Utah Air Guard marksmen take home national shooter awards

  • Published
  • By Maj. Krista DeAngelis
  • 151st ARW/PA
Four Utah Air National Guardsmen recently returned home with national shooting awards after competing in the Winston P. Wilson National Match in Little Rock, Ark.

Six members from the Utah Air Guard Marksmanship team, along with 12 Utah Army Guard members, traveled to Arkansas to compete Oct. 13 -16, 2008 against more than 300 shooters throughout the nation. Participants competed in 17 different events, including rifle and pistol matches.

During the competition, Staff Sgt. Caleb Owenby from the 151st Maintenance Squadron took first place in the Rifle Reflexive Fire match, novice division.

"The reflexive fire match is a close-quarters drill (25 meters) consisting of three different stages of fire," said Sergeant Owenby. "The preparation for this particular match came from shooting other matches with similar demands on time management, shooting position and simple repetition."

The following Utah Air National Guard members were recognized at the national competition. The Excellence in Competition (EIC) badges are awarded to individuals in recognition of an eminent degree of achievement in target practice firing with the standard military service rifle or pistol.

· 2nd Lt. Jesse Reeves, 101st Information Warfare Flight, received a Bronze Pistol EIC badge
· Master Sgt. Bryant Buttars, 151st Logistics Readiness Squadron, received a Bronze Pistol EIC badge with wreath, and a Silver Rifle EIC badge
· Chief Master Sgt. Brent McNee was recognized for being inducted into the "Association of Marksmen in the National Guard" Shooting Hall of Fame
· Staff Sgt. Owenby, received a first place trophy in the Rifle Reflexive Fire match, novice division

Master Sgt. Ray Miller, 151st MXS, and Master Sgt. Rocky Shaffer, 151st LRS, also competed on the team.

The purpose of the Guard's marksmanship team is to provide advanced marksmanship training to Soldiers and Airmen as well as increase camaraderie between the Air and Army Guard. 

"I saw the team as an opportunity to get more firearms training and meet people with similar interests and hobbies," said Sergeant Buttars. "I have made many new friendships through the marksmanship program, and that is the true benefit of shooting with the team."

The shooting team is always on the lookout for new members, and encourages military members to consider it. 

"You don't have to be an expert marksman to shoot with the team...that's why the team exists," said Sergeant Shaffer. "If you want to learn how to shoot better, come join us!"