engineer Battalion and the Army Reserve Marksmanship Program as an additional duty, Sgt. Stephens is a police officer in East Texas.