FORT BENNING, Ga. –
Each year the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit Service Pistol Team travels to the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio. The ‘summer trip’ typically includes co-hosting the CMP Pistol Small Arms Firing School and earning a bunch of medals.
Like many years in the past, this year was not too different.
After leading the Pistol SAFS for more than 160 students, the USAMU Service Pistol Team took to the ranges.
Kicking off the National Matches was the Pistol Warm-Up Match, where USAMU Soldiers swept the podium in the field of 225 total competitors. Sgt. 1st Class Greg Markowski (a native of Poland who became a U.S. Soldier) took the gold-medal position with a score of 874-34x and was followed by USAMU teammates Staff Sgt. Carl Clegg (a Newberry, South Carolina native) and Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Franks (a Santa Fe, Tennessee native) with their respective scores of 867-43x and 862-29x.
The next match up was the CMP .22 Pistol 900 Aggregate where civilians and military competitors were separated. Clegg took up third in the Military Any Sight category with his 879-43x while USAMU teammate Staff Sgt. Mate Standard seized the win in the Military Metallic Sight category with his 858-19x. (The top metallic sight civilian score was 854-26x.)
In the .22 Rimfire Excellence in Competition Match, two USAMU Soldiers earned the top two spots out of a field of 304 total distinguished shooters. Spc. Jason Gregoire (a Barre, Vermont native) took the win with his 290-12x while Markowski followed in second with a 289-13x.
Wrapping up the .22 matches was the .22 Four-Man Team Match. The team of USAMU Blue took the High Military Team with their combined score of 1171-61x, beating out nine other military teams. Overall, they placed second out of 50 teams. This team included Clegg, Markowski, Franks, Staff Sgt. Christopher Hudock (a Raleigh, North Carolina native), and Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Kingery (a Honolulu, Hawaii native) as the coach/captain. In total, 222 marksmen competed in this team match alone and two members of USAMU Blue (Clegg and Hudock) scored in the overall top ten scorers with their respective personal scores of 296-14x and 294-18x.
The National Matches continued with the CMP Centerfire 900 Aggregate Match. In the Military Any Sight category, Clegg and Franks claimed first and second with their scores of 885-41x and 874-45x, beating out 44 other military members. USAMU Soldiers also took up five of the top seven military scorers as well. (The top any sight civilian score in this match was 881-46x). Sgt. Walter Johnson (an Augusta, Georgia native) won the Military Metallic Sight category with his 833-19x, beating out 40 other servicemembers. (The top metallic sight civilian score was 818-17x.)
The prestigious Service Revolver Excellence in Competition Match brought out 186 shooters and USAMU Soldiers took the top three of the top five spots. Markowski claimed the win with his 380-11x while Gregoire took second with a 372-10x. Sgt. 1st Class Sally Talbott (a Buckhannon, West Virginia native) placed fifth overall with a 361-11x, making her the top scoring female overall.
The team of USAMU Blue gathered up another win in the Centerfire Four-Man Team Match when they laid down a combined score of 1177-56x, beating out 50 other teams in total. Markowski lead the team with his personal score of 296-14x, which placed him third overall in the top scoring individuals for this match. In fact, all other firing members of USAMU Blue (Clegg, Hudock, and Franks) made the top nine spots out of a field of 220 pistol shooters.
The next match up in the week-long championships was the .45 900 Aggregate Match. In this match, Franks earned the win in the Military Any Sight category with an 879-37x, which beat out 46 others. Teammate Standard took the Military Metallic Sight category win with his 840-21x, beating out 38 other competitors.
In the .45 Four-Man Team Match, USAMU Blue had to settle for a respectable second, behind All Guard Red, when they shot a 1112-46x. Clegg’s personal score in the team match (293-16x) earned him second overall, beating out 221 other pistol marksmen.
The Pistol 2700 Aggregate Champion brings together the scores from the rimfire, centerfire and .45 matches. Clegg seized the High Military Any Sight category title with his score of 2632-123x while Franks followed behind him with a 2630-119x. The total service members competing was 183. Overall, Clegg and Franks placed second and third, behind Jonathan Shue’s 2647-141x. The total overall competitors in this field was 1221. Standard took the overall win in the Metallic Sight category with a 2511-58x, beating out 469 other competitors. Johnson followed behind in third overall with a 2485-63x, making him the Military Metallic Sight category winner.
In the Four-Man Team Aggregate, USAMU Blue’s score of 3460-163x placed them in second out of 46 total teams.
The coveted President’s 100 Match brought out 393 total competitors and USAMU’s Gregoire took the win with a 386-9x. Markowski followed close behind in second with a 384-10x, while Franks and Kingery filled in the top ten in fourth and eighth place.
Clegg claimed the 2022 National Pistol Trophy Champion title, and the General Custer Trophy, with his 291-15x. Franks, Markowski and Gregoire completed out the top ten (of 355 total competitors) in fourth, sixth and tenth place.
Gregoire’s President’s 100 win and high National Pistol Trophy placement earned him the Aubrey E. Smith II Memorial Trophy, which goes to the top Army aggregate marksmen in those two matches.
Franks seized the Overall Service Pistol Champion title with his 966-27x, which is an aggregate of all individual scores in the President's, National Trophy Individual and National Trophy Team Matches. Gregoire and Markowski filled the remaining podium spots while Clegg took ninth in the field of 407 match competitors. Though this title is an unofficial CMP title, it is win every competitor seeks.
With his strong performance, Franks earned the General Patton Trophy, which goes to the highest scoring Active Army competitor in the National Trophy Individual and National Trophy Team Matches. Franks won this trophy with a 585-23x, which was very close to his brother’s (retired Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Franks) 2015 national record of 588-28x.
The next, and final, highly sought after trophy was the Gold Cup Trophy, giving to the team champions of the National Pistol Trophy Team Match. USAMU Blue pulled out the win with a combined score of 1118-35x, beating out 10 other teams. Franks’ individual score of 295-12x in this match earned him not one, but two trophies. Beating out 115 other overall competitors, Franks won The Military Police Corp Trophy as the top individual scorer in the match. Clegg followed closely in second with a 291-12x while Gregoire and Markowski also made it into the top nine.
Franks performance in the team match also earned him the General Mellon Trophy as the top scoring Army competitor, out of active duty, National Guard and Reserve. USAMU members took up six of the top ten spots in this category.