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Johnson's JROTC Cadet Major earns national title

Cadet Major Duncan Pawloski, a student at Claudia Taylor “Lady Bird” Johnson High School is the United States Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) Best Air Rifle Marksman for 2013.

Duncan, along with his Precision Air Rifle team, recently competed at the 2013 Army JROTC Air Rifle Championships in Layton, UT, from Feb. 16-19. In this national Army JROTC shoulder-to-shoulder championship, Duncan scored 1,266.8 points out of a possible 1,309 points over the two-day competition that included a final for the top eight marksmen. All marksmen fired two 3x20 matches while Duncan in the number 1 position along with the other top seven marksmen competed in a ten shot timed (45 seconds) standing position final, all on an on an automated targeting system, hitting 130 “record” targets at a distance of ten meters.

Duncan will compete as an individual-at-large marksman in the 2013 All Services JROTC Air Rifle National Championships in Anniston, AL Mar. 20-24. Going into the All Services National Championships, Duncan holds the distinction of being the fifth best air rifle marksman out of the 839 finalists across all JROTC Services.

“I qualified for the All Services Nationals with the support and continuous motivation from my team members and coach,” said Pawloski. “I could not have done it without them.”

The Johnson Precision Air Rifle Team placed third in the Western Region Championships held in Utah and finished overall in sixth place in the Army JROTC Championships—missing the opportunity to compete as a team at the All Services JROTC Air Rifle National Championships by 23 points out of a possible 4,800 team points. The Johnson Precision Air Rifle Team with their individual Army JROTC national ranking in parenthesis includes Cadet Major Duncan Pawloski , Team Captain (#1); Cadet Captain Mirella Torres (#34); Cadet Sergeant First Class William Coulter-Porth (#58); Cadet Private First Class Nathan Reyes (#72); and Cadet Sergeant First Class Max Pawloski (#74).

The Johnson Precision Air Rifle Team qualified for the JROTC Army Championships based on scores fired in the Army JROTC Air Rifle Postal Competition in December. The Johnson team, representing the fifth ROTC Brigade, United States Army Cadet Command, qualified with a team score of 1,121 out of a possible 1,200 points. This qualification provided the Johnson cadets the opportunity to compete for the second consecutive year at the Army JROTC Air Rifle National Championships against the Nation’s best 101 Army JROTC precision marksmen.

Additionally, the Johnson High School Precision Air Rifle Marksmanship Team qualified this month to compete in the 2013 Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Regional Air Rifle Championships, Apr. 10-14 in Albuquerque, NM. The Johnson team qualified in this separate national postal competition by placing eighth in the nation out of 187 junior three-position air rifle teams from across the United States. This competition involved all junior air rifle marksmen in such programs as 4-H Clubs, the American Legion, the Boys Scouts of America, the Jaycees, US Shooting clubs, local marksmanship clubs, and of course Army, Marine, Navy, and Air Force JROTC commands.

“One of our major team goals this year was to return to the Army JROTC Air Rifle Nationals and perform better than last year.” said Pawloski. “Not only did we finish better than last year, and did it with three new precision marksmen, we are looking forward to a second national competition in Albuquerque, New Mexico in April.”

The three-position air rifle marksmanship is one of the most popular and fastest growing forms of shooting sports for our youth. It originated from the Olympics and the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF). There are two equipment classes of marksmanship in this sport. The Precision Air Rifle class is modeled after the Olympic-style shooting and allows the use of specialized target rifles, clothing, and other specialized equipment. The second class of marksmanship is the Sporter Class and is designed for new competitors or those who desire to compete with a minimum of equipment and expense. In both classes, marksmen fire at targets at a distance of ten meters or almost 33 feet in three positions: prone, standing, and kneeling.

“Air rifle marksmanship is a very safe sport that is extremely effective in teaching our cadets life skills that enhance their performances in schoolwork as well as in the home and job-related activities,” said LTC (retired) Alan W. Maitland, Senior Army Instructor and Team Coach. “I have seen my air rifle team cadets develop in a number of areas to include better concentration, self control, self discipline, and increased responsibility.”

Posted on Mar. 7, 2013