Skip to comments.Aiming high and shooting straight
Posted on 09/03/2008 12:31:13 PM PDT by neverdem
We cannot say farewell to the 2008 Olympics without offering a 21-gun salute to the fine U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, based at Fort Benning.
(Not to be confused with the three-volley salute common at funerals, the 21-gun salute is typically reserved for the president as part of the "Hail to the Chief" ceremony, and for other heads of state.)
The unit brought home two gold medals: Spc. Walton Eller III for the double trap competition and Pfc. Vincent Hancock for the skeet. Eller set two Olympic records with a score of 145 in the qualifying rounds and 190 in the finals.
This year's Olympic team included seven from the local unit: six shooters and one coach. But behind the scenes, many other of the unit's members and their families served as competitors, coaches and cheerleaders.
Founded in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the unit produces America's best competitive shooters and the Army's greatest custom gunsmiths. Serving as a walking, talking and shooting public relations committee, the group manages a grueling training schedule while traveling the world representing the Army in national and international competition.
The marksmanship unit has a long history of Olympic excellence. Of the 44 shooting medals won by the United States since 1956, 23 have been by members of this elite group. It has been an egalitarian cadre, with both male and female members and shooters or coaches ranking all the way from a private to a colonel.
In addition to the two medalists, this year's team included shooters Maj. Michael Anti, Sgt. 1st Class Jason Parker, Sgt. 1st Class Daryl Szarenski, Spc. Jeffrey Holguin and Assistant Coach Staff Sgt. Mark Weeks. Holguin narrowly missed the bronze, coming in fourth in the category of double trap.
As every infantryman knows, learning the basics of small arms fire is part of the job. Once again, Fort Benning's Marksmanship Unit aimed high, shot straight and made us proud.
-- Pat Chitwood, for the editorial board
© 2008 Ledger-Enquirer
One of the first events at the Summer Games are the smallbore Free-Pistol. At the Winter Games the Biathlon is the first event. Rarely are either even mentioned or shown.
Ugh, how did I forget the banglist?
I’m sure the reason has similar reasoning to the motives behind the infamous piece of “art” in front of the UN building.
The US could do even better at this if we happened to shoot the Olympic events on a more regular basis. We shoot games (e.g. bullseye pistol) that are different, and while some of the skills transfer, it’s not quite the same. Even when we have the same game (at least nominally) the rules are different. For instance let’s take trap shooting, American (ATA) Trap uses a single bunker. International Trap uses 3, and so on. Not that we should give up our stuff, but let’s see if there’s a way we can dominate. Heh.
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