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NEWS | Dec. 17, 2019

Local competition aids readiness, retention

By Sgt. 1st Class John Buol ARMU

Soldiers from the 744th Engineer Company (301st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 416th TEC) have added participation in local action shooting matches to enhance marksmanship skills, aid in unit training, building on proper Preliminary Marksmanship Instruction and Evaluation (PMI&E, Table I) and range operations while promoting overall Army Reserve combat effectiveness.

"Our objective was to refine marksmanship skills, tactics, and competency in pistol manipulation and mechanics, said Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Walsh. "Having Soldiers participating in events like these also aids in recruiting and general public relations, all while gaining new knowledge and experience from skilled sources outside the Army."

Sgt. 1st Class Walsh also serves as a shooter-instructor with the Army Reserve Competitive Marksmanship Program. He mentored fellow Soldiers Sgt. Jordan Wamsley and Sgt. Cord Craig from the 744th Engineer Company to further develop their skills as well. This competitive experience is in addition to normal duties - these Soldiers participate in local matches on their own time and expense.

"I train year-round in several disciplines and I never grow as much in training as I do in one match," said Sgt. 1st Class Walsh. "Shooters want to spread their knowledge and all Soldiers that participate in events like this are better off than just qualifying."

Action shooting events are held around the country and open to all interested participants. The United States Practical Shooting Association is one of the biggest national governing bodies for practical shooting in the United States. Service Conditions (Combat) matches are also available to all Soldiers in most states.