Army Marksmanship Unit Dominates Pistol Championships

Army Marksmanship Unit Dominates Pistol Championships

The Army Marksmanship Unit’s Service Pistol Team
Photo by: U.S. Army/Sgt. 1st Class Kulani Lakanaria

For the 22nd time in a row, the Army Marksmanship Unit’s Service Pistol Team is the overall team champion of the Interservice Pistol Championships.

The annual gathering features elite marksmen from across the services and serves as a platform for showcasing skill and teamwork, according to an Army news release. The event typically takes place in June, but it was moved to November this year to allow more service members to participate.

“It’s an absolute blessing to have more service members show up this year and compete at Interservice,” said Staff Sgt. Walter Johnson, an instructor and shooter on the Army Marksmanship Unit’s Service Pistol Team, in the Army news release. “The nice thing is that we changed the dates to November—that allows the teams to use the first quarter budget to provide funding for these teams to participate.”

Soldiers from the elite unit based at Fort Moore, Georgia, competed against marksmen from across the services Nov. 13–17. There were nine shooting competitions, including individual and team .22-caliber matches, centerfire and .45-caliber matches and the Excellence in Competition and Directors match.

In addition to winning the overall team title, the Army Marksmanship Unit’s Service Pistol Team swept the .22, Centerfire, .45, Service Pistol and all four team championships.

Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Franks, the competition’s overall individual champion, said that he was proud of the team’s performance. “I feel like I’ve done my job,” he said. “Our job is to compete and win, and it gives me confidence as the team chief to put my focus on my shooters and still go out and win with minimal time on the gun. My focus is my team, … and the team made big strides proving our training plans are effective.”

After Franks, Sgt. 1st Class Greg Markowski was in second place, and Sgt. Jason Gregoire was third. Both are Army Marksmanship Unit shooters and instructors.

In addition to competition, the event also fosters camaraderie and gives troops the chance to trade ideas and expertise. As an example, Franks said, the Coast Guard sent two teams to the competition. “They never shot this match before and were very receptive to pointers, and every day in the competition they made leaps and bounds,” he said. “I look forward to seeing them compete again.”

For Franks, winning the championship was a longtime aspiration. “Winning the Interservice Pistol Championship was always a career goal,” he said. “I am prouder of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit Service Pistol Team for going out there and representing us well.”