Every winter, the United States Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) hosts their Small Arms Championships at Fort Benning, GA. Producer David Kadera provides a recap of the 2014 U.S. Army Small Arms Championship airing Friday, July 4th at 5PM ET on Sportsman Channel.
Except for basic training, most US Army soldiers do not receive a lot of hands-on, expert training on what would seem to be a very basic soldier skill: firing a weapon. This past January at Fort Benning in Georgia, US Army Active personnel, reservists and cadets all got the opportunity to receive training on standard Army weaponry and put their skills to the test in a head to head competition for an M-1 Garand Championship prize package and trophy.
Hundreds of soldiers came from around the world, braving the competition, as well as the conditions. An unseasonable ice storm closed the post for two days, forcing the competitors off the base and organizers to re-shape the competition’s format on the fly.
Competitors took part in rifle, pistol and combined arms competitions. Pistols were restricted to standard issue M9 models and fired from 10 yards up to 50 yards. M4 rifle shooting ranged from 25 yards up to 500 yards. The combined arms required competitors to switch from one to the other in timed courses of fire.
Master Sergeant Russell Moore (TX) entered the competition as the favorite, having won four consecutive championships from 2009 through 2012, and placing third in 2013. Moore’s success not only makes him the most successful competitor the event has ever seen, but also the soldier that all other soldiers look to as the standard bearer. Despite his success, Master Sergeant Moore is not about to rest on his laurels. To take home the top prize he’ll need to out perform hundreds of strong competitors including the first ever women’s team, led by SFC Annette Habel (FL).
Tune in to Sportsman Channel’s Salute to Service on July 4th from noon thru 8pm eastern, for military-themed programming, special guests and military shoutouts from overseas.