Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va. --
Participants from the Marine Corps, Army, Navy and Air Force competed in the 52nd Annual Interservice Rifle Championship held at Range 4 at Weapons Training Battalion aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, from July 15 to 23, 2013.
More than 100 of the best shooters in the armed services competed in the rifle championship. “We have Marines here all the way from [Marine Corps Base] Camp Pendleton, [Marine Corps Recruit Depots,] San Diego and Parris Island, we even have the Army from Fort Benning, [Ga.]” said Capt. Nick Roberge, officer in charge, U.S. Marine Corps Shooting Team’s.
They have been practicing all season to do well here, but the team’s goal is to win at national, said Roberge.
Competitors fire 150 rounds during the rifle competition and another 150 rounds if the teams decide to participate in the team shooting event. The U.S. Marine Rifle Team was not the only team eager to win the event.
“Everyone on our team has been practicing for this championship, and we know that we will be facing strong competitors, but we want to win,” said Staff Sgt. Shane Barnhart, instructor shooter, U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit.
Some of the best shooters in the military are here today, and it is a good way to measure yourself on a national level, said Barnhart.
Although, “the U.S. Navy Marksmanship Team was affected by the sequestration, our objective is to make a decent showing with limited resources,” said Cmdr. Matt Hartel, assistant team captain, U.S Navy Marksmanship Team.
The Navy had to pay for the equipment and training ourselves, but sometimes one has to work with what they have, Bartel said.
The shooters used iron sights during the championship along with customized M-16 A4 service rifles to increase their chances for victory. The rifles are weighted to each shooters preference and allows less swaying when they fire from the standing position.
“I believe it should be up to the shooter to decide how they want to shot, because all that matters is if the shooter can put rounds down range effectively,” said Roberge.
“We are using weighted rifles and molly-coated-hollow-point tipped rounds along with specialized shooting jackets to eliminate all human error,” said Cpl. Ryan Cox, shooter, United States Marine Corps Rifle Team. Who added the jacket is thick and muffles the heart beat to prevent rifle movement.
Army Staff Sgt. Brandon Green won 1st place in the overall rifle championship followed by Spc. Kevin Trickett in 2nd and Marine Cpl. Jeffery Rossfield in 3rd.
For Marines who want to get into competitive shooting, the Marine Corps offers the Competitive-in-arms-Program at Okinawa, Japan Marine Corps Base, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune during the end of February, said Roberge.
For more information visit the individual base website.