Marksmanship matches bring military services together

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Story by: Sgt. 1st Class Steven Petibone - Joint Forces Headquarters-New York, Public Affairs
  Dated: Tue, Apr 29, 2008

Marksmanship matches bring military services together
Members of the New York Army National Guard and New York Air National Guard draw a bead on targets downrange during the NBC engagement of the combat rifle competition held during the New York National Guard’s 29th Annual “Tag Matches” at Camp Smith, near Peekskill, NY, April 25-27 Photo by Staff Sgt. Kevin Abbot, Joint Forces HQ- New York Public Affairs (Released)

CAMP SMITH, PEEKSKILL -- More than 300 military members took part in the New York National Guard’s annual Adjutant General’s shooting matches held April 25-27 at the Camp Smith Training Site.

Competition in the Adjutant General’s Combat Rifle, Sniper, Pistol, and Light Machine Gun Championship Match, or “Tag Match” is open to all Reserve or National Guard Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines throughout New York and neighboring states as well. Members of the New York Guard, the state’s all volunteer defense force, also participated.

“People that participate are all service members of some unit in New York,” said Maj. Dana Brewer, State Mobilization Readiness Officer. “However, any battalion-sized element from a neighboring state can put together a team.”

According to Brewer there is more to the competition besides getting the best score and accepting a trophy.

“Here we’ll show you where you hit the target and when you miss we’ll show the Soldier how so he or she understands what they’re doing wrong.” Brewer said. “Then the Soldier will have that basic skill reinforced so he or she can go back to their unit and help with their marksmanship program.”

“It’s just a lot of fun!” said Sgt. Timothy Farnam, the pistol range coordinator and member of Joint Forces Headquarters. “If you haven’t been here, come and shoot and if have been here, come back and shoot again.”

The events included close-quarter combat rifle marksmanship, reflexive fire, different types of pistol competition, and rifle team competition. Twenty-eight individual awards were presented and six teams won awards.

The high-score in the individual rifle competition went to Staff Sgt. Peter Barvian of the 152nd Eng. Support Co., while the high pistol score went to New York Guard Capt. Christopher Velez.

This year marked the 29th Annual “Modern TAG Matches” as Brewer referred to them. He pointed out that records started to be kept about 1978, but that there are paper records that date back to the late 1930’s. And New York National Guard units have been winning trophies for marksmanship, still found in many armories, since the 1870s.

Competitors came from Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and New York City as well as Connecticut and Massachusetts. However, only New York military members are awarded the first, second and third place trophies.

To learn more about the “TAG Matches” go to:

© NYS DMNA News Story: Marksmanship matches bring military services together
Page Last Modified: Tue, Apr 29, 2008