Marines

Photo Information

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Darron Todd, maintenance officer with Marine Special Operations School, Marine Special Operations Command, fires a .410 shotgun at an airborne clay pigeon at the McIntyre Skeet Range aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, June 25. Todd, part of the All-Marine Skeet Team, is one of eight Marines who are scheduled to represent the Marine Corps and the United States in the upcoming 2010 World Skeet Shooting Championships this October.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Jonathan G. Wright

All-Marine Skeet Team sets sights on the future

30 Jun 2010 | Lance Cpl. Jonathan G. Wright

Following their recent win at the 2010 Armed Forces Skeet Championship in San Antonio, May 10 through 14, the All-Marine Skeet Team is now training up for the 2010 World Skeet Shooting Championships scheduled for October, representing the Marine Corps to the eyes of the world.

However, the All-Marine Skeet Team isn’t a self-sufficient military sports team such as the All-Marine Wrestling or Boxing team, but more of a dedicated hobby for eight Marines from different sides of the Marine Corps.

“There are four of us from (Marine Corps Base) Camp Lejeune and four others from various commands from across the Corps,” said Lt. Col. Chris Naler, commanding officer of 5th Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, and captain of the All-Marine Skeet Team. “We’re always looking for skeet enthusiasts to become new members.”

A sport that was made popular during World War II as a training tool to prepare military personnel in aerial gunnery, the whole concept of skeet shooting is hitting a flying target by correctly leading it, or shooting ahead of its path so the target hits the round to compensate for the distance.

“For competition shooting, there are four sizes of shotgun shells,” said Gunnery Sgt. John Berry, in transit to Marine Corps Engineer School, MCB Camp Lejeune. “Twelve-gauge, 20-gauge, 28-gauge and .410, which is the only shotgun shell classified as a caliber; the differences being in the amount of shot and load in the shell.”

The All-Marine Skeet Team, sponsored by the Marine Corps Community Services Sports Branch for the past four years, practices whenever they can at the McIntyre Skeet Range off of Parachute Tower Road. The range has recently been scheduled for demolition to make room for future projects, but is being rebuilt in the Henderson/Hickory Pond Recreation area, the Skeet Team a driving force behind that decision.

“If we weren’t standing here today (after winning the 2010 AFSC), the base skeet range would be shut down permanently in August,” said Naler. “The new range will be one of the most state-of-the-art ranges on the East Coast.”

With the All-Marine Skeet Team representing the Marine Corps and the United States on a global scale in the coming months, additional shooters are always encouraged to try out. As Naler says, skeet shooting is more than shooting moving targets – it is a lifestyle that can bring completely different people together under the same tent of sportsmanship.