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NEWS | Oct. 11, 2011

Hawaii Air National Guard member earns distinguished marksmanship honors

By Air Force Tech. Sgt. Michelle Thomas 154th Wing

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii - 'It's an extremely big accomplishment," said Brig. Gen. Stanley Osserman.

"I know what it takes to get it and it's a big deal."

What the commander of the Hawaii Air National Guard regards as a major accomplishment is one that, in his own words, "is often downplayed."

It is the Distinguished Marksmanship Badge.

This past summer, Hawaii Air National Guard member Master Sgt. Stuart Leong, a 201st Combat Communications Squadron wide band technician, earned his second USAF Distinguished Marksmanship badge, and now holds one in pistol and one in rifle.

During an awards ceremony last week at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Leong was officially recognized as being one of a very few people to receive the badge for both weapons.

Leong, a Honolulu police officer for more than 19 years said that he decided to get into competing in 2004.

"The marksmanship team [here] meets about once a month," said Leong, who is constantly encouraging others to get involved with the team.

"Basically anyone who wants to compete can just come out and join. It's a great way for us to focus on a goal and get involved," said Leong.

Issued for both the rifle and pistol, to obtain the badge a competitor must be awarded 30 credit points, often referred to as "leg points," when competing in the authorized excellence category of competition matches.

The badge is a onetime decoration and may be worn for the remainder of an individual's military career.

Leong recently earned part of his required 30 points by winning third place at the Chief of the National Guard Bureau Postal Match Championship in July at Camp Robinson, Ark.

The CNGB championship incorporates several scenarios with the National Rifle Association style courses of fire with an M16 rifle and small bore service pistol courses of fire with an M9.

This gives participants a chance to compete and develop skills in broader areas of marksmanship competition.

Competitions like the CNGB championship are designed to challenge and help the marksmanship skills of each shooter. They are also designed to give them a chance to earn points toward the badge, for either the rifle or pistol.

The Distinguished Marksman Badge itself was approved by the Secretary of War in General Orders Number 1 dated Jan. 3, 1887 with the Distinguished Pistol Shot Badge being authorized in General Orders Number 65, dated April 29, 1903.

To date, no other Hawaii Air National Guardsman other than Leong has earned a badge for both weapons.

"I'm extremely proud of him." said Osserman, who himself holds the badge for the pistol. "This really is a prestigious honor to have earned both distinguishing badges."



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