Camp Pendleton, Calif. --
Competition is heating up during the Commanding General’s Cup Rifle and Pistol Matches. Young guns and old shooters have shown different shooting styles and techniques during the two-week tournament.
Capt. Bobby Bradford, a shooter with Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, employed a more unorthodox approach of shooting, as he applied some of the knowledge he gained from hunting with bow and arrow.
“I’m an archery hunter, and my whole family hunts as well,” said Bradford. “I’ve applied some aspects of that to rifle shooting. It’s all about controlling your breathing, your emotions and remembering the fundamentals.”
For Lance Cpl. Matthew Morgana, a shooter with Marine Wing Support Squadron 372, 3rd Marine Air Wing, this was his first time shooting competitively.
“I have no experience in shooting outside of the Marine Corps and it’s a little nerve wracking,” said Morgana. “But my sergeants and my officer have done this before and they’ve taught me a lot. They have really boosted my confidence.”
Then there are the seasoned shooters who spend numerous hours trying to perfect their skills and prove themselves proficient at the firing lines.
“I have a process oriented approach to shooting as opposed to performance oriented,” said Sgt. Shayne Whitaker, a shooter with Weapons Field Training Battalion, Training and Education Command. “You pay attention to your form and technique when you adjust the tiny details to fine tune your shots. You don’t let your score affect your judgment.”
Whitaker has shot in approximately 40 competitions, receiving 17 medals and a few trophies and plaques from the Marine Corps within a span of three years.
There are still others for whom the tournament is more than a competition; it is what fuels their fervor.
“Shooting is my passion,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jose Garduno, a shooter with Infantry Training Battalion, School of Infantry-West. “This will be my sixth time competing. I do my shooting outside of base during my off time using my own weapons systems to get some practice. I own a collection of 18 pistols and rifles and it’s a hobby of mine that I really enjoy.”
For more information on how to participate in future CG’s Cup Rifle and Pistol Matches, contact your unit training NCO or find out more details from the Marine Corps Community Services Camp Pendleton Athletics department at 760-763-0453. 7608063866.