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    3 NY Army Guard Soldiers take top individual awards, 107th Attack Wing wins team competition, at annual shooting match

    NY National Guard Soldiers, Airmen test shooting skills

    Photo By Spc. Amouris Coss | U.S. Army Pvt. Brianna Tillotson, a combat engineer assigned to Headquarters...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Phyonne Reynolds 

    New York National Guard

    CAMP SMITH TRAINING SITE, Cortlandt Manor, N.Y. — Three New York City Army National Guard Soldiers took home top individual awards at the 39th Annual Adjutant General’s Marksmanship Competition held here, May 31- June 3, 2018.
    Sgt. First Class Armando Torres and Staff Sgt. Matthew Melendez, both assigned to 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment in Manhattan, and Spc. Nick Austin a small arms/artillery repairer assigned to the 145th

    Maintenance Company on Staten Island, earned several awards including the Sgt. Thomas Baker Individual Combat Pistol Novice Award, the Sgt. Henry Johnson Individual Combat Rifle Novice Award and 1st place in the Open Combat Pistol Competition.

    The annual marksmanship competition is usually known as “The TAG (for the Adjutant General) Match.

    The overall match team champion, based on a summary of scoring across all categories, were Airmen from the New York Air National Guard's 107th Attack Wing, comprised of Security Forces Airmen based in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

    A team from the 109th Airlift wing from Scotia, N.Y., which called themselves “Global Warming” finished in second, place while the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry shooters finished third in the overall team standings.

    Torres, an infantryman in the Guard for over 15 years and Shoreham, N.Y. resident, won the individual pistol and rifle events during his first match as a novice.

    Torres said he decided to participate in this year’s event to help his team, “The Fighting 69th.” There were not enough Soldiers who volunteered for the team, he explained.

    Melendez, a sniper in the 69th for more than 10 years, and a New York City police officer from East Harlem in New York City, took 1st place in the individual pistol competitions.

    “Shooting is one of the core competencies of an infantryman, so what better way to test our skills than to compete among the best competitors in the state,” Melendez said.

    Melendez competed in his third TAG Match because he enjoys training with his team, and learning new tips and techniques to improve his shooting.

    Austin, from New York City’s Upper West Side, has only three years in the National Guard but took 1st place in the individual rifle competition.
    This was Austin’s third time competing in the event as well.

    “Every year I went for the trophy, but this is the first time actually winning it,” Austin said. “It was a great opportunity, and I’m glad I was a part of this training event.”

    Torres, Melendez and Austin competed against more than 100 other participants at the 39th Annual TAG Match.

    The TAG Match is an annual event conducted by the New York Army National Guard to promote excellence in marksmanship training and offers Soldiers and Airmen the opportunity to test their skills on weapon systems in a battle-focused environment.

    These skills and techniques are forged during five high-tempo and high-pressure marksmanship events, each designed to test the knowledge of weapon systems and accuracy during battle-like conditions.

    A new competitive event this year was the Sgt. Timothy Murphy Bullseye Award. The award, designed to highlight accuracy above point totals, was determined from the number of bullseyes a participant hit throughout the competition.

    Murphy was a famous Revolutionary War marksman from Schoharie, N.Y.
    During the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, Murphy served as one of 500 picked riflemen commanded by Col. Daniel Morgan. The unit was renowned for their expert marksmanship with the rifle in an era of smooth bore muskets.

    When Major General Benedict Arnold, the American commander on the battlefield, wanted a marksman to kill British Gen. Simon Fraser, Morgan picked Murphy for the job.

    Murphy climbed a tree, targeted Fraser, and is believed to hit him at a range of 300 yards. Fraser died of his wounds later that evening. Many historians believe Fraser’s death instrumental in undermining the British attack against American positions.

    The other four advanced marksmanship events were the Sgt. Henry Johnson Individual Combat Rifle Match, the Sgt. Thomas Baker Individual Combat Pistol Match, the Sgt. Reidar Waaler Team Combat Rifle Match, and the Lt. Col. William Donovan Team Combat Pistol Match.

    The match includes a mix of both team and individual timed events that combine three different firing positions, quick movements to varying locations and short sprints, all of which simulate combat scenarios.

    Aside from improved marksmanship techniques, one of the benefits to participating in the competition is that everyone from the supporting staff to the competitors gets a chance to network with peers outside of their military branches, organizers explained.

    The collaboration helps build relationships among competitors, while the peer instruction and coaching allows Soldiers to hone their craft and bring new knowledge back to their units.

    The other winners for this year's match were:

    • The Sgt. Timothy Murphy “Bullseye” Award was awarded to Capt. Steven Dubin of the New York Guard with a total of 10 bullseyes.

    The Sgt. Henry Johnson Individual Rifle Match:
    1st Place: Spc. Nick S. Austin - 145th Maintenance Company
    2nd Place: Staff Sgt. Francis DiCaprio - 109th Security Forces Squadron
    3rd Place: Sgt. Nicholas Jenkins – 204th Engineer Detachment
    Novice: Sgt. 1st Class Armando Torres – Bravo Company, 1-69th Infantry

    The Sgt. Thomas Baker Individual Combat Pistol Match:
    1st Place: Staff Sgt. Matthew Melendez - Headquarters Company, 1-69th Infantry
    2nd Place: Tech. Sgt. Ryan Mang – 107th Security Forces Squadron
    3rd Place: Capt. Steven Dubin – New York Guard
    Novice: Sgt. 1st Class Armando Torres – Bravo Company, 1-69th Infantry

    Combined Rifle/Pistol Winner (Novice):
    • Sgt. 1st Class Armando Torres – Bravo Company, 1-69th Infantry
    Combined Rifle/Piston Winner (Open):
    • Tech. Sgt. Ryan Mang, 107th Security Forces Squadron

    The Sgt. Reidar Waaler Team Combat Rifle Match:
    1st Place: 107th Attack Wing Team One (107th Security Forces Squadron)
    Senior Master Sgt. Randall Shenefiel, Master Sgt. Brian Aldinger, Master Sgt. Matthew Meincke, and Staff Sgt. Kyle Au
    2nd Place: Global Warming (109th Attack Wing Squadron)
    Master Sgt. Shane Long, Technical Sgt. Michael Delong, Staff Sgt. Francis DiCaprio, and Staff Sgt. Edward Hernandez
    3rd Place: Kim Dynasty (107th Military Police Company and 427th BSB)
    Sgt. Timothy Fay, Cpl. David Brown, Spc. Richard Garcia and Cpl. Albert Kim
    The Lt. Col. William Donovan Combat Team Pistol Match:
    1st Place: 107th Attack Wing Team Two (107th Security Forces Squadron)
    Tech. Sgt. Michael Bauer, Senior Airman Shannon Carr, Tech. Sgt. Ryan Mang and Senior Airman Ian Sinclair

    2nd Place: Global Warming (109th Attack Wing Squadron)

    3rd Place: 107th Attack Wing Team One (107th Security Forces Squadron)

    Combat Match Champions:

    1st Place: 107th Attack Wing Team Two (107th Security Forces Squadron)

    2nd Place: Global Warming (109th Attack Wing Squadron)

    3rd Place: Fighting 69th (1st Battalion, 69th Infantry) ;Sgt. First Class Armando Torres, Staff Sgt. Matthew Melendez, Sgt. Andres Diaz and Spc. Joseph Aviles



    Date Taken: 06.06.2018
    Date Posted: 06.07.2018 14:09
    Story ID: 279984
    Location: CAMP SMITH, NY, US 

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