Interservice rifle competition comes to a close, shooters make mark

Interservice rifle competition comes to a close, shooters make mark

Soldiers with the U.S. Army Reserve fire down range during the 54th Interservice Rifle Championship at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, June 29, 2015. Participants in the competition fired from distances between 200 - 1,000 yards in the standing, sitting, and prone positions. This will be the last time Department of Defense competitors will face off against each other before going to the National Rifle Matches held at Camp Perry, Ohio. Marine Corps photo by Sgt Terence Brady.

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. (July 1, 2015) - The 54th Interservice Rifle Championship wrapped up July 1, at Marine Corps Base Quantico.

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 – 1,000 yards.

"These are all the best military shooters," said Col Timothy Parker, commanding officer, 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, according to U.S. 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," said Probst. "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. They're almost always positive and driven, [and] they set goals and achieve those goals," said Probst.

After the competition, the participants attended a banquet and awards ceremony. The guest of honor, Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 4 Martin W. Dankanich (ret.), spoke on behalf of the competitors during the event.

"It's truly great to be here and to be with so many competitors," said Dankanich. "What I like about [this] is that this is our match. It captures the true spirit of sportsmanship and the brotherhood in arms."

There were 15 matches during the championship, four of which were won by members of the Marine Corps Shooting Team: SSgt Stephen Ferguson, Interservice Marine Corps Match; SSgt Mark Windmassinger, Interservice 1,000-yard Match, Division A Service Rifle; Capt John Sheehan, Interservice Excellence-in-competition Rifle Match, First Silver; and SSgt Timothy Snyder, Kevin "Gus" Kistler Memorial Trophy.

"There is only one winner and every single shot counts, and ultimately in combat every single shot counts too," said Parker. "The difference in winning or losing can be in one shot."

The service members that participated at the championship with continue on to the National Rifle Matches held at Camp Perry, Ohio, later this month.

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