FORT PICKETT, Va. –
Virginia Army National Guard Soldiers competed in the Excellence in Competition Pistol and Rifle Matches May 21-22, 2022, at Fort Pickett, Virginia. More than 40 service members participated in the event in the hopes of earning the Bronze EIC badge, awarded to the top 10% of shooters.
The pistol and rifle stages were made up of vigorous testing under tight time requirements.
In the first stage of the pistol competition, shooters engaged targets at 30 yards with one minute to fire five rounds before reloading and firing five rounds at a second target. During the second stage, competitors fired from the 25-yard mark, where they drew their weapon, took a knee and engaged the target with five rounds. Next, shooters reloaded and engaged a different target with five rounds from the prone position. They then moved to the 20-yard mark for stage three, where they had 20 seconds to engage two targets with five rounds each. Stage four repeated that process, but from the 15-yard mark with only 15 seconds to engage the targets.
The EIC rifle competition followed a similar testing process, but over five rounds. In stage one, shooters fired one 10-round magazine from the 400-yard marker in the prone position. In the second stage, they shot two 5-round magazines from the 300 yard marker, also in the prone position. In round three, shooters fired two 5-round magazines from the 200-yard marker in the kneeling position. Round four had the competitors firing two 5-round magazines at 100 yards, first from the kneeling position and then from the standing position. The fifth and final round had shooters load one 10-round magazine, firing from the 75, 50 and 25-yard markers from the standing position.
“This competition is a fantastic way for Soldiers and Airmen to learn the finer points of marksmanship under the expertise of RTI instructors, while competing against other Soldiers and Airmen from across the Virginia National Guard,” said Lt. Col. Charles E. Reinhold, deputy commander of the Fort Pickett-based 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute, and a fourth-year competitor. “Every Soldier and Airman goes back to their unit far more competent in rifle and pistol marksmanship, which their unit can benefit from. Competitors even have the opportunity to participate on the State Marksmanship Team, which competes in regional, national, and even international competitions.”
Reinhold added this should be a “can’t-miss” event for all units.
“I'm very proud of the Soldiers and Airmen who compete,” he said. “They all learned and demonstrated their skills and sportsmanship in a manner that reflected well on their units and themselves.”
Despite the turnout for this year’s competition, there is room for even more Soldiers and Airmen to participate, according to Sgt. 1st Class Joel Kliesen, assigned to 183rd RTI. Kliesen stressed anyone interested in competing should sign up for next year’s competition. There are no pre-requirements, and every Soldier and Airman in the Virginia National Guard can compete.