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News | May 7, 2024

Vermont Excels at Winston P. Wilson Small Arms Championships

By Sgt. Denis Nunez

The Winston P. Wilson Small Arms Championships, the premier National Guard combat shooting event, concluded this week in Arkansas. This annual weeklong competition, named in honor of Major General Winston P. Wilson, who served as Chief of the National Guard Bureau from 1963 to 1971, has a storied history dating back to its inception in 1971. The championships are designed to test and enhance the marksmanship skills of National Guard members across the United States.

The Vermont Army National Guard Small Arms Readiness Training Section delivered an outstanding performance, securing 6th place overall in the Team Aggregate and clinching 1st place in the Pistol Team Aggregate. Vermont's remarkable success in the pistol matches has earned them the title of the best combat pistol team in the National Guard, a distinction they will hold for the next year.

Two Vermont shooters, Tech. Sgt. Nicolas Poirier and Tech. Sgt. Galen Topper, were awarded the prestigious Chief’s 50 Badge. Additionally, Tech. Sgt. Poirier achieved an impressive 2nd place overall in the Individual Pistol Aggregate.
"I'm really proud of what we were able to accomplish at this competition.", Said Tech. Sgt. Poirier, "We practice a ton, and it's awesome to see us putting out high level performances like this."

A particularly notable achievement was by Master Sgt. Derik Mumley, who received the Staff Sgt. Millard Butler Trophy. This trophy, dedicated to retired Sgt. 1st Class Millard Butler, a legendary Vermont National Guardsman and one of the best combat shooters in history, which honors the top new shooter on the winning pistol team. Master Sgt. Mumley’s accomplishment highlights Vermont’s dedication to excellence and marksmanship.

"It really all comes down to repetitive training.", Said Master Sgt. Mumley, "We spend a lot of time practicing and it shows when we come to these high stakes competitions."

The Vermont Army National Guard Small Arms Readiness Training Section members who participated in this year's championships were:

Spc. Samuel Austin (A TRP 1-172 CAV)
Master Sgt. Troy Johnson (158th AMXS)
Tech. Sgt. Jacob McNiss (158th SFS)
Sgt. Thomas Montgomery (172nd LE DET)
Master Sgt. Derik Mumley (158th MSG)
Tech. Sgt. Nicolas Poirier (158th AMXS)
Tech. Sgt. Galen Topper (158th AMXS)
Sgt. Kenneth White (HHT 1-172 CAV)

With such a strong showing at this prestigious event, the Vermont Army National Guard Small Arms Readiness Training Section has once again proven their exceptional skills and dedication to excellence in competitive marksmanship. The Winston P. Wilson Small Arms Championships continue to serve as a vital platform for honing the combat readiness and shooting proficiency of the National Guard, fostering camaraderie and excellence among its participants.

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