QUANTICO, Va. –
The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit Service Rifle Team won all team matches and nine of thirteen individual matches at the 61st Interservice Rifle Championships in Quantico, Virginia, June 20-27.
The weeklong, annual rifle championships, which is hosted by the Marine Corps’ Weapons Training Battalion, is open to all active duty, national guard and reserve component servicemembers of the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and Navy. This year, more than 80 servicemembers from around the Nation, competed for top honors.
In the 1000-Yard Team Match, USAMU teams claimed both the Service Rifle and Match Rifle Categories, a feat the unique Army unit has accomplished consecutively since 2010. This course of fire consisted of 20 slow-fire prone shots from the 1000-yard line by six team members, totaling 120 shots per team. Each team shot in groups of two from one firing point, with their two shooters alternately firing on the same target.
Team USAMU Deal took the Service Rifle Category win over the Army National Guard Jones and Army Reserve Arcularius teams with the score of 1159-40x. This team included Sgt. 1st Class Alexander Deal (coach), Sgt. Shane Butler (captain), Staff Sgt. David Bahten, Staff Sgt. Logan Frost, Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Crody, Staff Sgt. Jarrod McGaffic and Staff Sgt. Jacob Blackburn.
Team USAMU Greenwood took the Match Rifle Category win over the Army National Guard Coggshall and Marine Corps Scarlett teams with a score of 1194-63x. This team included Sgt Forrest Greenwood (coach), Lt. Col. Erik Andreasen (captain), Staff Sgt. Ben Cleland, Staff Sgt. Verne Conant, Private 1st Class Zevin Linse, Spc. Adam Fitzpatrick, Sgt. 1st Class Erin O’Neill, and Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Green.
In the Commanding General’s Rifle Team Match, the USAMU claimed both the first and second place spots in the active duty category over the four other Navy and Marine Corps teams.
This course of fire consisted of each shooter on the six-man team firing 10 slow-fire standing shots from 200 yards, 10 rapid-fire prone from standing shots from 300 yards, and 10 slow-fire prone shots from 600 yards. This included two shooters from each team alternately firing at the same firing point during the slow fire stages, which were allotted 66 minutes in total for the team. The rapid-fire time allotment was 70 seconds per string.
The team of USAMU Greenwood took the win with a score of 1778-69x, making it the eighth consecutive year the unit has won this team match and the 16th win in the last 17 years. The wining team included Greenwood (coach), Cleland (captain), McGaffic, Linse, Bahten, Conant and Green. The second place team, USAMU Deal, scored 1736-45x, making it the eighth time in 17 years that the unit has won both the first and second places spots in this match.This team included Deal (coach), Andreasen (captain), O’Neill, Blackburn, Crody, Butler, Private 1st Class Dustin Carr, and Staff Sgt. Nathan Lockwood.
In the Interservice Rifle Team, or 10-Man Team Match, team USAMU Andreasen claimed the coveted team championship title over the four other Navy and Marine Corps active duty teams with their score of 4931-193x.
The course of fire for this match included four stages. Stage one, which had a total team time of 66 minutes, consisted of 10 slow-fire standing shots from 200 yards, with two shooters occupying one firing point and firing alternately at the same target. Stage two consisted of 10 rapid-fire sitting from standing shots from 200 yards within 60 seconds, for each team member. Stage three costed of 10 rapid-fire prone from standing shots from 300 yards within 70 seconds, for each team member. And stage four, which had a total team time of 126 minutes, consisted 20 slow-fire prone shots from 600 yards, with two shooters occupying one firing point and firing alternately at the same target.
Team Andreasen included Greenwood (coach), Andreasen (captain), Cleland, Green, Bahten, Carr, Blackburn, Linse, Butler, O’Neill, Conant, and McGaffic. The unit has consecutively won this match since 2017, and 15 times in the last 17 years.
In the prestigious Marine Corps Infantry Trophy Team Match, the USAMU again claimed the top two spots over the five other teams from the Marine Corps, Navy, Army National Guard and Army Reserve. This historic match is made of up of six shooters, a coach and a captain. With a total of 384 rounds, the teams fired 50-second relays at eight targets in stages from 600, 500, 300 and 200 yards. Hits were scored as four points from the 600, three points from the 500, two points from the 300 and one point from the 200.
USAMU Greenwood took the win with their score of 1437 while USAMU Deal followed behind with a 1369. The unit has won this match 10 times in the last 14 years. The winning team included Greenwood (coach), Staff Sgt. Matthew Nelson (captain), Bahten, Butler, Cleland, Conant, Crody, and Green. The second place team, USAMU Deal, included Deal (coach), Andreasen (captain), Blackburn, Carr, Frost, Linse, Lockwood, and McGaffic.
In the individual matches, Fitzpatrick not only claimed the win, but set a new record in the Marine Corps Match with his score of 200-17x. This Soldier’s score beat out the 2019 record of 200-15x set by Staff Sgt. Rhodes of the Marine Corps. This course of fire included 20 rapid-fire prone from standing shots from 300 yards, with a 70 second time limit for each 10-shot string. Cleland took up second place in this match with a 200-15x.
In the next match, the Air Force Match, the USAMU Soldiers swept the podium, beating out 81 other servicemembers. Cleland seized the win with his 200-16x, just one X away from his own 2017 record in this match. O’Neill and Blackburn followed behind with their 200-15x and 200-12x respectively. This course of fire consisted of 20 slow-fire prone shots from 600 yards within 20 minutes.
Cleland claimed the next match win by firing a 200-13x in the Army Match, a course of fire that consisted of another 20 slow-fire prone shots from 600 yards within 20 minutes.
After a solid performance in the first five matches, Cleland claimed the 61st Interservice Individual Championship title with his aggregate score of 996-63x. Cleland’s placement in each of the five matches, over 83 other servicemembers, was: Navy Match-7th, Coast Guard Match-5th, Marine Corps Match-2nd, Air Force Match-1st and Army Match-1st). USAMU teammate, Bahten followed close behind with his 994-50x. Cleland also won this coveted title in 2020, 2019 and 2018. O’Neill and Green claimed the Championship title in 2021 and 2017/2013/2010/2006. In fact, in the last 17 years, a USAMU Soldier has won this title 12 times.
In the 600-Yard Match, USAMU Soldiers won both the Service Rifle and Match Rifle Categories. McGaffic beat out 50 other marksmen in the Service Rifle Category with his 200-11x while USAMU teammate Crody followed behind in third with his 200-8x. Cleland took yet another win in the Match Rifle Category with his tie break score of 200-15x over his teammate, O’Neill, and her 200-15x. Staff Sgt. Amanda Elsenboss, a USAMU alumna who now shoots with the Army National Guard, won third in a tie break over Green, who both shot a 200-14x. (Elsenboss also claimed the wins in both the Navy and Coast Guard Matches during the Individual Championships series.)
In the 1000-Yard Match, USAMU Soldiers swept the podium in the Service Rifle Category. Blackburn won first with his 199-12x and was followed by Butler and McGaffic who shot 199-5x and 198-9x respectively.
Cleland’s 200-13x placed second in the 1000-Yard Match, Match Rifle Category, behind National Guard’s Staff Sgt. John Coggshall’s 200-18x. USAMU’s Fitzpatrick took up third with a 200-12x.
In the Long Range Match, which is an aggregate of both the 600 and 1000-Yard Matches, the USAMU Soldiers swept the podium in the Service Rifle Category. McGaffic’s 398-20x earned him first with Butler and Crody following behind with their 398-18x and 396-17x.
In the Long Range Match, Match Rifle Category, USAMU’s Cleland (400-28x) and Fitzpatrick (400-24x) followed in second and third behind National Guard’s Coggshall (400-29x).
In the final individual match, Green claimed the overall win in the Excellence in Competition Rifle Match with his score of 499-22x, beating out 62 other servicemembers.
The USAMU's dominate performance at this annual interservice rivalry has continued building a legacy for the unit to maintain in the future.