N.D. Guard marksmen win medals at competitionA group of North Dakota National Guard soldiers and airmen returned to the state last month with more hardware than when they left.
A group of North Dakota National Guard soldiers and airmen returned to the state last month with more hardware than when they left.
Three teams of Guardsmen competed in the Marksmanship Advisory Committee Region VI Combat Marksmanship Training Sustainment Exercise in Camp Guernsey, Wyo., on Aug. 25 North Dakota’s “Alpha Team” won, while “Bravo Team” took third. Several individuals are coming home with awards, as well.
Two soldiers and two airmen comprise the Alpha Team, which will now compete in the All-Army Marksmanship Match in March at Fort Benning, Ga. It’s the first time a joint Army-Air team from North Dakota has qualified for the match. The team includes Master Sgt. Brian Rook, Harwood, N.D., who serves in the 119th Wing’s Operations Support Squadron; Tech. Sgt. Josh Von Bank, Fargo, of the 119th Maintenance Squadron; Sgt. Robert Mahoney, Fargo, of the 817th Engineer Company (Sapper); and Spc. Tyrel Hoppe, of Horace, N.D., also with the 817th.
A team for the Oregon National Guard came in second in the match, followed by North Dakota’s Bravo Team.
“Overall, it was a very good match for Team North Dakota, and we look forward to a strong showing at the All-Army (match) next spring,” said Lt. Col. David Skalicky, competitive sports coordinator for the North Dakota National Guard.
Among the individual North Dakota Guardsmen honored with awards are Sgt. 1st Class Russ Gerhardt, of Devils Lake, N.D., who was the second place aggregate combined marksman and the second highest aggregate pistol shooter. He serves at Camp Grafton Training Center, Devils Lake.
Besides qualifying with Alpha Team, Mahoney came in as the high aggregate rifle shooter and won the reflexive fire rifle match as well as the 100- to 500-year zero rifle match.
Hoppe won the Pistol Excellence in Competition match, while Spc. Evan Messer, Fargo, who also serves with the 817th, achieved “Distinguished” status as a rifle shooter.
The Guardsmen qualified for the regional match during a state competition this summer at Camp Grafton. Other competitors in the regional meet hailed from Alaska, Wyoming, South Dakota, Oregon and Nebraska.
The “Bravo Team” was comprised of Spc. Christopher Lundberg, Fargo, who serves with the 817th Engineer Co.; Spc. Levi Harrington, Jamestown, of the 817th; Spc. Evan Messer, of Fargo, of the 817th; and Tech. Sgt. Darrin Quam, 119th Wing.