With the Olympics coming up in August in Brazil, Lt. Col. Bret Tecklenburg said he expects the Army to excel in the shooting events.
Three Soldiers have already made the U.S. Olympic team and Tecklenburg said more are likely to follow. “We expect to earn at least two medals in Rio,” he said.
The Army typically fields about a third of the shooters on the U.S. Olympic team, said Tecklenburg, who is the commander of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, or USAMU, at Fort Benning, Georgia.
The Army’s contribution to the Olympics is especially important, he added, because U.S. shooters bring in more Olympic gold medals than any other sport except for track and field and swimming — and that’s mainly because those two sports have more events.
Since 1956, when USAMU was stood up, the Army has earned 25 of the 48 Olympic medals the U.S. won for shooting, he noted.
CONTRIBUTION TO READINESS
Tecklenburg said USAMU Soldiers are the subject-matter experts for all marksmanship-related issues in the Army and the best qualified to teach marksmanship to other Soldiers.
Besides competing in the Olympics and other national and international shooting events, USAMU shooter-instructors train NCOs to teach marksmanship. That’s an incredible responsibility, he said, since a major part of Army readiness involves marksmanship effectiveness in combat.
Soldiers at USAMU have “won competitions nationally and internationally and expertise and lessons learned have been incorporated into marksmanship training for all Soldiers to give them the best training possible,” he said.
“NCOs are the backbone of the Army, and the Marksmanship Master Trainer Course is equipping our NCOs as expert marksmanship trainers,” he said. “MMTC — and the tools and resources that we are creating — support MMTC graduates and are improving Army readiness for decades to come.”
MMTC is the course created by USAMU at Fort Benning that NCOs how to train Soldiers in marksmanship.
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