Photo Information

Cpl. Patrick Saleh, a shooter with the Marine Corps Shooting Team, holds up his Secretaty of the Navy award rifle in victory after winning the individual pistol portion of the 2011 Marine Corps Rifle and Pistol matches, during an awards ceremony held at the Stone Bay gymnasium aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, April 22. The Marine Corps Matches are the culmination of the best Marine shooters from across the globe, competing against each other to determine who is the best of the best.

Photo by Cpl. Jonathan G. Wright

Marine Corps' top shooters meet in 2011 Marine Corps Rifle and Pistol matches

22 Apr 2011 | Cpl. Jonathan G. Wright

Alfred M. Gray, Jr., twenty-ninth commandant of the Marine Corps, created the one ethos that would last throughout the following history pages of Marine Corps heritage - “Every Marine a rifleman.” To exemplify this, he was the only commandant to wear his camouflage utility uniform in his official photograph.

This warrior code, one of the most notable aspects of Marine Corps culture, has fashioned every Marine into a warfighter, regardless of job specialty. Marines from installations across the globe exhibited this during the final portion of the 2011 Competition-In-Arms program, the Marine Corps Rifle and Pistol Matches, and its awards ceremony at the Stone Bay gymnasium aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, April 22.

“After Vietnam, many said that long-range capabilities had become an obsolete skill,” said Brig. Gen. Christopher Owens, deputy commanding general for the II Marine Expeditionary Force. “However, ask that to the Taliban, whose distance from our Marines cannot protect them. (The shooters of the competition) represent the best the Marine Corps has to offer.”

After nearly two months of competitors firing and advancing through their individual bases’ and regions’ divisions, it has culminated in the meeting of the best rifle and pistol shots in the Corps. The categories and results are as follow:

Individual Rifle
1 – Sgt. Morris, Marine Corps Shooting Team
2 – Gunnery Sgt. Worrell, Marine Corps Shooting Team
3 – Sgt. Peppers, Eastern Division Team

Individual Pistol
1 – Cpl. Saleh, Marine Corps Shooting Team
2 – Sgt. Shue, Far East Division Team
3 – Cpl. Henemyer, Western Division Team

Team Rifle
1 – Eastern Division Team
Team Captain: Gunnery Sgt. Nash
Team Coach: Cpl. Cordray
Gunnery Sgt. Worrell
Staff Sgt. Altendorf
Sgt. Peppers
Sgt. Cansler
Staff Sgt. Codding

Team Pistol
1 – Far East - Scarlett
Team Captain: Cpl. Houseman
Team Coach: Staff Sgt. Stanton
Sgt. Shue
Staff Sgt. Capko
Staff Sgt. Robinson
Gunnery Sgt. Arnold

Lauchheimer Trophy winner (based on individual rifle & pistol combined score)
1 – Cpl. Henemyer, Western Division Team
2 – Gunnery Sgt. Worrell, Marine Corps Shooting Team
3 – Cpl. Hebert, Marine Corps Shooting Team

Fleet Marine Force Combat Infantry Trophy winner (based on team combat rifle marksmanship)
1 - Far East
Team Captain: Gunnery Sgt. Brady
Team Coach: Cpl. Houseman
Gunnery Sgt. Armijo
Gunnery Sgt. Arnold
Staff Sgt. Capko
Staff Sgt. Robinson
Cpl. Salas

“The solid instruction I learned definitely helped me along to win, said Sgt. Sean Morris, winner of the individual rifle portion of the matches. “There were a lot of great competitors and I knew I was going to be hard pressed to at least place, but to win is just an ecstatic feeling.”

Give a cook a rifle, and he is effective on the front lines. That is what is at the core of every Marine: a rifleman. Whether deployed or in garrison, the upkeep of one’s’ combat rifle skills are imperative, and the Competition-In-Arms program is no better way to showcase those skills - skills, which above all else, are what makes the Marine Corps a success.

“This is just what Marines do and are supposed to do,” said Brian Pensak, executive officer with Weapons Training Battalion, MCB Camp Lejeune. “No one was ever killed by a chess piece or volleyball, but by well-placed rounds by Marines.”