Camp Lejeune, N.C. -- Second Assault Amphibian Battalion's intramural rifle and pistol team vanquished their competitors and seized the lion's share of 1st place trophy's during the 2000 Fall Intramural Matches at Stone Bay Training Area Oct. 27.
The competition, hosted at the Stone Bay ranges, matched teams from Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Stations New River and Cherry Point.
The ultimate goal of the competition was to promote marksmanship and for each unit to develop a team for the division matches, according to CWO-3 Dean Duncan Jr., the chief range officer, Weapons Training Battalion.
"Competitive shooting has always been the trademark of the Marine Corps," said Duncan, of Waynesboro, Va. "The purpose of the intramurals is to develop a competitive mindset for the Marines. It is a competition between every Marine in the match to develop a team for the division matches. If a battalion wants to improve their marksmanship program, this is where to do it."
This year, intramural shooters who shot the matches obtained their rifle qualification for the year and also obtained a secondary MOS (military occupation specialty) of 8530 range coach, according to Lt. Col. Carl Shelton Jr., commanding officer, WTB.
The 22 Marines of 2d AA Bn. swept the competition by taking first place in the rifle team match, pistol team match, infantry trophy team match and commanding general's cup rifle and pistol aggregate. The unit fielded two pistol teams, three rifle teams and two infantry trophy teams. The infantry trophy team competition consisted of a four Marine team firing rapid fire at six targets at multiple distances. In addition to the team trophies, the unit also had several first, second and third place award recipients in the individual award categories.
Private First Class Lucas T. Campbell of Jackson, Wyo., was the unit's individual rifle match winner; Maj. Michael L. Kuhn of Damascus, Md., took the individual grand aggregate award for his combined scores at the competition; and 1st Lt. William C. Leonhardt of Bellport, N.Y., placed as the individual grand aggregate runner-up.
"I was very impressed. For a group of Marines who had never worked together before, they came together as a team very quickly," said Leonhardt, who was also the team captain. "I think the intramural match competition benefits the base as a whole. It gives the individual Marine a chance to learn and excel at an individual level, as well as on a team. It gives the unit back someone with a wealth of knowledge about marksmanship."
Leonhardt said he was impressed with the team, but especially with Campbell, a young Marine who had not fired in the intramurals before.
"For such a young Marine, his skills with a rifle are outstanding, and for someone who has never shot the pistol, he shot high expert on his first try," he explained. "Because of his outstanding marksmanship, high demands were placed upon him for team matches. He performed well under the pressure."
Leonhardt also gave credit to battalion commander Lt. Col. Darryl Patton. "We had a lot of support from Lt. Col. Patton and the command," he said. He takes this program very seriously and gave us the support we needed to succeed."
"We need to take marksmanship and specifically this program more seriously, because it gives so much back to the Marine Corps and the unit, as well as the individual," said Leonhardt. "The units get back a Marine with an additional MOS and add a knowledge base of marksmanship to their unit. Units can take advantage of the matches coming up in February and March to train their Marines and get them into the Marine Corps competition marksmanship program."