MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Marines with the MCAGCC Shooting Team earned multiple trophies and plaques commemorating victories in various shooting competitions throughout 2013 and formally presented them to Maj. Gen. David H Berger, Combat Center commanding general, at his conference room, March 14, 2014.
The awards were earned through competitions that required multiple firing instances of both rifle and pistol against other veteran shooters from around the country.
The 11-man shooting team was awarded plaques from the National Rifle Association service category for four-man rifle shooting. 20 shots were afforded to each team member, at the 500, 600 and 1000-yard lines. Final scores were 694, 669 and 623. The competition was held aboard the Combat Center’s Range 1 in August and November of 2013.
The trophies earned included the San Diego Trophy for Western Division matches, large- unit rifle team category and the Gen. Thomas Holcomb Trophy, for highest scoring pistol team in the Western Division matches. Both were earned aboard Wilcox Range, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., spanning the tournament dates of Feb. 24 through March 7, according to Sgt. Wayne Gallagher, team head coach.
“It takes an incredible amount of work to achieve something like this,” Berger said. “This doesn’t come naturally. It takes a great deal of work and sacrifice.”
According to Gallagher, a perfect score for pistol was 1200, with his team scoring 986. For rifle, a perfect score is 1200, and the MCAGCC team finished with a score of 1161.
“Working with each Marine on the line, I could see how each one went about the process and worked with fine-tuning their abilities and knowing their personalities,” Gallagher said.
The team stood in a line as Berger individually recognized each one for their contribution to coming out on top.
“It is about the team,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Duane Ledford, gunner, Combat Center. “These Marines, I believe, did so well because they know it’s not just them, it’s one team.”
Their achievement can now be recognized with the display of the trophies and plaques at the Marksmanship Training Unit Range House. For the Marines, the future is one of change after coming together to fulfill this opportunity to be the best.
“In the future, everyone will be either going back to their parent commands or leaving in some fashion,” Gallagher said. “The team next year will likely be completely fresh.”
The next generation of MCAGCC shooters will have big shoes to fill with the mark left by the Marines that diligently earned these distinctive awards.