Missouri Army National Guard Sergeant James Whitener of Fredericktown, took first place in his match at the 2012 US Army Small Arms Championship Excellence in Competition (EIC) matches held at Fort Benning Georgia last week. The event is a six day competition to determine the Army’s best shooters.
“I think the most important thing is to stay mentally focused,” said Whitener. “I ended up dropping a couple different matches because I wasn’t. It was a rookie mistake and I had to get back into my focal point to stay through it.”
At the event he out-shot the next best competitor in his match by over 40 points in the pistol and rifle competition. His team also took second place overall.
The US Army Small Arms Championships is an advanced combat live-fire training event. While the elements and spirit of competition are important, all soldiers are reminded that the Army’s critical intent is to develop combat firing skills at the entry and intermediate level to raise the standard of marksmanship across the entire force.
EIC competition is considered open competition between all eligible competitors who fire an EIC match. In EIC, credit points and the appropriate badge are awarded to the top scoring ten percent of eligible non-distinguished competitors.
Whitener said that competition shooting is ten percent physical and 90 percent mental.
“The most important thing is to have your mind in the fight,” Whitener said. “If you are thinking about other things then your game is going to be off.
“There has never been a world champion that didn’t put thousands of rounds down range. You have to stick with it. If you go to a match and don’t win, just prepare your self for the next one.”