53rd Annual Interservice Rifle Championship fires up

7 Jul 2014 | Lance Cpl. Eric Keenan The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

Col. Austin E. Renforth, commanding officer of Marine Corps Training Command, fired the opening shot with an M-1 Garand Rifle to kick off the 53rd Annual Interservice Rifle Championship at Range 4, Weapons Training Battalion aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia July 6.

Competitors from every branch of service will face off in 15 matches that test individuals and teams, lasting a total of seven days.

“Service members can come out here and show case their talents, come together and share in a really professionally ran event and celebrate the profession of arms,” said Army Capt. Seth Nieman, a wounded soldier and competitor.

Marines, soldiers, sailors, and airmen have shared the knowledge learned from this event with their individual services to advance the U.S. military’s efficiency in combat since the first competition.
On Nov. 18, 1960, the chief of naval operations, chief of staff of the U.S. Army, chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, and the commandant of the Marine Corps signed a memorandum of understanding to create and ensure the continuation of an interservice marksmanship competition.

“I understand what this program is and this really is our national fabric, this is our first sport ever,” said Sgt. Neil Sookdeo, Head Coach for the Marine Corps Rifle Team.

To tryout for the Marine Corps Rifle Team, Marines should share their interest with their chain of command and reach out to a base intramural shooting team. Military occupational specialty and rank are not requirements for those looking to tryout.