By Paula J. Randall Pagán
U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, Accessions Support Brigade
FORT BENNING, Ga. – Six shooters from the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, as well as one from the Army Reserve and one from the Navy, will represent the United States, at the 41st Conseil International du Sport Militaire in Rena, Norway, June 21 to 28. Team USA is expected to compete against hundreds of shooters from dozens of countries around the world in the World’s Military Shooting Championships.
The U.S. Team shooters are: Men’s Rifle Team – Lt. Col. Robert E. Harbison, Maj. Michael E. Anti, Sgt. 1st Class Thomas A. Tamas and Sgt. Shane M. Barnhart of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit; and Men’s Pistol Team – Navy Cmdr. Thomas White of the Navy Department in Washington, D.C., Sgt. 1st Class Daryl L. Szarenski and Staff Sgt. John C. Ennis of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, and Army Reservist Staff Sgt. James Henderson of Festus, Mo.
Anti, who won the Silver Medal in Three-Position Rifle at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, said he is excited about being on the CISM team because this will be his first time ever competing at CISM.
“This is a very important match for the unit. It’s one of the few times we ever get to compete as a team, so it’s an opportunity for us to shine as a team,” Anti said. “We’re sending a competitive team but we’ll be competing against other Olympians and some of the best shooters in the world. The competition is pretty tough; it’s one of the hardest to win, so it will be an interesting match.”
Harbison, Tamas and Szarenski are also Olympians. Harbison competed in the 1996 Olympics, Tamas in the 2000 Games and Szarenski in 2004 and 2000. Barnhart is the 2005 NRA National Three-Position Rifle Champion, Ennis is the 2005 NRA Center Fire National Champion and Henderson is the Army Reserve National Pistol Champion.
Accompany the U.S. Shooting Team will be the chief of mission Air Force Col. Joe Chang of Strategic Command, Nebraska; team captain Michael Behnke, rifle coach Frank Briggs, pistol coach Ray Arredondo, and gunsmith Glenn Sulser of the Army Marksmanship Unit as well as Harry Allen of Littleton, Colo., who will be a jury member.
The CISM Shooting Championships consist of men’s and women’s rifle and pistol competitions. The rifle shooters compete with standard rifles at 300-meters in the prone, kneeling and standing positions in both rapid and slow fire matches. The pistol team will compete in the Center Fire and Military Rapid Fire Championships.
Only the men’s teams’ scores count in the overall “Best Nation” awards; the women’s teams only compete for their own individual and team awards.
The U.S. Men’s Rifle and Pistol Teams are expected to compete against more than 500 shooters from 30 other countries; only a handful of women are expected to compete.
(Formed in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to raise the standards of marksmanship throughout the U.S. Army, the Army Marksmanship Unit is assigned to the Accessions Support Brigade of the U.S. Army Accessions Command. The Marksmanship Unit trains its Soldiers to win competitions and enhances combat readiness through train-the-trainer clinics, research and development. For more information on the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, contact the Public Affairs Office at (706) 545-5436, firstname.lastname@example.org