MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Virginia -- The Marine Corps shooting team kicked off their championships in Quantico, Virginia, May 3, 2017. The competition welcomed Marines from around the world to compete.
The championship attracts the best shooters the Marine Corps has to offer, drawing from the four Marine divisions around the world, all competing for the top spot.
Staff Sgt. Stephen Ferguson, an instructor competitor on the Marine Corps Shooting Team, says these Marines are the best of the best.
“So the Marine Corps Shooting Team championships, you gather four different divisions of Marines; Far east, Hawaii’s Marines or Pacific, and then everybody west of the Mississippi from Western, everybody East of the Mississippi from Eastern and they all come, all the medalist are invited to come from those divisions, to come out here and compete,” said Ferguson.
The competition is made up of and scored on three different events, bull’s-eye rifle, pistol and action. This week the competitors completed the rifle and pistol sections and will be continuing on to the action portion next week.
“It’s all the best that the Marine Corps has to send, that come out to compete against each other to figure out who the best of the best is, learn some new tactics and techniques and take those back to their units,” said Ferguson. “So that we can teach others how to be better warfighters.”
Events like this give Marines a chance to learn from the shooting team themselves. The team enjoys coaching other Marines and helping them hone in their marksmanship skills to take back to their units once the season is over.
“My favorite part is just getting to meet all of the different competitors and being able to teach them new things,” said Ferguson. “To kind of compete with them and show them that ‘hey this guy kinda knows what he’s talking about’ and getting that little lightbulb to click.”
The action portion is a new addition to the competition. The shooters are placed in an unknown scenario, so they are unsure of what to expect. The action course simulates a more realistic scenario for the shooters, and they look forward to it.
“We don’t know very much about the action shoots,” said Sgt. Emilio Grenado, an infantryman competing this week. “I guess that’s what I’m looking forward to, just the surprise.”
The shooting team encourages shooters to try new things and different tactics, to better improve their skills. This year’s competition concludes May 12.