MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- Sight alignment, controlled breathing, trigger control and body alignment are some fundamentals that the Marine Corps has instilled in Marines since boot camp. Marines are trained to be the best and to settle for nothing less.
That is exactly what eight Marines did during the Base Intramural Rifle and Pistol Competition Dec. 1-12 at the base pistol range.
These Marines took that extra step to becoming the best and broadening their shooting experience and skills.
Competitors received basic fundamental and advanced marksmanship classes to include firing positions, breath control, trigger control, sight alignment and picture. This is nothing new for these Marines, although there is a considerable difference from regular qualification.
"It's a little different shooting a bolt action 22 caliber rifle than a M-16," said Cpl. Kyle Holdmann, military dog handler, Provost Marshal's Office here. "On top of that, we shoot the pistol one-handed. This gives the Marines the chance to show how well of a shot they are."
An award ceremony was held Dec. 12 in the base pistol range classroom. Awards were given to the top three spots in rifle and pistol. There was also an award for the match champion who shot the highest overall combined rifle and pistol scores.
Marines fired the Remington 40X - .22 caliber, bolt-action long rifle. They shot from the off-hand, sitting and prone positions at a distance of 50 yards. A total of 10 shots were fired at each position within a time limit of 33 minutes.
The M9 Service Pistol was shot one-handed from the 25-yard line. The pistol section was broken down into three stages: Slow fire - 10 rounds in 10 minutes, Timed fire - two magazines of five rounds each, 20 seconds per magazine, and repeat of the timed fire.
This year's Base Individual Rifle and Pistol Intramural Champion is Sgt. Jeffery A. Farmer, investigator, Criminal Investigation Division. Farmer won 1st place in the pistol portion of the competition. His pistol score combined with rifle score was high enough to obtain the victory.
"Winning the competition was great, but the more important aspect for me was the big picture of personal self-improvement," Farmer said. "There were quite a few strong competitors shooting, but I felt confident that I did well on both match days. I felt more confident of placing in the top three during the pistol portion of the match. It came as a surprise to me when I placed first in the pistol, and a huge surprise when I won the aggregate match."
Not only did the competition give the Marines a chance to shoot, it also built morale. It gets them out of their shops to train.
"I feel that the competition built morale and esprit de corps for the Marines here," said Capt. Ken Walden, weapon system project officer, Logistic Command. "Competitors also received the chance to see new faces. It is not very often that the base offers Marine Corps training like this, so I think that the Marines enjoyed themselves."
According to Master Sgt. Tim French, small arms marksman instructor, Headquarters Battalion, these Marines put forth great effort on the 10th and 11th. They just didn't put their round into their aiming area but they have endured some pretty cold temperatures, rain, wind and the proverbial "Match Monkey" a.k.a. Match Pressure.
"Not all of the Marines received awards but all of them have learned a great deal and will be able to take this knowledge with them back to their respective work sections and impart it on to their Marines," French said.