Custom Firearms Shop

Staff Sgt. Michael Howard

SSG Michael M. Howard, Custom Firearms Gunsmith with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, Fort Benning, GA, has distinguished himself through his many accomplishments.


A native of Gansevoort, New York, he graduated from Schuylerville Central High School in 2003. He then studied to be a gunsmith at Trinidad State Junior College of Trinidad, CO in 2005. He Graduated with an AAS in Gunsmithing in 2007. Then further his schooling with additional courses specific for Service Rifles, Hand Cut Engraving and TIG wielding for firearms.


SSG Howard joined the Army in January 2009 serving with the Army Marksmanship Unit Custom Firearms Shop Service Rifle Section from in May 2009- November 2011, USAMU AFG Team 12-01, International Section April 2012-Decemeber 2016, Service Pistol Section January 2017-September 2017 before returning to National Match Long Range and Service Rifles.

 Military Schooling & Decorations:

* SCHOOLS – Basic and Infantry Training, Fort Benning, GA, (2009); Army Basic Instructor Course, Fort Benning, GA (2013); Warrior Leader Course, Fort Benning, GA, (2015); Unit Prevention Leader Course, Fort Benning, GA, (2015); Advanced Leader Course, Fort Benning, GA, (2015)

AWARDS/DECORATIONS – Army Commendation Medal (2), Army Achievement Medal (2), Good Conduct Medal (3), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Ribbon, Noncommissioned Officers Professional Development Ribbon (2), Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal Ribbon, Army Superior Unit Award


Gunsmith Achievements:

SSG Howard specializes in custom gunsmithing and barrel work, which contributed to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit Service Rifle Team wins in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015 and 2019 at National and Inter-service Rifle Championships. Additionally he worked on rebuilds of the SDM Rifle Program and continuously supported the Close Quarters and Squad Designed Marksmanship courses.

Within the International section, he performed custom builds and repairs on weapons for the Service Rifle, Action, International- Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun sections from 2012 to 2016. Within that period, he specifically participated in ammo testing for the 2016 Olympic summer games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as well as multiple World Cup and National championships. All while, supporting Unit competitors in the 2015 and 2016 Precision Rifle Series leading to national match winnings, and 2017 Service pistol matches leading to the National Championships.

Instructing experience has included involvement in MMTC and LAMPs courses, as well as requests by name for his subject matter expertise, including being sought after to teach US and foreign SOF units. Requested classes were focused around on-site repairs, and domestic and foreign weapon classes with short and long-term maintenance programs. Thus enhancing the US and foreign counterparts personal in small arms weapons knowledge and marksmanship instruction