MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. (July 8, 2015) – The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit took first place last week at the 54th annual Interservice Rifle Team Championship.
The Marine team came in second at the championships, held on Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, and ending July 1.
During the competition, shooters from across the Department of Defense competed in a myriad of matches consisting of individual and team-scored shoots, varying from distances between 200 and 1,000 yards.
“These are all the best military shooters,” said Col. Timothy Parker, commanding officer of the Weapons Training Battalion. “Here we have all of the best military shooters in the United States, and they go against each other to see who [are] the best military shooters.”
During the competition, participants also embraced their common bond through marksmanship and shared with one another their knowledge so they could improve themselves and share that knowledge with their respective units, said Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Jacob Probst, a competitor at the event.
“When I went overseas I didn’t know how to shoot, [and] this is where that really gets to change,” Probst said. “We get to develop high-level shooters [here], then they go back to their units and get to teach what they’ve learned.
“There is a different mentality for individuals, who are competing at this level,” Probst said. “They’re almost always positive and driven, [and] they set goals and achieve those goals.”
After the competition, the participants attended a banquet and awards ceremony. The guest of honor, retired Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 4 Martin W. Dankanich, spoke on behalf of the competitors during the event.
“It’s truly great to be here and to be with so many competitors,” Dankanich said. “What I like about [this] is that this is our match. It captures the true spirit of sportsmanship and the brotherhood in arms.”
Soldiers, with Army Reserve Team Anderson, won the Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command Team Match with a score of 1,767.
Service members, who participated in the championship, will continue on to the National Rifle Matches held at Camp Perry, Ohio, later this month.
“There is only one winner and every single shot counts and ultimately in combat every single shot counts too,” Parker said. “The difference in winning or losing can be in one shot.”