GEORGIA GARRISON TRAINING CENTER, Fort Stewart, Ga. - The
second-annual Andrew Sullens State Marksmanship Competition
was held Feb. 27 to March 1, 2015, at the Georgia Garrison
Training Center on Fort Stewart, Georgia. The competition,
named after Georgia Army National Guardsman Andrew Sullens,
is a premiere marksmanship event hosted by the Georgia
National Guard Marksmanship Team. The competition goes
beyond the traditional weapons qualification by integrating
additional weapons systems and incorporating a simulated
battlefield shooting scenario.
February 28, 2015 - The Georgia National Guard's
2015 Andrew Sullens Marksmanship Competition at Fort Stewart, Ga.
wrapped its second day of competition with combat rifle series and
the Bianchi Battle completing six stages incorporating shotgun,
rifle and pistol. The awards ceremony culminated recognizing
historical firsts (first female and Air National Guard competitors)
and served as a force multiplier with competitors extending their
service. (Georgia Department of Defense photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Tracy J. Smith)
The purpose of the
competition is to provide members of the Georgia Department
of Defense with the opportunity to train marksmanship skills
in a realistic battle environment. Ten four-shooter teams
and two sniper teams competed collectively, and as
individuals, for team recognition and the right to wear
Georgia's newly created Governor's Twenty Tab. The tab takes
its design and inspiration from the President's Hundred Tab,
which recognizes the 100 top-scoring military and civilian
shooters in the President's Pistol and Rifle Matches.
"The path to the President's Hundred starts here," said
Sgt. 1st Class Jakob Raven, one of the organizers of the
To get the coveted tab,
shooters would have to negotiate a series of shooting
challenges using several weapons systems in complex
battle-focused shooting scenarios over two days of intense
competition. Teams first competed with the M-9 pistol on the
known-distance range, engaging a series of targets from the
prone, kneeling and standing positions. Next, the teams
engaged targets while moving under combat load.
Transitioning to the rifle, teams engaged targets during
rapid-fire scenarios of varying distances.
final scenario, participants conducted a timed shooting
scenario simulating target engagements with the rifle,
pistol, shotgun and sniper rifle. Following a half-mile run
to the small arms range, participants engaged targets with
the M11 double-action shotgun, while adhering to strict
safety standards and utilizing covered firing positions.
After safely clearing the M11, participants engaged targets
with the rifle while behind cover, first from the right
shoulder and then from the left, challenging them to shoot
with their non-dominant eye, off-shoulder in keeping with
possible battlefield terrain restrictions. After safely
clearing the rifle, shooters engaged targets with the M9
pistol, placing shots as prescribed before moving to the M24
sniper rifle challenge to hit long distance targets.
In addition to the innovations in shooting scenarios,
the 2015 Sullens Competition featured an expanded roster
incorporating teams from the Georgia Army and Air National
Guards. Volunteers of the State Defense Force assisted in
the administration of the shooting competition, thus the
2015 competition featured all components of the Georgia
Department of Defense.
Retired Specialist Andrew
Sullens was on hand providing motivation and assistance.
Wounded in Afghanistan in 2009, Sullens continues to inspire
through service. During the competition Sullens assisted
with ammunition inventory and target set up for the
marksmanship event that bears his name; He also directly
mentored shooters and discussed his life experience.
For the second year in a row, the four-person team from the
2nd Battalion, 121st Infantry, 48th Infantry Brigade Combat
Team finished first overall.
The team, composed of
2nd Lt. Barrett Sathianathan, Cpl. Ashton Sanford, Sgt.
Daniel Gonzalez and Sgt. Samuel Huston were congratulated by
Sullens, who also congratulated the recipients of the
Colonel Thomas Carden, commander
of the Georgia Army National Guard congratulated the
competitors and praised competition as an innovative
"Programs like these move the
readiness needle," said Carden. "We want to enable you to
reach your full potential and we congratulate our Georgia
Guardsmen for wanting to continue with their career
The Sullens Competition offers service
members the ability to train on weapon systems they might
not normally use and share experiences with marksmen in
other service components. Participants come away with new
skills to share with their home units as well as a sense of
camaraderie borne of shared interest and service.
"Our hope is to see the competition grow year after year by,
fostering an environment of common mentorship and
marksmanship," said Sgt. 1st Class Raven.
More photos available below
By U.S. Army Capt. William Carraway
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