Recruiters set to represent Florida at regional, national rifle competitions
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (March 20, 2012) – A team of four Soldiers from the Florida National Guard’s Recruiting and Retention Battalion are setting their sights on regional and national rifle competitions after beating out four other rifle teams from around the state in The Adjutant General’s rifle and pistol match, held last August.
Sgt. 1st Class Michael Riban, Operations Non-Commissioned Officer for Company A, Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Tambling, a Recruiter from Coral Springs, Sgt. 1st Class Jason Keen, a Recruiter from Sarasota and Sgt. 1st Class Steven Munch, Operations NCO for Company B will attend the Marksmanship Area Command III Area Combat Regional Marksmanship competition at Camp Buckner, N.C., March 23-25 and the Winston P. Wilson Championship Matches at Camp Robinson, Ark., April 23-27.
The accomplishment is especially significant for the Recruiting team, which came together at the last minute with little time to practice to beat teams from the 3rd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group, 44th Civil Support Team, 290th Joint Communications Support Squadron and Company A, 146th Expeditionary Signal Battalion. The Battalion doesn’t even have organic weapons to use to train.
“We were just going in there to have fun,” said Tambling, who was also the top shooter in the competition. “We didn’t really expect to win anything.”
The team has come together through the past few months and the training and competition has created a lasting bond between the four Soldiers.
“Everybody in the recruiting battalion is so spread out, any time we have the chance to come together as a team is a great opportunity,” said Munch. “Being brought together at the last minute without any practice and [being able to] accomplish something like this, it’s pretty awesome.”
The competitions are combat-oriented and will test not only their marksmanship abilities, but will also challenge them physically as they engage targets in full gear.
The recruiters – three of them infantrymen, one a combat medic – appreciate the opportunity to return to the basic Soldier skills of marksmanship, and also to represent the Florida National Guard, especially as ambassadors to the recruits they come into contact with every day.
“It’s just one more thing that you can do in the National Guard,” said Tambling. “I always tell my recruits that once you get your foot in the door, once you come into the National Guard, all kinds of doors to opportunity open up and you can go and do all kinds of things – you can volunteer for deployments, competitions, schools, whatever – the sky’s the limit.”