Marines of all ages, ranks and backgrounds have the chance to represent their unit, the Depot and even the Marine Corps in a shooting competition.
The Marine Corps intramural rifle and pistol competition is an annual event held at Weapons and Field Training Battalion, Jan. 7 to Jan. 27.
“The opening shot ceremony and welcome aboard ceremony will kick off Jan. 12,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 William P. Tinney, the officer-in-charge for the shooting team. “It will start off by the commanding general firing the first shot at Starlite Range on the 200-yard line.”
The Parris Island competition starts Jan. 7, with gear and weapon issue at the Depot Armory. Participants then attend the training and competition every day until the awards ceremony at the WFTBN on Jan. 27 at 3 p.m.
“This competition not only will help qualification scores, but also helps gain confidence regardless of male or female and passes on lots of knowledge,” said Sgt. Phillip L. Shockley, a shooting team and formal school instructor.
Throughout the 14 days of competition, Marines participate in activities such as snapping in, competitive classes, pistol training, live firing and qualification.
“It will make participants become better shooters,” said Tinney, from Wyandotte, Okla. “This type of competition takes shooters from their current level of marksmanship and enhances them and brings them to the next level.”
The competition will be conducted with the M-16A2, the M-16A4 and the M-4, with issued sighting systems to include Rifle Combat Optics, and M-9 service weapons.
“Every Marine is a rifleman,” said Shockley, from Salisbury, Md. “However, Marines who have been on a shooting team can pass on so much more knowledge to their units or battalions.”
The team matches consist of one firing officer or staff noncommissioned officer and three other firing members. Units of the Tri-Command were not limited on the number of individual competitors entered.
“Every Marine should strive to get better,” said Sgt. Justin M. Nease, a primary marksmanship instructor. “I would think everyone would want to try out.”
This intramural competition will serve as a feeder for the Depot rifle and pistol team.
“We are a team,” Shockley said. “It’s more then getting a medal. It’s bragging rights if Parris Island beats other bases.”
Upon completion of the competition, the competitors who have demonstrated the desire to continue marksmanship, willingness to learn, ability to teach and spirit of professionalism get the chance to represent Parris Island and participate in the Marine Corps Competition in Arms Program.
“I would be honored if I shot well enough to represent Parris Island,” said Nease, from Rincon, Ga.
If selected to represent Parris Island, team members will train for five weeks with both rifle and pistol for the March 13 to April 3 Eastern Division 2009 Match at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. The top ten percent of all Marines competing in the Eastern Division Match will move on to the Marine Corps Championships, held April 6 through April 24.
Trophies, plaques, and medallions will be presented to individuals and teams in many different categories of the competition.
“They can pay me to shoot my M-16 for the rest of my life, and I wont have any complaints,” Shockley said.