On day one of the 2017 (U.S. Army Forces Command) FORSCOM Small Arms Competition, Soldiers were able to group and zero M4s, M249s and 9-millimeter weapons at various ranges across Fort Bragg.
Service members from 10 different U.S. Army Forces Command units, across all divisions, came to Fort Bragg to compete, said Sgt. Maj. Matthew Hire, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division.
The competition, he said, “Really gives these individual shooters — the best shooters in their respective units — a place to even come outside and test their skills against the best that the Army or Forces Command has to offer across every post and I think it also helps them come to Fort Bragg and represent those units.”
Sgt. Jason Keeny, of the 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, worked alongside Hire to help facilitate testing at Range 1, Oct. 23. He said that Soldiers’ feedback indicates they are having a good time and that competition is a good aspect of Soldiering.
“Any competition drives excellence,” said Keeny, who joined the Army six years ago.
Additional tasks included Soldiers dragging “simulated casualties” using a skedco and engaging targets from most lethal (closest) threat to least (farthest) threat, said Staff Sgt. Ross Giles, Company B, 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment.
By Oct. 26, the last day, some of the Soldiers were completing rifle, squad automatic weapon and pistol testing at Range 62.
Sgt. Jordan Latham, a Fort Bragg Soldier assigned to the 28th Engineer Brigade, said the competition provided a good variety of events in which to compete, as well as a diverse pool of competitors with different skillsets, so he wasn’t certain of his chances of winning.
“I’m going against some really good competitors, so it’s still anybody’s game,” he said.
Fellow Fort Bragg Soldier, Pfc. Mate Standard, of the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, said that the competition provided a good learning experience.
“I’m meeting with people from other units and trading tips with them,” he said.
One of the goals of the championship, according to a marksmanship newsletter, is to raise the standards of marksmanship and increase lethality across the entire force.