By SSG Emily Anderson, WTC STRATCOM
The Army Warrior Games shooting team is capitalizing on its extra advantage — the United States Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU).
“I think a lot of the athletes are going to do very well,” said SFC Janet Sokolowski, the USAMU platoon sergeant for the cross-functional pistol. “The training clinics they went to before the games were really helpful.”
The USAMU is a world-class shooting team composed of Soldiers. They are considered the best of the best and have gained worldwide respect by winning hundreds of individual and team competitions, including World Championships and Olympic medals.
“We’ve helped the Army shooting team every year for Warrior Games,” Sokolowski said. “It takes a lot of skill, but several of the athletes are open to learning.”
“Matter of fact the team we have here has lots of experience and love doing this,” she said about the other members who are putting their experience to helping the Army Warrior Games shooting team to bring home gold.
The Warrior Games shooting competition consists of athletes accurately using either a pistol or rifle to fire a series of shots at a stationary target during a timed session.
“I’m learning a lot,” said AW2 Veteran Justin Miller. “With the help of CPL Rawlings (an USAMU Soldier) and the techniques he taught me about the rifle helped me to dial in and take better aim.”
“This training has been very productive,” Miller said. “I’m learning holding drills for the pistol which helps to stabilize the muscles.”
Shooting maybe the USAMU main area of expertise, but competing is not their only skill. These Soldiers assist in technical development of military small arms equipment and ammunition. They translate their competitive marksmanship skills into useful combat marksmanship.
“Once you’ve conditioned yourself to shooting, it becomes 90% mental,” Sokolowski said. “We’re extremely goal oriented.”