MCJROTC Scores high in air rifle competition


Henry Herreman

A target in the shooting range. “MCJROTC” can be seen spray painted onto the side of the target.

The air rifle team of the Marine Corps JROTC is on a winning streak with three victories in a row in National Air Rifle competitions. The team of six is led by Lily Corby (10) who shot a 249.3. The remaining contributing members were Griffin Ramos, Katrina Lewis, and Tessa Howell. The team is coached by gunnery sergeant Jason Morrison. Recently, the team defeated Eastern Ajrotc in a competition where they scored 943.5 points, which is their highest score this season. The next week they beat Royal MCJROTC 939.4 to 930.2, which puts them in seventh place nationally. (from the last press release)

These competitions, however, do not take place in a fancy arena. Instead they compete by shooting targets within their own classroom, which includes a dedicated shooting range. These targets, once shot, are then submitted online to be scored and compared to the opposing team’s targets.

“It is better to have it in your own comfortable spot, kinda like taking a test at home” Corby. She said that it is less nerve racking to compete online compared to competing in person.

These competitions are modelled after Olympic rifle competitions but are adapted for high schoolers. Each competitor shoots 10 shots in 3 different positions: prone, standing and kneeling. In the prone position, the competitor lays on their stomach. In the kneeling position, the competitor kneels by having one knee rest on the ground while the other knee supports the elbow of the arm that is not touching the trigger. In the standing position, the competitor stands and holds the gun with both hands, similar to the kneeling position.

In the shooting range, targets are put in groups of three, one on top of the other. Each target is meant to be hit in a specific shooting position. Every shot is worth a maximum of 10.9 points, and the sum of points scored in the 30 shots is the athlete’s total. The team score is composed of the best four athletes from each team.

The team coach, Morrison, has been an avid marksman his whole life. Morrison says that “it brings their skills that they have been practicing and learning. You know, some cadets have been here for four years practicing and now they actually get to utilize them and it shows the rewards of good solid practice”.

Students can join the team by letting Morrison know that they would like to join. Corby said that she joined the team because she thought it looked interesting and decided to join and enjoyed it.

“When you’re doing marksmanship, your accuracy really has to be on point, but getting to that point where you have the accuracy each time and. Following the steps of the procedure that you take does feel really good once you get it down,” said Corby.