NEWS | Oct. 22, 2019

Sights Set for the Governors Twenty

By Alejandro Smith-Antuna Indiana National Guard


Story and Photos by Alejandro Smith-Antuna

Sights Set for the Governors Twenty

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Over 60 Hoosier Guardsmen set their sights for a chance to considered some of the top shooters in the states during the 2020 fiscal year Indiana National Guard Adjutant General Marksmanship Competition, conducted by the 138th Regional Training Institute, at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center Oct. 18-20.

The three-day competition gives both units and individual soldiers an opportunity to improve their marksmanship skills and the chance to advance to the national-level competitions. This intense event hosts a series of matches in multiples disciplines to include rifle, pistol, and sniper teams.

“This is an overall competition that Indiana soldiers are invited to,” 1st Sgt. Cody Wooten, the 138th RTI first sergeant said. “It is out there for anyone who is interested in wanting to come shoot [in the guard]. There are several courses that competitors go through involving the pistol and rifle that are not your run of the mill standard qualification shooting. They have a chance to do something different than most of them are used to.”

This competition offers service members from the Indiana National Guard the opportunity to test marksmanship skills and weapon systems in a battle focused environment while competing for the Indiana “Governors 20” tab.

“I am here to get the Governors 20 tab,” Sgt. Joseph Hartry, a medic from the 2-151 Infantry Brigade. “I want to prove that anyone other than a sniper or infantrymen can get it. Going back to an infantry unit with that grants you a large amount of credibility and more respect in a platoon.” 

Shooters were rotated with their groups through different ranges competing individually and as a team to score the maximum amount of points in order to be awarded the tab.

Hartry added. “It was fun! Best drill I have probably had in years. Coming out here and shooting, it is the best kind of training we can get. It is more realistic than just shooting at pop-up targets for qualification.  In this we were moving and running, while having the reflexive element to it.

The top 20 shooters of all competitors received the Governors 20 Tab as a badge of honor for showing their expertise in marksmanship. This was broken down to the top nine shooters from the pistol and rifle events and the top sniper team. Plaques and tabs were awarded by Brig. Gen. R. Dale Lyles, the adjutant general of the Indiana National Guard.

“There is a big debate in the Army right now – maneuver or gunnery,” Lyles said to the competitors. “Some are saying we are spending too much time on gunnery, the precision of fire, too much time on engaging targets and hitting targets, and that we should move away from that to focus on maneuverability, the speed and violence of moving formations on the battlefield. I disagree, I believe we have to focus on gunnery and that is what happened this weekend.”