CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --West Coast Marines earned first place overall during the 43rd Winston P. Wilson Sniper Championship hosted by the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center held at Fort Chaffee, Ark., April 19-26.
Sgt. Daniel Ramos and Sgt. Shaun Garvey, instructors with the Sniper Basic Course, Advanced Infantry Battalion, School of Infantry West, bested all other teams during the shooting and tactics competition. The competition tested the skills, techniques and procedures of 17, 2-man sniper teams from the different branches of service.
“Consistency from day-to-day and event-to-event was the key element in winning the competition with an overall score of 1040, which was 30 points more than the second place team,” said Ramos, an Orange Park, Fla. native.
The teams competed over five days in 16 different events using a variety of weapons. The Marines used the bolt-action M40, the semi-automatic M110 and the M9 Beretta, said Garvey a Browsburg, Ind. native and primary marksmanship instructor.
Ramos, who has never previously competed in any shooting or tactics competition, said this competition validates what they do every day; what they train to do. Ramos and Garvey did not conduct any additional training for or prior to attending the event. They relied solely on their job training and skills.
“Even as technology advances in warfighting, there is still that need for a man on the ground,” said Garvey about the importance of this competition as it relates to the Marine Corps. “This competition helps us evaluate what we are teaching to the students about what technological advances are currently out there and what other services are doing.
This competition was the first time Garvey and Ramos shot together as a team, beating the other teams who had not only shot together before but included the winners of last year’s competition.
Ramos, who was recommended by his command to attend this competition because he was the high shooter in his recent Urban Sniper School class, said this competition relied heavily upon the fundamentals.
“As snipers, we’re really proud Marines. We’re proud of what we do and we like to think we Marines are the best snipers out there,” said Ramos. “We are going to these competitions and proving our training and curriculum really do work.”