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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Camp Pendleton Shooting Team reunites, wins

By Lance Cpl. Trevon S. Peracca | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | November 26, 2012

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Sgt. Wayne S. Gallagher, a school range instructor for 3rd Battalion 7th Marine Regiment, also a member of the shooting team here, fires from the 200-yard line during the National Rifle Association Match at the known-distance range here Nov. 17.

Sgt. Wayne S. Gallagher, a school range instructor for 3rd Battalion 7th Marine Regiment, also a member of the shooting team here, fires from the 200-yard line during the National Rifle Association Match at the known-distance range here Nov. 17. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Trevon S. Peracca)


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1st Lt. Crystal J. Sokoff, a judge advocate for Marine Corps Installations West and captain of the Camp Pendleton Shooting Team, adjusts her rifle sling during the National Rifle Association Match at the known-distance range here Nov. 17.

1st Lt. Crystal J. Sokoff, a judge advocate for Marine Corps Installations West and captain of the Camp Pendleton Shooting Team, adjusts her rifle sling during the National Rifle Association Match at the known-distance range here Nov. 17. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Trevon S. Peracca)


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Cpl. Michael Iams, a member of the Camp Pendleton Shooting Team, takes a well-aimed shot from the 600-yard line during the National Rifle Association Match at the known-distance range here Nov. 17.

Cpl. Michael Iams, a member of the Camp Pendleton Shooting Team, takes a well-aimed shot from the 600-yard line during the National Rifle Association Match at the known-distance range here Nov. 17. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Trevon S. Peracca)


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Lance Cpl. Megan R. Difiore (right), 21, a combat videographer for Headquarters and Support Battalion, also a member of the Camp Pendleton shooting team, listens to some words of advice from an advanced shooter during the National Rifle Association Match at the known-distance range here Nov. 17.

Lance Cpl. Megan R. Difiore (right), 21, a combat videographer for Headquarters and Support Battalion, also a member of the Camp Pendleton shooting team, listens to some words of advice from an advanced shooter during the National Rifle Association Match at the known-distance range here Nov. 17. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Trevon S. Peracca)


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Members of the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Shooting Team carry gear back to their cargo van after the National Rifle Association Match at the known-distance range here, Nov. 17.

Members of the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Shooting Team carry gear back to their cargo van after the National Rifle Association Match at the known-distance range here, Nov. 17. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Trevon S. Peracca)


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Sgt. Mark D. Windmassinger (left), 27, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Shooting Team, receives a 1st place medal for being the Top High-Master Shooter in the service rifle category from Chief Warrant Officer (Gunner) Duane S. Ledford, range officer in charge and coach for the 29 Palms shooting team, after the National Rifle Association Match at the known-distance range here Nov. 17.

Sgt. Mark D. Windmassinger (left), 27, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Shooting Team, receives a 1st place medal for being the Top High-Master Shooter in the service rifle category from Chief Warrant Officer (Gunner) Duane S. Ledford, range officer in charge and coach for the 29 Palms shooting team, after the National Rifle Association Match at the known-distance range here Nov. 17. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Trevon S. Peracca)


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Sgt. Mark D. Windmassinger (middle), 27, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Shooting Team, demonstrates how to properly clean the M16A2 Match Rifle after the National Rifle Association Match at the known-distance range here Nov. 17.

Sgt. Mark D. Windmassinger (middle), 27, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Shooting Team, demonstrates how to properly clean the M16A2 Match Rifle after the National Rifle Association Match at the known-distance range here Nov. 17. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Trevon S. Peracca)


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TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- United States Marines have not always been the precision shooters they are today. The history of Marine Corps competitive marksmanship began with the M1903 Springfield in the early 1900s. The Camp Pendleton Shooting Team intends to continue passing the competitive marksmanship traditions to the new generation using the modern M16A4 Match Rifle.

Seven members of Camp Pendleton’s shooting team competed in a National Rifle Association shooting match at Twentynine Palms’ known-distance firing range Nov. 17.

These Marines have been training to become precision shooters and rebuild Camp Pendleton’s Shooting Team.

The last time Camp Pendleton had an operational shooting team was about three years ago.

This past summer Sgt. Mark D. Windmassinger, 27, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Camp Pendleton Shooting Team, said he was approached by another Marine who wanted to start a shooting team. Windmassinger spoke to several Marines to generate interest for the team, which is when he found 1st Lt. Crystal J. Sokoff, who is now the Camp Pendleton Shooting Team captain. Together Sokoff and Windmassinger rebuilt Camp Pendleton’s shooting team, which now has 13 members training to compete.

In competition marksmanship, shooters are provided with some resources that are not used for the annual training rifle qualification. Competitors are supplied with unique shooting jackets and non-slip, leather rifle slings that provide additional stability, and long-distance scouting scopes to sight shots at distances more than 600 yards.

Camp Pendleton’s shooting team practices precision shooting and continues to strive for excellence.

“In the Marine Corps, ‘hitting black’ will score you maximum points for a shot on a standard qualification,” said Lance Cpl. Enrique A. Ipina, the force preservation noncommissioned officer in charge for Headquarters and Support Battalion, about precision shooting by aiming center area on a target. “In a shooting match hitting black just isn’t good enough; you have to hit the center of black.”

The Camp Pendleton team was able to finish the competition here with a team match win and a few individual wins their first time competing as a team. The individual awards included top high master shooter, master shooter, standing, sitting and prone among others.

“Most of the time when you have a brand-new team, they tend to have a lot of issues with simple stuff such as gear set up and scoring,” said Windmassinger, who has more than 7 years of experience in competition shooting. “My Marines did phenomenal for their first time shooting as a team.”


1 Comments


  • Stephen J. Bellers 159 days ago
    I was wondering if the matches were open to public. I shoot NRA high power, and I know Camp Robinson has open matches. I'd love the competition especially if it mid-range or long range matches.
    - Steve

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