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INFANTRY WEEK: Snipers shoot to win Sniper Showdown at Fort Moore

FORT MOORE, Ga. (WRBL) — While snipers trained their eyes on their targets, the crowd trained their eyes on them. The final day of the 23rd annual International Sniper Competition, part of Infantry Week at Fort Moore, was a Sniper Showdown.

Top sniper teams from across the U.S. Army and allied nations competed against each other in a March Madness-style bracket as they shot at targets in the training area in front of them. The best shots and fastest times would determine the winners.

“We build our skillsets and we learn about different techniques from each other and collectively get better,” said Col. Ryan Kranc of the 316th Cavalry Brigade based at Fort Moore.

He was referring to the importance of the international aspect of the yearly competition.

Kranc continued, “It’s the relationship building because … invariably we’ll meet other countries in different places around the world and those relationships are what make our bonds.”

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Thirty-four teams, including those from Germany, the Netherlands and other foreign allies took part in the competition, which took most of the morning of April 10 to complete. Ultimately, the U.S. took home the win.

Team members Sgt. Max Miller of the Colorado National Guard and his partner Staff Sgt. Jonathon Hjelle from Fort Moore’s Warrior Training Center were the winning duo. They were led by coach Staff Sgt. Benjamin Cotton of the Arkansas National Guard, a past sniper competition winner.

For Miller, a sniper since 2019, the win comes after four attempts as a contender in the competition.

“My partner shot lights out and we were able to work our way up to the top bracket and then win it there at the end, so it feels great,” Miller said. “It’s been a wonderful competition.”

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The Sniper Showdown champion celebrated his win with his teammates, family and other who came to watch his performance. But with medals ceremonies set for tomorrow and the overall International Sniper Competition winner yet to be announced, Miller only had one thing on his mind.

“Now, I’m gonna go take a nap,” Miller said with a sigh of relief, finally done with four days of intense effort.

The overall competition winner will be decided based on performance from across the past days, including a two-gun pistol competition and multi-target engagements.

Infantry Week at Fort Moore will continue through April 15, ending with the awards ceremony for the Best Ranger Competition Monday morning. Also part of Infantry Week are the Best Mortar Competition and the Lacerda Cup.

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