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NEWS | Sept. 9, 2021

Soldier marksmanship program improved

By Sgt. 1st Class John M. Buol Jr.

The Chief, Army Reserve Postal Match program directed by Army Regulation 140-1, Chapter 7 has been updated and improved to make participation easier. Held during the conduct of annual qualification on common Army training ranges, Postal Matches use existing Army training targetry while satisfying the new Army training standards.

As directed by current Army Training Circulars, Soldiers are to conduct six Training Tables to learn a more field relevant training approach to marksmanship. This training requires more realistic conduct with issue weapons along with a series of skill validations as each Table builds to the new qualifications detailed in TC 3-20.40. The Postal Match program provides the means to successfully conduct this skill validation while doubly serving as a competitive event.

The Postal Matches are named after Army Reserve marksmanship luminaries. Maj. Margaret Thompson Murdock, an Army Reserve nurse, was the first woman to win an Olympic medal in shooting. Capt. Horace Wayman Bivens, a Buffalo Soldier serving in reserve to the famed 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry “Rough Riders” and awarded the Silver Star for his actions during the Battle of San Juan Hill, was the first American to earn a coveted Double Distinguished rating after earning both Distinguished Rifleman and Distinguished Pistol Shot in competition. Gen. William Sutton, a successful competition shooter who served as a commander during World War II, was the first Chief, Army Reserve to formally establish a marksmanship program in published regulation for the Army Reserve. Gen. Harry Mott was the first Chief, Army Reserve to expand the Army Reserve Marksmanship Program to all Soldiers beyond the shooting teams and establish Army Reserve Marksman with Soldiers hosting Postal Matches for their units recognized nationally in Army Reserve Magazine (now Warrior Citizen).

The complete, updated Postal Match, Course of Fire, and Rulebook and issues of Army Reserve Marksman can be downloaded at Video descriptions of these courses and more information are available via the Army Reserve Marksmanship Program official social media at and