MARINE CORPS AIR STATION NEW RIVER, N.C. -- For some Marines, marksmanship training is nothing more than an annual requirement, but for others, it is much more.
Awarded a bronze Marine Corps pistol badge for his efforts July 9-14 at the 2002 nationals, Maj. David V. Stockman, a reservist from Naval Air Station Willow Grove, Penn., and activated to join the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, has been shooting competitively since high school.
Stockman, a Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 263, CH-53E Super Stallion pilot, said the ultimate goal of all Marine Corps marksmanship is increasing the combat effectiveness of each individual Marine.
"The skills developed under competitive conditions have been an important element, because riflemen who have fired at the national matches, can return to help less skilled Marines," said Stockman, native of Buffalo, N.Y.
In the Marine Corps, Stockman was introduced to and competed with the 2nd Marine Division Shooting Team. Soon afterwards, he transferred to Naval Air Station Pensacola where he purchased the pistols and equipment needed to compete at local and regional matches.
In his service pistol matches, Stockman uses a M1911 A1 match pistol.
He continued Marine Corps competitive marksmanship at the Eastern Division matches and in 2001 joined the Marine Corps Reserve Shooting Team.
Stockman's awards include: silver Marine Corps pistol badge, gold Marine Corps shooting badge and three bronze Marine Corps shooting badges to include an additional from this year's nationals.
U.S. national matches consist of: revolver match, 3-gun preliminary match, 3-gun 2700-point match and a service pistol match.
Just like anyone else with this caliber of talent, Stockman has goals for his marksmanship abilities.
"My dream is to one day compete at the Olympics in the men's free pistol event," explained Stockman.
All Marines are eligible to compete at the Marine Corps Division matches. Once there, instruction, equipment and ammunition is provided.
Any units interested can receive support from Quantico in the form of Match guns, ammunition and equipment.
This program is called competition-in-arms and is described in Marine Corps Order 3591.2J. All shooting badges (individual and team) can be found and described in the Marine Corps Uniform Regulation Manual.