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Air Guardsman earns double distinction in marksmanship

The Missouri National Guard's team "Regular Forces" took second place in overall team competition and scored high individually at the All Army Small Arms Championships at Fort Benning, Ga., in early March. Missouri Guard team members are (from left) Staff Sgt. Jody Salcido, Sgt. 1st Class James Phelps, Sgt. James Whitener and Master Sgt. Benjamin Israel. (Ann Keyes/Missouri National Guard)

The Missouri National Guard's team "Regular Forces" took second place in overall team competition and scored high individually at the All Army Small Arms Championships at Fort Benning, Ga., in early March. Missouri Guard team members are (from left) Staff Sgt. Jody Salcido, Sgt. 1st Class James Phelps, Sgt. James Whitener and Master Sgt. Benjamin Israel. (Ann Keyes/Missouri National Guard)

Master Sgt. Benjamin Israel (left) and Staff Sgt. Jody Salcido, shoot in a pistol match at Fort Benning, Ga., during the 2012 U.S. Army Small Arms Championships held March 1-10. The Missouri National Guard's four-man team took second place at the preeminent marksmanship training and competition. (Ann Keyes/Missouri National Guard)

Master Sgt. Benjamin Israel (left) and Staff Sgt. Jody Salcido, shoot in a pistol match at Fort Benning, Ga., during the 2012 U.S. Army Small Arms Championships held March 1-10. The Missouri National Guard's four-man team took second place at the preeminent marksmanship training and competition. (Ann Keyes/Missouri National Guard)

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- Master Sgt. Ben Israel, 139th Security Forces Squadron, earned the Distinguished Rifle Badge at the Mac V Regional Marksmanship Training Competition held at Camp Robinson, Little Rock, Ark., June 28 - July 2.

"The competitions are like a basic training obstacle course, but you shoot through barricades, low crawl through barbed wire, and everything is timed," said Israel.

The Mac V competition is intended to develop combat firing skills at the entry to intermediate levels to raise the standard of marksmanship.

Israel was the first Air National Guard member to earn distinction in both the pistol and rifle competition.

Israel was invited to participate in the All Army competition next Spring at Fort Benning, Ga. Although he started three years ago, he wishes he would have joined sooner.

"First-time shooters are sometimes better shooters because they don't have bad habits," said Israel. "We want new shooters to get involved."