Army Marksmanship Unit Marks Fifty Second Anniversary
FORT BENNING, Georgia – More than 300 Soldiers, civilians and family members, past and present, of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit are gathering together to celebrate the USAMU's 52nd birthday this week. The Military Marksmanship Association is conducting a reunion in honor of the 52nd anniversary of the founding of the Army Marksmanship Unit October 16 to 18 at the USAMU Headquarters and ranges.
The Army Marksmanship Unit is the only organization of its kind in the Army today. Formed in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the unit produces America's best competitive shooters and the Army's greatest custom gunsmiths.
The USAMU's mission is to raise the standard of marksmanship proficiency and combat readiness throughout the Army by sharing knowledge gained from competing and winning in national/ international competitions, research and development and advanced training programs while enhancing the Army's recruiting effort through an active public information and public relations program.
The unit is composed of a support staff, a Custom Firearms Shop, and six competitive shooting sections – Service Rifle, Service Pistol, International Rifle, International Pistol, Shotgun and Combat/Action Shooting.
The MMA is the alumni association of the Army Marksmanship Unit. The biennial reunion affords USAMU alumni a chance to reminisce with fellow former shooters and gunsmiths and meet the new USAMU Soldiers and personnel.
“We plan to have range activities each day with displays, demonstrations, and fun competitions,” said MMA President retired Col. Robert I. Hoidahl Jr., a former USAMU commander.
The schedule of events is as follows:
Oct. 16: Registration at Phillips Range and Open House and MMA dinner with USAMU Soldiers.
Oct. 17: Sharpe Hall Open House from 9 to 11 a.m.; Round Robin range firing at Pool, Phillips and Hook ranges from 1 to 3 p.m.; and general membership meeting, MMA election of officers and MMA picnic at Phillips Range from 3 to 6 p.m.
Oct. 18: USAMU Support and Section Halls of Fame Induction Ceremony from 10 a.m. to noon at Sharpe Hall; shotgun and action shooting demonstrations at Hook Range from 1 to 2 p.m.; National Infantry Museum Korean Battlefield Soil Presentation Ceremony and USAMU Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Pool Range from 2:30 to 4 p.m.; and barbecue at Pool Range from 4 to 6 p.m.
Former Fort Benning Commanding General retired Maj. Gen. Jerry White, president of the National Infantry Association and chairman of the National Infantry Foundation, which is overseeing the construction of the new National Infantry Museum, will participate in a ceremony at the Pool International Shooting Complex in which he will accept a donation of Korean battlefield soil from the USAMU.
Four personnel will be inducted into the Support Hall of Fame and six into their respective shooting section halls of fame. Inductees are: Marvin O. Aldrich, Support Hall of Fame; retired Sgt. Maj. Max Barrington, Service Pistol Hall of Fame; Sgt. 1st Class Shawn C. Dulohery, Shotgun Hall of Fame; Sgt. 1st Class James Todd Graves, Shotgun Hall of Fame; retired Sgt. 1st Class Lance S. Hopper, Service Rifle Hall of Fame; retired Sgt. Maj. Laurence “Red” Mosely, Support Hall of Fame; retired Sgt. 1st Class Bill Reitz, Support Hall of Fame; retired Maj. Ed Suarez, International Pistol Hall of Fame; Sgt. 1st Class Daryl L. Szarenski, International Pistol Hall of Fame; and the late retired Sgt. 1st Class Robert Walsh Sr., Support Hall of Fame.
White will be the guest speaker at the USAMU Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The three inductees to the 2008 U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit Hall of Fame are: Retired Master Sgt. Burl Branham, former Shotgun Team Coach; retired Lt. Col. Sally Carroll, former International Pistol shooter; and retired Capt. Glen A. Dubis, former International Rifle shooter.
Since 1956, members of the Army Marksmanship Unit have won hundreds of individual and team national titles with more than 40 World Championships and 23 Olympic Medals including two Gold Medals from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.
“The Marksmanship Unit has gained worldwide recognition and respect for its shooting accomplishments,” said Robert Aylward, USAMU deputy commander. “These accomplishments are why the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit is called the Home of Champions.”
Media Contact: Paula Randall (706) 545-5436 or Paula.Randall@usaac.army.mil
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