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2014 All Army

​The top six Cadets earned recognition from the AMU commander for their excellence in marksmanship. The final overall Cadet standings for the 2014 All Army Competition was CDT Larsen from Michigan State earning 1st place, CDT Fiser (USMA) 2nd Place, CDT Marietta (USMA) 3rd Place, CDT Freeman (USMA) 4th Place, CDT Reeves (USMA) 5th Place and CDT Sayles (USMA) 6th Place.  Each of the team members earned additional recognition in the Cadet class for their performance in the various matches.

CDT Sayles (6th Overall) – Bronze in Match 221 (Pistol EIC)
CDT Reeves (5th Overall) – Gold in Match 7 (Rifle), Silver in Match 321 (Rifle EIC)
CDT Freeman (4th Overall) – Silver in Match 50 (Combined), Bronze in Match 3 (Pistol)
CDT Marietta (3rd Overall) – Gold in Match 3 (Pistol), Silver in Match 221 (Pistol EIC), Bronze in Match 50 (Combined)
CDT Fiser (2nd Overall) – Gold in Match 50 (Combined)

2014 SPP Collegiate Nationals

The Combat Weapons Team along with the Pistol Team traveled to Ft. Benning Georgia to compete in the 2014 Scholastic Pistol Program Collegiate Nationals. This was an exciting match with over a dozen universities from across the country bringing over 100 shooters to the match. The match took place on 15 March and was hosted by the Army Marksmanship Unit on Krilling Range. Unfortunately, at the end of the day the Cadets from Texas A&M won the center fire division and set a new collegiate record with their time. Cadets from the Combat Weapons Team finished behind their peers from the West Point Pistol Team who earned 3rd place overall. This was the first year that both teams sent Cadets to compete in the Collegiate Nationals and it was a great learning experience for all those that attended. All four members of the steel team will be returning next year to compete and give Texas A&M a run for their money!


The Combat Weapons Team earned the title of the 2014 Champion with their win at the annual Joint Service Academy Combat Weapons Competition.  The team comprised of Cadets from the United States Military Academy had 5 shooters in the top 10, to include the overall top shot in this year’s competition. CDT Andrew Zecha, class of 2014 earned the top shot award and helped secure the win for Army this year over teams from Texas A&M Corps of Cadets, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, the Virginia Military Institute and the Midshipmen of the U.S. Naval Academy. For CDT Andrew Zecha, CDT Jim Fiser, CDT Danny Freeman and CDT Austin Marietta this was their final match of the year before graduation reporting to the Infantry School at Ft. Benning to being their training as Infantry Officers. When CDT Zecha was asked about the importance of this match and what he learned while being a member of the Combat Weapons Team for four years he responded, “This match is the culmination of all our time spent training on the Combat Weapons Team. The other matches that I have competed in leading up to JSACWC were in preparation to perform as well as possible when going against our sister academies. To me the Combat Weapons Team is more than just shooting. CWT develops leaders through both marksmanship and increased responsibility. Everyone on the team has a role they serve in from new member to Cadet in Charge. The team also builds humility alongside a constant determination that drives each member to continually work to improve not only themselves, but the team."  

Hosting more than 50 shooters, from five different Service Academies or senior ROTC programs, the 2014 Joint Service Academy Combat Weapons Competition held April 5, at the Smith and Wesson Shooting Center, in Springfield, MA. This is the 15th year of the match and the first time VMI sent a team to compete. The team came hungry for  a win this year, as they lost to Navy by 4 seconds last year.  The team trained since late August focusing on the fundamentals in order to minimize mistakes during the stages. Going into the match this year all the Cadets had at least shot three to four local matches and also shot All Army at Ft. Benning in the fall. After 7 distinct stages that included low light shooting, pistol, rifle and shotgun targets the team attended a banquet where the team and individual awards were announced.  The Midshipmen from Annapolis finished with a combined team score of 1764 seconds and the Cadets from Army finished with a team score of 1702.  The hard work of all the Cadets paid off and they were able to beat Navy by over 60 seconds. The Cadets from Texas A&M finished 3rd, Coast Guard finished in 4th place and VMI finished in 5th place. 

2014 Andy Houghton 2 Gun Memorial Match

​The Combat Weapons Team hosted its annual Andy Houghton Two Gun Memorial Match on 3 May 2014. This year the team hosted a pistol and shotgun match that pushed competitors on being proficient in reloads and solving tactical complex problems. The match consisted of seven stages spread out over the West Point range complex.  The stages were designed and inspired by both competition shooting standards and challenges found on the modern battlefield.  Stage 7 was called, “IED”, in reference to the improvised explosive devices encountered by Soldiers in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The stage forced a shooter to mechanically breach a door and enter a house while avoiding  setting off an IED, that would have resulted in a significant time penalty.  Some of the other stages were called Defend the Headquarters, Primary Down, Resupply, CWT Qualification, Hostage Rescue and Stop Resisting. Overall the match was a huge success due to the hard work of the Cadets who designed, validated and scored the entire match. The match is held every year in honor of CPT Andy Houghton, the only member of the team who died of wounds sustained in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Cadets on the team were honored to host  Mr. George Houghton for the weekend and learn more about CPT Houghton and his time on the team.

Congratulations to Open Division Champion Howard Yee and Production Division Champion Bruce Piatt.  Bruce was also the Law Enforcement/Military Division Champion. Special recognition goes to Ervin Gomez, the match Goat!

Special thanks to the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association for being the title sponsor of this years match.

2013 Joint Service Academy Combat Weapons Competition (JSACWC)

​The West Point Combat Weapons Team traveled to Springfield, MA, March 23 where they competed in the 14th Joint Service Academy Combat Weapons Competition. New to the competition this year was a team of Cadets fromTexas A&M's Corps of Cadets. The competition was hosted by Smith and Wesson Corporation at their indoor range facility, which consisted of 10 indoor ranges. Each range or "stage" consisted of various targets arrayed in such a manner that pushed the Cadets outside of their comfort zones from what a traditional military range would be. Each stage started when the shooter indicated he was ready and a timer would go off. Cadets then engaged targets as quickly and accurately as possible ensuring they hit the correct targets and avoided no shoot targets. Throughout the day Cadets were forced to use their tactical shotguns, M4 rifles and M9 service pistols in stages ranging from low light scenarios to 100 yard targets. This year the first and second place team were separated by 4 seconds with the win going to the Navy Midshipmen. The final combined team scores were 1820 seconds to Navy, 1824 seconds to Army, 1972 seconds to Coast Guard and 2007 seconds to Texas A&M. Air Force Academy did not attend this year, but will be back next year to compete. Of the 45 shooters at the competition the team had four shooters in the top ten and the remaining nine shooters finished in the top 23 of the competition. CDT Jim Fiser had the overall 2nd best score of the competition with 338 seconds. CDTs Austin Marietta, CDT Danny Freeman and CDT Andrew Zecha also received honorable mention by finishing in the top ten.

First Match of the academic year 18 August 2013

The Combat Weapons Team competed in their first US Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) Match on 18 August. This match was held at the Dutchess County Pistol Assc Range Complex. The match consisted of seven stages involving multiple target engagements, speed reloads and utilization of cover. The match consisted of five different categories of shooters and included over 30 participants. The five first class cadets on the team participated in the production pistol class during the match which consisted of 12 shooters.  Three of our cadets placed in the top five shooters in the production class. CDT Jim Fiser (E4) finished 2d w/454.49 points, CDT Andrew Zecha (E4) finished 3rd w/440.77 points and CDT Danny Freeman (I3) placed 5th with a final score of 419.71. The best shooter was a ranked civilian shooter with a final score of 462.55 points. Overall a great start to the year. The first class cadets will be able to see where their pitfalls were and adjust the training schedule for the rest of the team to ensure that we learn from our mistakes and become more proficient shooters and trainers.

Final placement of shooters in the production class:

1. Civilian Shooter  462.55 pts
2. Cadet Jim Fiser 454.49 pts
3. Cadet Andrew Zecha 440.77 pts
4. Civilian Shooter 439.56 pts
5. Cadet Danny Freeman 419.71 pts
6. Civilian Shooter 365.18pts
7. Cadet Christian Reeves 349.74 pts
8. Civilian Shooter 313.40 pts
9. Civilian Shooter 307.05 pts
10. Cadet Austin Marietta 295.34 pts
11. Civilian Shooter 282.40 pts
12. Civilian Shooter 116.10 pts

Steel Challenge Match 24 August

​The Combat Weapons Team competed in their first Steel Challenge Association match on 24 August. This match was held at the Dutchess County Pistol Association Range Complex in Wappinger Falls, NY. The match consisted of four steel challenge stages involving multiple steel target arrays and distances. Some of the most challenging stages had Cadets engaging 10 inch steel plates at 18 yards with a pistol, all while under the clock. The match presented Cadets with decisions on which way would be the fast way to engage the targets without missing.  The lessons learned at this match will help drive the training of new members of the team after they are selected in the coming weeks.

2013 Long Island Pistol Championship

​Ten members of the Combat Weapons Team competed in the Long Island Pistol Championship on 15 September 2013. Members of the team did very well and all placed in the top 26 of 47 shooters competing in their division.  The production division consisted of 47 shooters that were both ranked and unranked as per  USPSA rules and rankings. CDT  Andrew Zecha finished 5th, CDT Christian Reeves ranked 7th, and CDT Jim Fiser finished 10th.  The difference between CDT Zecha and the 2nd place shooter was less than 40 points! The remaining members of the team finished between 11th and 26th  in the rankings.  The match consisted of eight stages that forced Cadets to come up with the fastest way to shoot the stage. Some of the stages had over 15 different targets to engage at varying distances. The match very much tested their problem solving, handling of stress, and basic pistol skills all while on the clock. The lessons learned from previous local matches were all incorporated into this match and the rankings were a direct reflection of their hard work during practices leading up to this large match.    

Overall rankings
5th   : CDT Zecha
7th   : CDT Reeves
10th : CDT Fiser
11th : CDT Marietta
13th : CDT Hester 
14th : CDT Ford
15th : CDT Sayles
18th : CDT Willenbrock
19th : CDT Freeman
26th : CDT Auten

President of Slovakia Visits T-Range

​In a joint venture with the USMA Rifle Team, members of the Combat Weapons Team hosted President Ivan Gasparovic of Slovakia. President Gasparovic and his official delegation spent time learning about the basic weapons issued to the Soldiers in the U.S. Army and the weapons used by the Combat Weapons Team during competitions.

CWT Hosts the Pittsburgh Penguins

Members of the Combat Weapons Team participated in the Pittsburgh Penguins team visit to West Point on the weekend of September 29th. Members of CWT gave hands on training in the Engagement Skills Trainer (EST) and weapons familiarization to the Penguins players and staff. After the training the team was able to enjoy handling many of the weapons and kit that the CWT uses in their training. In order to relate the lives of future Army officers to that of professional Hockey the Combat Weapons Team explained the basic composition of an infantry squad and responsibilities of each individual, similar to that of a professional cohesive team like the Penguins. CWT members related the importance of team work and individual responsibility when it comes to completing a mission.

USMA Steel Team

​The USMA Steel Team comprised of members of the Combat Weapons Team (Black Squad) and the Pistol Team (Gold Squad) competed in the Scholastic Pistol Program (SPP) Northeast Regional match. Both the Black and Gold Squads did very well with the Black Squad coming in 2nd place for the Collegiate Center fire division and the Gold Squad came in 1st place for the Collegiate Rim fire division. The SPP is part of the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation. The Collegiate Pistol teams compete in Regional Matches around the country culminating in the Collegiate Nationals at Fort Benning in the Spring. We hope to retake the title of National Champions in the spring.

CWT hosts Israeli Defense Force

​Three members of the Israeli Defense Force came down to Tronsrue Range during their visit to West Point to learn about the M9, M4 rifle and M4 Shotgun. Members of the Combat Weapons Team taught and supervised the firing of those three weapons during their interaction with the IDF representatives. It was a great opportunity for the instructors to hone their teaching ability, the shooters to learn new skills and for U.S. and IDF to interact over practical training. Everyone involved enjoyed the experience and the interaction between friendly visitors and hosts.

Student Conference on U.S. Affairs (SCUSA)

​On 31 NOV, 2013, the combat weapons team held a weapons display for the Student Conference on U.S. Affairs (SCUSA). Throughout the afternoon, members of the combat weapons team presented the students with a 50 caliber machine gun, the m9 pistol, the m4 rifle, the m203 40mm grenade launcher, the m240 machine gun, the m249 squad automatic weapon, and the AT4. This was the first time many of the SCUSA students had ever been able to handle these, or any weapons. This display gave the delegates a small insight into our profession, and they were excited for the opportunity provided by the combat weapons team.

Topton Pistol Match

Members of the Black Squad (CWT Members - Centerfire) had a decent showing at the final match of the fall semester, but will continue to step it up before the spring season kicks off. In the production division members of the team finished in 8th, 14th and 15th overall in a field of 15 shooters that included sponsored shooters. Members of the Gold Squad (Pistol Team Members - Rimfire) finished in 7th and 11th place out of 16 shooters in their division. All around it was a good experience for the Steel Team as they close out the fall shooting circuit. The match was also the first match for one of our new CWT members who is showing great promise in competitive shooting.

This year's Annual 2-Gun Challenge came bigger and badder than ever with 160 registered shooters taking on eight challenging stages. This year's match was highlighted by spectacular performances on the range as well as the dedication shown by shooters who took on the physical challenges like champs. The match utilizes all available CWT resources to ensure a fantastic experience for the shooters. From Humvee rides to 400 yard targets and machine guns; even the cadets had a blast just running the match. Those who chose to stay into the twilight hours had the fortune to participate in a Night Vision shoot using US Army issue NVGs. The team is grateful to all who came out in support of the match.

Congratulations to Tactical Division Champion Mike Mazzotta, and Limited Division Champion Beep Kielkowicz. Special recognition goes to Mito Carmelo Morales, the match Goat!
In honoring the heroes of 9/11, and celebrating the accomplishments of Class of 2011's CWT members, Old Guys embarked on a 50 mile ruck march to ground zero. The team members found time to bond along the way and honored their buddies, currently in Ranger school, who completed the event last year. The team pushed themselves through pain to complete the grueling event in just 19 hours.

Once arriving in New York City, the team guys visited the newly opened 9/11 Memorial. The new memorial is a humbling and moving tribute to all those who perished in the attacks.
CWT conducted its annual Law Enforcement Shoot on the 8th of October. The event began with a focus on pistol shooting fundamentals. The morning agenda then shifted to accuracy. The shooters were coached to slow down and focus on each individual shot. This progressed to perfecting draws from the holster. The afternoon training incorporated movement and tactical scenarios, which trained to improve reaction times while on patrol. The final phase of instruction covered shooting in low light situations. The low light training was praised the most from the participants because the highest number of crime incidents happen late at night during routine stops and disturbance calls.

At the end of the day the officers were glad to receive comprehensive and relevant training. One officer commented, "Our departments do not have the facilities to accommodate such training, and this is the kind of training that saves lives."
September 18th the CWT traveled out to Long Island to compete in a pistol IDPA competition. Ten team members and four coaches competed. The event consisted of nine stages of mixed steel and paper targets. At the end of the day Coach Joe Seuk walked away in first place for the production class. Coach Gary Salman placed sixth, and team members TJ Snukis and Bill Owens came in ninth and sixteenth respectively. LIPSA turned out to be a great experience for all competitors, and a welcome refresher on pistol skills as we roll into the new school year.
The CWT won the 2010 Joint Service Academy Combat Weapons Competition (JSACWC) Saturday April 10. This competition is the culminating event of the year for CWT. It offered the team a perfect venue to test the skills they have been working to master throughout the year. There was stiff competition from Navy and Coast Guard, but in the end West Point prevailed. The match consisted of eight stages of mixed pistol, rifle, and shotgun shooting. The stages were built by representatives from Smith and Wesson, and most were very challenging. The CWT placed seven shooters in the top ten, and Cow Andrew Beck finished first overall.
Six members of the CWT traveled down to Ft. Benning on February 20th to compete in the Army Marksmanship Units annual Small Arms Championships. The competition included active duty, reserve, and cadet units. The Combat Weapons Team placed first in the pistol competition and third overall.