In recent years, Russell Moore has become a familiar name at the U.S. Small Arms Championships. Moore was named overall champion of the event for the fourth year in a row, sweeping both major overall champion categories — Overall Combat Pistol and Overall Combat Rifle.
“I’m very fortunate to be able to come to an event like this,” Moore said. “There was a little more pressure, a lot more eyes on me. You just have to continue to apply the fundamentals and do the best you can. It gets more challenging every year. I get older and the competition gets younger and they know what to expect.”
Moore, along with Daniel Garinger, was awarded an M1 Garand Rifle. Garinger finished second overall, ahead of Joseph Sellers, who finished third.
“I certainly didn’t expect that,” Garinger said about the rifle. “I’m very happy to receive it.” Garinger also won the top overall novice shooter.
The championships were hosted by the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit. Daniel Hodne, AMU’s commander, said the tournament field turned out more than 330 competitors.
“Marksmanship is a paramount Soldier skill and key component to Army combat readiness,” he said. “This year was the largest All-Army to take place in 19 years. The USAMU is extremely proud to host this very important training event for our Army.”
Marty Holland of 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, finished as the top Fort Benning representative at the championships.
“It was extremely challenging,” Holland said. “The level of competition here is extremely high. It really shows me where I need to step up for next year.”
The event began with the competitors attending small arms firing schools conducted by the USAMU before braving a hard, steady rain as they zeroed their rifles and fired a few practice rounds. McAndrews Range was the site of the first two days of competition.
Soldiers had to run a mile-and-a-half road course in full gear with their rifles before engaging targets from 100-400 yards. Moore showed he was going to be a force once again by finishing first after a stellar run and even better score on the firing line.
The next day, Soldiers competed in the final rifle matches, including the Excellence-in-Competition match. Three Soldiers shot well enough to receive the coveted Distinguished Rifleman’s Badge, a hard-earned marksmanship badge that takes years to attain. Robert Park, Tracy Mix and Jacob Hobbs obtained the needed points to get the lifetime honor. By the time the final shot was fired, Moore had won the rifle championship, one of the few trophies that’s eluded him in the past.
USAMU PAO Michael Molinaro contributed to this report.