State Marksmanship Team kicks brass at MAC III Region Match

Staff Report

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Sgt. 1st Class Chuck Reed, Staff Sgt. Jeff Ice, Staff Sgt. Eric Dean, Sgt. Ted Broughton, Staff Sgt. Corey Goatley, Sgt. Randy Ford Chief Warrant Officer Craig Scott, Lt. Col. Alan Slusher, Capt. Aaron Grimm, Master Sgt. John Sierbert (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Chuck Reed, Kentucky National Guard Marksmanship Team)

Camp Butner Training Site in Stem, North Carolina – The Kentucky National Guard State Marksmanship Team was a force to be reckoned with during its performance at the National Guard Marksmanship Advisory Council (MAC) Region III Competition last March at Camp Butner Training Site in Stem, North Carolina.

The MAC III region consists of:  Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, and Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico did not participate in the match).

“The competition consisted of two individual rifle matches, two individual pistol matches, one rifle team match; and one pistol team match,” said Lt. Col. Alan Slusher, who was a shooter on the team.  “We divided up into two teams, A and B, with eleven shooters overall.”

The end result speaks for itself.  Kentucky captured numerous awards, including first place team aggregate (a total of all matches), first place rifle team and third place pistol team.

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The A Team: Staff Sgt. Jeff Ice, Sgt. Ted Broughton, Chief Warrant Officer Craig Scott, Capt. Aaron Grimm, Master Sgt. John Sierbert (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Chuck Reed, Kentucky National Guard Marksmanship Team)

In the individual matches the Kentucky shooters swept through the categories, scoring first, second and third in the individual rifle teams; first, second and third in the EIC rifle teams;, second place in the individual pistol match and second place in the EIC pistol match.

The Excellence-in-Competition Program (EIC) is an awards program recognizing marksmanship, open to any service member.  Individuals earn badges by finishing in the top ten percent in marksmanship competitions hosted by military services, the Civilian Marksmanship Program or the National Rifle Association.   Each win earns them a number of points toward their badge.  Each win is commonly referred to as a ‘leg’.

“By winning the EIC rifle match at Camp Butner, Capt. Aaron Grimm has earned 30 points, and is now qualified to wear the gold distinguished rifleman badge,” said Slusher.  “Sgt. Adam Broughton has earned his first ‘leg’ points, allowing him to wear the bronze EIC badge.”

Grimm also earned “leg” points in the EIC pistol match, working toward his gold Distinguished Pistol Badge. Senior Master Sgt. John Seibert and Staff Sgt. Jeff Ice both hold the gold Distinguished Riflemen Badge based on previous match earnings.

“A lot of hard work went into this regional match,” said Sgt. 1st Class Chuck Reed, the team’s coach.  “These guys gave up a lot of weekends and it showed in the final scores.”

“There’s more to it than just bragging rights,” said Reed.  “What goes on in the guard and reserve compels the active duty services to look over their shoulder.  Competitive marksmanship is as close to actual combat as you’ll ever come as it puts on the pressure and puts you toe to toe with your competitor.”

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The B Team: Staff Sgt. Eric Dean, Staff Sgt. Corey Goatley, Lt. Col. Alan Slusher, Sgt. Randy Ford (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Chuck Reed, Kentucky National Guard Marksmanship Team)

How do you get involved, you might ask?  The process is easy, but you have to put some effort into it.

“The first step to earning a spot on the state team is to represent your company or battalion in the KYNG State Match, held May 19-20 at Ft. Knox,” said Slusher.  “Look for the match letter of instruction and a guide in a JFHQ Weekly FRAGO.

“Shoot well at the state match and you may be asked to try out for the state team,” said Slusher, “Membership on the state team requires support from your unit commander, as you will be required to attend team practices, some of which may conflict with your unit drill schedule.”

Don’t worry about gear, said Slusher, as the unit provides all weapons and special equipment required.

Commanders who want to support the team can encourage each company in your command to compete in the state match.  If a company cannot field a team, unit members may combine at battalion level.

“It’s important that you support your competitive shooters by allowing then to split-train whenever possible, fund their travel, and then reap the benefits of their newly acquired skills by using them as marksmanship trainers when the competitive season ends.

For more information on the Kentucky National Guard’s competitive shooting program, contact Capt. Aaron Grimm, State Marksmanship Coordinator, at 502-607-1578 or email him at aaron.grimm@us.army.mil.

Here are the final results of the match:

1st Place Team Aggregate (total of all matches)

KY ‘A’ Team

  • Capt. Aaron Grimm – Joint Forces Headquarters
  • Chief Warrant Officer 2 Greg Scott – 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade
  • Staff Sgt. Jeff Ice – 577th Sapper
  • Sgt. Adam Broughton – Joint Forces Headquarters
  • Senior Master Sgt. John Seibert (Coach) – 165th Airlift Squadron
  • 1st Place Team Rifle Match – KY ‘A’ Team
  • 3rd Place Pistol Team Match – KY ‘B’ Team
  • Lt. Col. Alan Slusher – Joint Forces Headquarters
  • Staff Sgt. Eric Dean – Joint Forces Headquarters
  • Staff Sgt. John Goatley – Joint Forces Headquarters
  • Tech. Sgt. Randall Ford – 123rd Security Forces Squadron

INDIVIDUAL MATCHES

Individual Rifle match

  • 1st Place – Staff Sgt. Jeff Ice
  • 2nd Place – Capt. Aaron Grimm
  • 3rd Place – Chief Warrant Officer 2 Greg Scott

Individual Pistol Match

  • 2nd Place – Staff Sgt. Eric Dean

EIC Rifle Match

  • 1st Place – Capt. Aaron Grimm
  • 2nd Place – Staff Sgt. Jeff Ice
  • 3rd Place – Sgt. Adam Broughton

EIC Pistol Match

  • 2nd Place – Capt. Aaron Grimm

Also competing as individual shooters were Maj. Travis Carpenter, 138th Fires Brigade, and Tech. Sgt. Eric Smith, 123rd Security Forces Squadron.

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