The following was written by Michael Molinaro, public affairs officer for the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit:
Sgt. Augustus Dunfey, U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU), outscored 1,100 other competitive service rifle shooters to claim the President’s Rifle Trophy at the National Trophy Matches July 22.
Dunfey’s win, along with USAMU pistol shooter Sgt. 1st Class James Henderson’s win in the President’s Pistol Trophy Match two weeks prior, handed the Army a clean sweep of one of the sport’s most celebrated matches for the first time since 2006.
“It’s incredible,” Dunfey said. “I still don’t believe that I won. It’s one of the most prestigious matches at the national championships.”
According to the Civilian Marksmanship Program, the President’s Rifle Match was first fired in 1878 and incorporated into the National Match program in 1903. The President’s Match became uniquely prestigious because it was modeled after the famous British Queen’s Prize Match and because the winner formerly receives a letter of congratulations from the President of the United States.
In 1957, the match was renamed “The President’s Hundred.” The top-scoring 100 competitors in the President’s Match were singled out for special recognition in a retreat ceremony in which they passed in review before the winner and former winners of this historic match. In 1981 the national championships incorporated the Presidents Pistol Match into the program.
A President’s Hundred Tab is awarded to Soldiers who qualify among the top 100 scoring competitors in the President’s Match, making it one of only four tabs authorized for permanent wear as described in Army Regulation 670-1 with Sapper, Special Forces and Ranger tabs. Service members get only one chance each year at the national matches to earn their tab.
“Earning the tab is definitely one of the biggest accomplishments we can have as Soldiers,” said Pvt. Todd Mazur, USAMU.
Mazur was one of four Army shooters to earn a tab in the rifle match, along with Staff Sgt. Andrew McElroy, Staff Sgt. Franky Galloway, and Spc. Joseph Hall. Two Army pistol shooters, Sgt. Eric Trueblood and Spc. Karen Newby, also earned their tabs.
“The rarity of the tab allows Soldiers who wear it to educate those who ask about it on marksmanship, their level of expertise, and about the USAMU,” Mazur said.
The win for Henderson was his seventh overall, earning letters from three presidents along the way. This was Dunfey’s first win after 16 tries, and he said the dedication and hard work on the range leading up to the championships paved the way for his monumental victory.
“It’s an honor to have my name engraved onto this trophy,” Dunfey said. “I’ll remember this day for a long, long time.”