While 1st Sgt. Jeffery Valentine was a staff sergeant and instructor with the 4th Ranger Training Brigade in 2005, he volunteered to be body-cast as an historic soldier museum figure to be displayed at the new National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center
Staff Sgt. John Joss is one of the four active-duty Army soldiers who is about to compete in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. As a result of an ambush in Iraq, he lost a portion of his leg in 2007. But he decided to keep serving. Joss said a U.S. Marksmanship soldier inspired him to represent the nation and shoot competitively while he was undergoing rehabilitation. After he started competitive shooting, he rose up quickly to international stages, winning fifth place in 10m Air Rifle Prone SH1 at the 2013 World Cup. He also won a silver medal for 50m Rifle Prone SH1 at the 2015 IPC World Cup. This time, Joss aims for the gold medal at the Paralympics. “If you are not going there to win, you shouldn’t be going,” he said. He will compete in 10m Air Rifle Prone on Sep. 10 and Mixed 50m Rifle Prone on Sept. 14.
Sgt. 1st Class Glenn Eller is going back to the Olympic Games for the fifth time. He is the first American man in the shotgun discipline to make five Olympic games. Eller started his Olympic journey in 2000 and won his first gold medal in Beijing’s Olympics in 2008. This time, Eller aims at bringing home another gold medal from Rio. “I plan on stopping (going to Olympics) when they don’t let me on the team anymore,” he said.
Heading to Rio together with Eller, Sgt. 1st Class Josh Richmond makes to his second Olympics. Richmond questioned his game after several rough years in his career. Digging inside his techniques and flaws, he figured out a solution that led him to the Rio Olympics. Richmond was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011, a year before he competed in the Olympic Games in London, and he believes the resiliency he learned in the combat zone as a marksmanship instructor benefits his game. Eller and Richmond will compete in men’s double trap on Aug. 10.
As the youngest Olympian from U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit in Fort Benning, Spc. Dan Lowe, 23, will compete in two events - air rifle and 3-position rifle - at the Rio Olympic Games. His goal for his first Olympic Game in Rio is to have a performance that he could be proud of. “Win or not, I want to walk away saying I left nothing on the table,” he said. Lowe will compete for air rifle on Aug. 8 and 3-position rifle on Aug. 14.
For Michael McPhail, a sergeant first class in the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, going to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games is a “personal redemption."McPhail won 9th place in his first Olympics in London in 2012, but he was unsatisfied with the result. After earning three gold medals in international events in 2015, he secured a spot on the U.S. Shooting Olympic Team for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil. He will compete in men’s 50M rifle prone on Aug. 12.
During a Monday morning press conference at Fort Benning, Patrick Murphy, the acting secretary of the United States Army, stressed the importance of meeting standards for both men and women seeking to serve in different military occupational specialty codes.
For the last two years, Army Reservist Capt. Robert Killian, an elite endurance athlete, has watched other soldiers raise the pistols after winning the David E. Grange Jr. Best Ranger Competition. This year it was Killian and his partner, Pennsylvania Army Reservist Staff Sgt. Erich Friedlein, holding guns high and celebrating Monday morning in Marshall Auditorium at Fort Benning. “It was a huge relief,” Killian said. “It has been hard-earned and a long time coming. I have worked numerous years to refine my techniques and it paid off.”
Maj. Lisa Jaster became the third woman to graduate from Ranger School after completing the course she first started in April. Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver attended Friday's graduation after finishing the course in August.
Members of Georgia's congressional delegation met with Fort Benning officials Thursday afternoon to discuss the impact of cuts at Fort Benning. After the meetings, U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, U.S. Rep. Tom Graves and U.S. Rep. Austin Scott answered a few question from the media at Kelley Hill. These are excerpts of their responses.
U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop joined other members of Congress Wednesday in hosting a Military Family Summit at the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center in Columbus. Bishop, who co-chairs the Congressional Military Family Caucus with U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, hosted the summit to discuss pressing issues impacting America's service members and their families. Issues for discussion included family health, resiliency, spouse employment and education, military child education, transition assistance, retirement, benefits and financial readiness for the future. These are excerpts from the portion of the summit open to photo and video coverage.
The first two women to successfully complete the Army Ranger School course graduated in front of friends and family on August 21, 2015 in Georgia. (Video courtesy of the U.S. Army, produced by Natalie Fertig/McClatchy)
Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver spoke at a press conference on Aug. 20 about their journey as the first females to successfully complete Ranger school, the U.S. Army's elite training and leadership school. The women reflected on being accepted as part of the group and what their success meant to them and hopefully for the women to come after them. (video courtesy of the U.S. Army)