Soldiers compete in the 2013 U.S. Army Small Arms Championships at Fort Benning, Ga. Registration is now open for this year's competition. (Michael Molinaro / Army Marksmanship Unit)
Registration is now open for the 2014 U.S. Army Small Arms Championships, officials announced Tuesday.
The competition, hosted by the Army Marksmanship Unit and the Maneuver Center of Excellence, is open to all soldiers as well as West Point and ROTC cadets.
The event will take place Jan. 26-Feb. 1 at Fort Benning, Ga.
The Army Marksmanship Unit hosts the all-Army competition to raise the standard of marksmanship across the force and increase overall readiness, official said.
The event is free for competitors and ammunition is provided.
Soldiers from the marksmanship unit will conduct small arms firing schools and hands-on training prior to each match. Instructors include Olympians and world, national and inter-service champions.
Based on their level of experience, competitors will compete in several classes, including cadet, novice, open and pro.
They will fire M-16 or M-4 rifles at distances between 25 and 500 yards and M-9 pistols between 7 and 35 yards in a variety of courses of fire. There also is a combined arms match, where competitors will fire the rifle and pistol in a number of stages that simulate close-quarters marksmanship.
During the matches, competitors can earn points toward their Excellence-in-Competition Marksmanship Badges, which take precedence over standard weapons qualification badges. In addition, battalion-level and higher teams can compete for team awards and unit recognition.
The competition is open to 240 competitors due to range restrictions; registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Once registration exceeds 240, soldiers will be put on a stand-by list for the competition.
For more information and to register, visit the Army Marksmanship Unit website at www.usamu.com or contact Michael Behnke, the unitís chief of competitions, at (706) 545-7841 or firstname.lastname@example.org.