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    Female Michigan National Guard officer shoots for the stars


    Photo By Staff Sgt. Garrett Dipuma | Capt. Andrea Kennedy of the Michigan National Guard's 51st Civil Support Team fires a...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Garrett Dipuma 

    National Guard Marksmanship Training Center

    NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – More than 300 U.S. Army and Air National Guard marksmen from 47 states and territories are competing in the Winston P. Wilson Small Arms Championship at the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center at the Robinson Maneuver Training Center in North Little Rock, Arkansas, July 23-27.

    Among the competitors is Army Capt. Andrea Kennedy, a Battle Creek, Michigan native. Kennedy serves in her home state’s 51st Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team, a federally funded unit, which is comprised of 22 Soldiers and Airmen that serve in a full-time status. Each state has a CST, which are unique units because they are comprised entirely of active duty Troops.

    Kennedy is one of only four female contestants in this competition. She began her military career nine years ago as a military police officer and is now serving her second Active Guard Reserve tour in the CST.

    “I started training for our state’s Governor’s 20 match in July 2016,” she said, “and I sort of just picked it [shooting] up as a hobby after that.”

    Sgt. Joel Parham, from Saugatuck, is the Michigan team’s captain and also serves in the CST with Kennedy.

    “She [Kennedy] is the first female that we have had on the team for a very long time,” said Parham. “She was very successful at our state match and beat out a lot of our trained snipers to finish third in rifle there. She is also tabbed in pistol.”

    To say that a person is “tabbed” in this case means that they are a part of the Governor’s 20, which is comprised of the best 20 shooters in both pistol and rifle competitions in a state match.

    “I like shooting the three-gun competitions on the civilian side and I like shooting shotgun,” said Kennedy. “Three-gun gives you the chance to shoot pistol, rifle and shotgun, so those competitions are great to keep you on your toes learning new things.”

    Kennedy said that the shooting community is friendly and supportive to newcomers of any age or gender and that young women who want to begin competing should not be afraid.

    “Shooting in general is a fun sport. It get’s you moving. You have to stay in shape to be a good shooter, and the more you practice, the more you’ll grow.”

    “She’s a hard worker that pulls her own weight,” said Parham of his teammate. “That makes her a great addition to this team.”



    Date Taken: 07.27.2017
    Date Posted: 07.27.2017 15:16
    Story ID: 242823
    Location: NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR, US 
    Hometown: BATTLE CREEK, MI, US

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