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News | Dec. 7, 2023

U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit Clean Sweeps the Interservice Pistol Championships for the 22nd Consecutive Time

By Sgt. 1st Class Kulani Lakanaria U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit

The Interservice Pistol Championships was hosted on Nov. 13-17, 2023, by the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU). The championships consisted of 9 shooting competitions- .22 Cal individual and team matches, Centerfire individual and team, .45 Cal individual and team, Service Pistol individual and team, and the Excellence In Competition and Directors match.

This annual gathering of elite marksmen from various branches of the armed forces serves not only as a platform for showcasing exceptional skill but also as a testament to the unity and cooperation among military personnel.

“It’s an absolute blessing to have more servicemembers show up this year and compete at Interservice,” said Staff Sgt. Walter Johnson, an instructor and shooter assigned to USAMU’s Service Pistol Team. “The nice this is that we changed the dates to November-that allows the teams to use the first quarter budget to provide funding for these teams to participate.”

Normally, the Interservice Pistol Championships are held in June. This year it was moved to November to allow more servicemembers to participate.

“I believe moving the date was a smart decision,” said Johnson. “It’s wonderful to see more people shooting and competing. Anything that we can do to grow the Interservice Pistol Championships is a win.”

“Having the competition in November is overwhelmingly an improvement in all the competitors’ eyes- except the folks who wanted to go hunting,” said Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Franks, Service Pistol Team Chief assigned to USAMU. “It interrupted our hunting season during the big buck rut. However, the weather was nice, and the conditions were better.”

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit’s Service Pistol Team won the Overall Team Championship for the 22nd consecutive time. The Service Pistol Team cleaned swept the .22, Centerfire, .45, Service Pistol and all four team championships.

Lt. Col. Casey Mills, USAMU commander, was selected as the 2023 Service Pistol Team new shooter, firing a 254-3x in the team match.

Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Franks was the overall individual champion, with Sgt. 1st Class Greg Markowski taking 2nd and Sgt. Jason Gregoire in 3rd all shooters and instructors for USAMU.

“I feel like I’ve done my job,” said Franks. “Our job is to compete and win and it gives me confidence as the Team Chief to put my focus on my shooters and still go out and win with minimal time on the gun. My focus is my team, and I would like to highlight Sgt. Jason Gregoire who shot a couple personal bests placing 3rd overall. The team made big strides proving our training plans are effective.”

Held against the backdrop of shared dedication to excellence and marksmanship, the Interservice Pistol Championships stand as a celebration of skill, discipline, and the unbreakable bond that transcends service distinctions. This event brings together representatives from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard, fostering an environment that embodies mutual respect and healthy competition.

Beyond the individual competitions, the Interservice Pistol Championships foster an environment that promotes camaraderie and the exchange of expertise. Competitors share insights, techniques, and experiences, enriching the collective knowledge base and forging lasting bonds among servicemen and women.

“The U.S. Coast Guard showed up strong,” said Franks. “The Coast Guard showed up with two teams, one team was junior enlisted. They never shot this match before and were very receptive to pointers and every day in the competition they made leaps and bounds. I look forward to seeing them compete again.”

The Interservice Pistol Championships stand as a pinnacle of competitive shooting, where skill, sportsmanship, and unity converge. It's a celebration of not only marksmanship but also the shared values and bonds that unite the various branches of the armed forces. Beyond the thrill of competition, it echoes the unwavering dedication and commitment of those who serve, embodying the spirit of excellence in every shot fired.

“Winning the Interservice Pistol Championship was always a career goal.” said Franks. “I am prouder of the USAMU Service Pistol Team for going out there and representing us well.”



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