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    FORSCOM Marksmanship Competition Aims to Test Army’s Best Shooters



    Story by Sgt. Matthew Keeler 

    22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment   

    FORT BRAGG, N.C. - The Army Forces Command headquarters played host to 48 of the Army’s best shooters from across the country during the 2nd Annual FORSCOM Marksmanship Competition, Nov. 7-10, on Fort Bragg, N.C.

    This year’s competition was broken into three categories based on the Soldier’s weapon of choice: the M-9 pistol, the M-4 carbine or the M-249 machine gun.

    The ideology behind a typical competition took on a new meaning these four days.

    “It didn’t become a cut-throat competition of everyone versus each other,” said Sgt. Brent Brabant, a senior weapons instructor at the Advanced Marksmanship Instructor Course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. “No one was all about themselves, everyone wanted to come out, shoot and have fun and learn from each other.”

    Organizing a competition at such a high echelon has benefits that could potentially be noticed throughout the entire Army, to include the National Guard and Army Reserve components.

    “The competitors that we have here represent close to 800,000 Soldiers who should be having competitions Army wide down at the battalion, brigade, division, and installation levels,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Scott C. Schroeder, the highest enlisted member of U.S. Army Forces Command. “This is just the cap of the iceberg.

    “It’s not about the outcome here, but the competition driving competition at the lower levels, making sure we are doing this in our units and recognizing excellence, and we have Soldiers who are striving to achieve excellence and become recognized,” Schroeder said.

    Competitors were also encouraged to take the opportunity to network with other competitors and bring back newly-attained lessons to their respective duty stations. This, in turn, could result in force improvement.

    Sgt. 1st Class Jaekuen Lee, Special Forces Qualification Course Instructor at the
    U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, N.C., was the winner of the expert pistol category. He said he enjoyed the people the most; that competitors were always open to exchange ideas and tactics.

    “The greatest value of competitions like these is interacting with good shooters from other units,” he said. “It helps promote a culture of being proficient at your basic soldier skills.”

    Next year’s competition will be more focused on improving individual and unit proficiencies, as participants will be required to fire on their assigned weapon that he or she would take into combat if called upon.

    Most marksmanship competitions at the army level test marksmanship, “We want to test combat marksmanship,” said Schroeder. “We want to get troopers to operate in conditions that they would in combat. Try to make our competition towards combat, instead of precision.

    “There is nothing more fundamental than being able to engage and destroy our enemies on the battlefield,” he said.

    “This event is open to the best shooters in FORSCOM,” said Master Sgt. David McLain, master gunner for FORSCOM. “We want to continue to improve this event and get maximum participation each year.”

    In 2015, there were nine competitors, and this year saw a 433% increase in participation. This is an indicator that the lower echelon competitions within the units are gaining traction and FORSCOM’s intentions are being met.

    “We want the best marksmen across the army,” said Schroeder. “If you’re a Soldier and you want to compete and shoot, we want the best out here representing our organizations, and guess what, that’s what the Soldiers in the units want too.”



    Date Taken: 11.14.2016
    Date Posted: 11.15.2016 20:37
    Story ID: 214709
    Location: FORT BRAGG, NC, US 

    Web Views: 138
    Downloads: 1