By Spc. Joshua Barnett, 241st Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
NEW ORLEANS – The Louisiana National Guard’s best shooters gathered at Camp Beauregard for two days of intense shooting competition at the annual Adjutant General’s Match in Pineville, Louisiana, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.
The Soldiers and Airmen put their training and skills to the test, with the best of the best being named to the “Governor’s Twenty.” The competition included rifle and pistol segments, precision shooting and reflexive fire.
The competition is designed to improve combat readiness and survivability by exposing shooters to stressful situations, according to the event’s organizers.
“Competition is the closest thing to actual combat you can get. Nobody is shooting at you, of course, but in a competition you have stressors that put pressure on you, and you still have to perform well,” said 1st Sgt. Tommy McGee, the state marksmanship coordinator.
Colfax resident and Army Staff Sgt. Nathan LaCombe, a construction engineering supervisor with the 1020th Engineer Company was named Top Gun with the highest rifle score and highest overall combined rifle and pistol score.
Army Sgt. Seth Woodfield, a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) specialist from Prairieville assigned to the 62nd Civil Support Team, had the highest pistol score.
Highest team honors went to Alpha Flight, 122nd Air Support Operations Squadron’s team consisting of Air Force Lt. Col Bruce Rademacher of Alexandria, Maj. Jeremy Kelly of Winnfield, Staff Sgt. Joshua Gillich of Denham Springs and Staff Sgt. John Roberts of Pineville.
In addition to testing the Soldiers’ and Airmen’s skills, the event also serves as a training opportunity, with the more experienced shooters mentoring newcomers.
LaCombe said, “Come here to learn. You learn and the winning will follow. Don’t expect to win your first time, come here for the camaraderie, meet the guys, talk with the shooters, and you’ll learn and make your way up.”
Airman 1st Class Chris Carrell, a heavy equipment operator from Natchitoches assigned to the 159th Fighter Wing was one of those first-time competitors that took LaCombe’s advice.
He didn’t win, but he earned a coveted spot in the Governor’s Twenty with the 17th highest overall score.
“I‘m looking to practice a lot more. I hope to improve my scores, bring more people with me next year, and maybe even train some newer shooters,” Carrell said.
Woodfield said he has seen that growth firsthand. This was his second year competing. “I did horrible last year, I didn’t know what to expect. But I was better prepared this year, made sure I had the right equipment and came with best mindset I possibly could.”
The top shooters will now move on to the national competition, where the state’s team placed second last year.
The 2014 Results
|8||Lam||James||Air||Staff Sgt.||College Station, Texas|
|9||Belgard||Kelby||Air||Senior Master Sgt.||New Orleans|
|12||Bordelon||Seth||Army||Sgt. 1st Class||Pineville|
|15||Brister||Joshua||Army||Staff Sgt.||Dry Prong|
|17||Carrell||Christopher||Air||Airman 1st Class||Natchitoches|
|20||Cutrer||Derek||Army||Sgt. 1st Class||Prairieville|
- 1st Place Top Team Award: 122nd ASOS, ALPHA FLIGHT
|Gillich||Joshua||Air||Staff Sgt.||Denham Springs|
- 2nd Place Top Team Award: NCO Academy
|Brister||Joshua||Army||Staff Sgt.||Dry Prong|
- 3rd Place Top Team Award: 62nd Civil Support Team
|Reed||Benjamin||Army||Sgt. 1st Class||Baton Rouge|
|Cutrer||Derek||Army||Sgt. 1st Class||Prairieville|