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News | April 27, 2020

U.S. Army Reserve Soldier competes on Army's American Skeet Team

By Amber Osei Oklahoma City Recruiting Battalion

An Army Reserve recruiter assigned to the Oklahoma City Recruiting Battalion is using his shooting expertise on the Army’s American Skeet Team.

 

Sgt. 1st Class Brian Stoa grew up in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, where he enjoyed hunting, shooting and the outdoors.

 

He became an avid competitive shooter in American trap, American skeet and sporting clays.

 

In 2005, he took a job as a U.S. Army recruiter. At the time, Stoa had no idea the decision would afford him so many opportunities in competitive shooting.

 

“I enjoy what I do in the military, and I can’t imagine you’d be able to go up to your civilian boss and say ‘Hey, can I have a week off and you pay me to travel to this tournament,’” Stoa said. “I mean, that’s just not going to happen.”

 

But, that’s exactly what he gets to do each year as he gears up for the Armed Services Skeet Championships and World Skeet Championships.

 

Since 2008, Stoa has won over 163 trophies at various shooting competitions throughout the U.S. as a member of the Army’s American Skeet Team and the National Skeet Shooting Association. Some of the titles he received in 2019 include Alaska All State Team (Sporting Clays), Oklahoma State Champion (Trap) and Texas State Champion Non-Resident (Trap). According to Stoa, he’s had the most success in trap shooting.

 

Aside from his love of the sport, he also enjoys being a part of skeet shooting because of its historical origination in the U.S. Army during Word War II.

 

“When planes became more prevalent the U.S. Army needed to be able to shoot down those planes to defend their troops, ships and aircraft,” Stoa said. “They used skeet as the way to train on hitting a moving target. It’s still a useful tool for training in the present.”

 

When he’s not shooting competitively, Stoa prepares, mentors and qualifies future Soldiers for service in the U.S. Army. He does not take the job lightly, as he feels that this nation is always calling out for someone to serve.

 

“Being a part of the U.S. Army Reserve has been the most important decision I’ve ever made,” he said.

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