View Full Version : Marines become National Rifle Teams Champions

08-31-03, 07:36 AM
Submitted by: MCB Quantico
Story Identification Number: 2003829134738
Story by Lance Cpl. J. Agg

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va.(August 28, 2003) -- The Marine Corps Rifle Team returned to Quantico victorious having made a clean sweep of the National Rifle Association-sponsored 2003 National Rifle Team Championships held Aug. 10 through 18 at Camp Perry, Ohio.

For only the third time in history, the Marine Corps Rifle Team won both the National Trophy Team Match to capture the famous "Dogs of War" trophy and the National Infantry Trophy Team Match. The Marines previously accomplished this feat in 1956 and 1993.

Staff Sgt. Julia L. Watson, who has been twice meritoriously promoted through rifle competition, won the Women's National High Shooter Trophy in addition to competing in the National Trophy Team Match.

Nine Marines also placed in the President's Top 100 match.

Additionally, the Marines saw one of their own claim the title 2003 National Rifle Champion. A relative newcomer to the team having joined in the summer of 2002, Sgt. Jerome W. Bostick, competed on both eight-man championship teams in addition to winning the Daniel Boone Trophy as victor of the National Trophy Individual Match. As the high scoring Marine in the NTI, Bostick was awarded the Coast Artillery Trophy. Bostick also won the General Shepherd Trophy with the high aggregate score in the National Trophy Individual Match, and National Team Trophy Match and the Mountain Man Trophy with the high aggregate score in the NTI, ITT and the President's Match.

Bostick has also been recommended for meritorious promotion to staff sergeant following his performance at Camp Perry, but remains modest about his exceptional achievements.

"I just practiced the basic fundamentals," said Bostick. "There's no way I could have won the [National Trophy Individual Match] without the help of my team on the firing line."

Bostick also hopes to return to the fleet in about a year as a platoon sergeant so he can share his experience from competition with other Marines.

"I'm going to take the basics of what I learned back to my unit to help the shooters who are having trouble [with marksmanship]," said Bostick. "There's no secret to what we do here. What I taught at bootcamp for two-and-a-half-years as a [primary marksmanship instructor] is exactly what we teach here, [but] unless we continue to practice, our program will fail and go away just like the Army's and Navy's programs did."

Unlike the rifle teams fielded by other services that allow their best shooters to compete indefinitely, most Marine Corps Rifle Team shooters return to the operational forces after only three years. This practice guarantees that the wealth of knowledge and experience gained by Marine marksmen through competition is passed on to those in the fleet who need it most, but also poses a greater challenge for the team as it faces veteran competition from their archrival, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit.

"It means more to us to win as a team against individuals with 8-15 years experience when we each have three at most," said Bostick. " Pitting our experience against the experience of that other team and to win is a miracle. It shows everybody our marksmanship program is much better put together."

Team coach Gunnery Sgt. Andrew L. Wilson said that the Marines' accomplishments this year were especially remarkable given the irregularity of the season leading up to the championships at Camp Perry.

According to Wilson, Marine deployments to the Middle East caused some division matches not to be held, depriving team members of the opportunity to further hone their skills in preparation for the year's two major competitive events: the Interservice Rifle Championships and the National Rifle Association sponsored National Rifle Championships.

"It didn't seem like we were firing on all cylinders at (the Interservice Rifle Championships), but when we got to Camp Perry we just buckled down and it all seemed to come together," said Wilson.

Wilson also noted this year's team had several relatively green competitors, and he was impressed by their ability to rise to the challenge as a team.

"We're a very young team, [and] we overcame a lot," said Wilson. "I couldn't be more proud of the Marines and how they did. It was a privilege to represent the Corps and lead these Marines. They were awesome this year."



08-31-03, 08:41 AM
Does it get any sweeter then this?? Ya gotta love it!!