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NEWS | May 10, 2024

Wisconsin Soldier, Arkansas Team Win Small Arms Championship

By Capt. Janice Rintz, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Wisconsin National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Swanson won the title of 53rd Winston P. Wilson Small Arms Champion at the 2024 Winston P. Wilson Rifle and Pistol Matches at Camp Joseph T. Robinson April 27 to May 3. Team Arkansas Alpha claimed the title of Team Champion.

The Wisconsin National Guardsman and the Arkansas National Guard Soldiers competed with teams of four people from across the country to emerge as champions in the nationally recognized live-fire competition.

This year’s event brought in 48 four-person teams totaling 192 National Guard and Air National Guard shooters from 45 states and territories.

Swanson finished first in the Individual Grand Aggregate, which combines rifle and pistol. He won the overall rifle and overall pistol in separate awards but not in the combined category.

“My motivation comes first from who I am naturally as a person. Something is either worth doing to the best of my ability, or it’s not worth doing at all,” said Swanson. I truly believe that great marksmanship is the most critical skill individual Soldiers can possess, and the national-level competition is THE best testing ground to see where you are really at as far as that skill level goes.”

Master Sgt. Nathan Watters, Staff Sgt. Dalton Ainsworth, Staff Sgt. Pierce Jolly , and Tech Sgt. Ryan Weng represented the Arkansas Alpha team.

Jolly also finished first in Novice Rifle Individual Aggregate and Novice Individual Grand Aggregate and earned the prestigious Chief’s 50 Marksmanship badge for the first time.

“The opportunity to shoot with the Arkansas Marksmanship Program has been fantastic, and being surrounded with great shooters naturally pushes me to better myself,” said Jolly. “This being my very first WPW, I leaned heavily on my team. Without their knowledge and invaluable guidance, I wouldn’t have reached this point.”

The National Guard Marksmanship Training Center hosts the annual WPW/AFSAM Small Arms Championships, the Army’s largest weapons competition. The event tests Soldiers’ rifle and pistol marksmanship in combat marksmanship tasks.

“Competitions like these have given me a massive set of skills to bring back to my unit and train countless others,” said Staff Sgt. Swanson. “The return on investment is invaluable and immeasurable. I would not possess such an asset without these competitions.”

Established in 1968, the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center is the National Guard home of marksmanship. NGMTC is the National Guard Bureau’s center for managing marksmanship training courses and competitive marksmanship programs to advance small arms lethality, demonstrate National Guard marksmanship and enhance marksmanship in combat. 



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