This article is organised as follows:
- Part 01: Background to Operational Shooting Competitions.
- Part 02: Outline of Operational Shooting Competitions.
- Part 03: Medals and Trophies.
- Part 04: Training and Shooting Facilities.
- Part 05: National/International Competitions and Meetings.
- Part 06: Miscellaneous.
PART ONE: BACKGROUND
“Marksmanship is one of the fundamental skills of soldiering and this competition has been about driving up shooting standards, combined with the operationally relevant skills of fitness and communication.” (Essex & Suffolk Military Herald, 2017, p.6).
This article provides an overview of the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) Defence Operational Shooting Competitions.
There are several core skills that all military personnel must acquire and develop, one of which is shooting – which is especially important for fighting troops such as Infantry personnel.
The aim of this article is to provide a broad overview of the UK’s Defence Operational Shooting Competitions.
1.2 Brief History
“The Army Rifles Association was formed in the late 1800’s to improve the marksmanship skills of the British Army.” (ARA, 2016).
The NRA was founded in 1859 to promote and encourage Marksmanship throughout the Queen’s Dominions, in the interest of defence and permanence of the volunteer and auxiliary Forces, naval, military and air (NRA, 2018).
The NRA organised the first set of shooting competitions on Wimbledon Common in July 1860, with Queen Victoria firing the first shot, on 02 July 1860, and giving (the then not inconsiderable sum) of £250 as a prize for the best individual marksman.
The Queen’s Medal for Champion Shots in the Military Forces is instituted by Royal Warrant on 30 April 1869 by Queen Victoria, being awarded annually from 1870 to 1882 along with a £20 Prize for Skill at Arms. The medal was awarded to the best shot of the Infantry of the British Army, including the Royal Engineers and the Colonial Corps. The medal, initially struck in bronze and from 1872 in silver, was inscribed with the year in which it was won and the winner’s name, number and regiment. It became the winner’s property and could be worn by him during the whole of his service.
With only thirteen medals won, award of the medal and the £20 prize ceased after 1882 with a £5 prize and a crowned badge of crossed carbines or rifles, worked in gold and worn upon the left arm, replacing it on 10 June 1884.
In 1874, shooting competitions were introduced to the British Army with ‘non-central’ matches on unit ranges, with the ‘Army VIII’ Club being formed in the same year. The purpose of the Army VIII was to select a team for Inter-Service matches organised by the NRA.
The ‘Imperial Meeting’, as the civilian shooting competition is known, was then held annually in July, except for the two world wars, and became internationally famous. The ranges remained at Wimbledon Common until 1889, moving to Bisley from 1890 (NRA, 2018). Bisley has since hosted world championships, commonwealth games and Olympic shooting events. The NRA was also incorporated by Royal Charter in 1890 (NRA, 2018).
“The National Rifle Association (NRA) is the National Governing Body (NGB) for full-bore target rifle shooting, centre-fire target pistol shooting, and target shooting with shotguns in the United Kingdom and provides support and advice to many other shooting associations within the Commonwealth.” (NRA, 2018).
In 1893, the Army Rifle Association (ARA) was formed, becoming the governing body of Service shooting, by amalgamating the inter-Regimental rifle matches with the Army VIII Club, both introduced in 1874. The object was to promote interest in small arms shooting for service purposes by means of individual and collective competitions, matches being framed to induce practice in methods which led to increased efficiency on the battlefield. This remained in the charter until 2005 when the ARA adopted a new constitution. The ARA is the umbrella organisation for Army shooting, with a number of Arm and Service specific organisations such as the Royal Signals Shooting Association (British Army, 2010) and the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) Rifle Association.
The Methuen Cup is the oldest team shooting competition in the world, first fired in 1894 between HMS Excellent, The Royal Marine Artillery and the School of Musketry.
In 1901, the NRA gave its support to the formation of Civilian Rifle Clubs following the serious reverses to the British Army during the 2nd Boer War (1899-1901) (NRA, 2018).
In 1903, the Medal for Good Shooting (Naval) was instituted for the Naval Service (Royal Navy and Royal Marines).
In 1908, the first Figure targets were introduced to ARA matches.
In 1923, the Queen’s Medal for Champion Shots in the Military Forces was re-introduced by King George V and renamed the King’s Medal for Champion Shots in the Military Forces. The medal could now be awarded to the champions of Army marksmanship competitions held under battle conditions at annual central meetings in the UK, the British Dominions, Colonies, and India. Although Air Force and Naval personnel could compete, and win the championship, they could not win the medal. Early participating countries were Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa, and Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). The number of countries awarding the medal reached twelve by the mid-1900s – there are currently three countries awarding the medal: UK, Jamaica, and New Zealand. A date clasp was also introduced in 1923, for award with the medal to first recipients as well as, without a medal, to champions who had already been awarded the medal. The clasp is inscribed with the year of the award and is designed to be attached to the medal’s suspension bar. The institution of the clasp was followed in 1926 with the provision that a rosette may be worn on the ribbon bar to indicate the award of each subsequent clasp.
The first King’s Medal competition in Canada and New Zealand was held in 1923 and Australia, South Africa, and India in 1924. Although interrupted on a number of occasions, the Queen’s Medal continues to be awarded annually in New Zealand. British soldiers were entitled to compete for the Indian King’s Medal whilst stationed in India – winning it on several occasions. The Indian competition was last held in 1938, being interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. When India gained independence in 1947 the medal ceased to be awarded. In South Africa, the competition was not held in 1926, nor 1940 to 1947. The last medal was awarded in 1961, the year that South Africa became a republic. From 1962, the British medal was replaced by the Commandant General’s Medal, which could be awarded to champions from the army, navy, or air force.
The first King’s Medal Competition in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) was held in 1926. From 1940 to 1947 the competition was interrupted by World War II. After Rhodesia’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence on 11 November 1965, the competition and the award of the Queen’s Medal for Champion Shots in the Military Forces continued for another four years, until Rhodesia severed its ties with the British Crown on 02 March 1970 and, in that same year, instituted the President’s Medal for Shooting of the Security Forces.
The RAF Pistol Championship is established in the 1920s (Watson, 2013).
Prior to 1935 there was only one medal for the UK and this was awarded to the winner of the match at the NRA Meeting in which 50 representatives of the Regular Army and 50 representatives of the Territorial Army took part. In 1935, two medals were granted for the UK, one for the Regular Army and one for the Territorial Army. In order to also be eligible for the medal, members of the Supplementary Reserve were included in the competition’s definition of the Territorial Army from 1936. In 1936, approval was given for the medal for the Regular Army to the winner of the Army Championship at the ARA Central Meeting.
Although the conditions governing the award of the Territorial Army medal have changed over the years, from its inception until 1982 it was, unlike the Regular Army Medal, always linked to competitions at the NRA main meeting. The Queen’s Medal for the Territorial Army is now awarded to the winner of the Territorial Army Service Rifle Championship which takes place during the TA Central Meeting (TASAM).
In 1940, the Home Guard was formed with Bisley as their primary camp (NRA, 2018).
The King’s Medal competition in Pakistan was held between 1950 and 1956.
The Central Skills at Arms Meeting (CENTSAM) was introduced to be a high-profile annual shooting competition involving approximately 1,000 competitors from the Regular Army, Territorial Army (now Army Reserve), Army Cadets and international shooting teams held on Bisley, Ash, and Pirbright Ranges during July and August each year. CENTSAM was comprised of:
- The TA Operational Shooting Competition (TAOSC);
- The Royal Navy/Royal Marines and RAF Skill at Arms Meetings;
- The International Service Rifle Meeting;
- The Inter-Service Cadet Rifle Meeting (ISCRM);
- The Schools Cadet Rifle Meeting;
- The Army Target Rifle Championship;
- The Combined Services Target Rifle Meeting;
- The International Target Rifle Meeting;
- The Army Junior Small Bore Championship; and
- The Great British Junior International Grand Prix.
The Queen’s Medal for Champion Shot of the Royal Air Force is instituted in 1953, along with the RAF shooting competition (RAF Media Reserves, 2016).
The first Queen’s Medal competition in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) was held in 1954, being awarded a further three times – 1957, 1958, and 1966,
In 1958, the Queen’s Medal for Champion Shots of the New Zealand Naval Forces is instituted.
The Queen’s Medal competition was held in Ghana only once, in 1959, being abolished in 1963.
In 1963, the NRA became a registered charity (NRA, 2018). From 1963, two Queen’s Medals for Champion Shots in the Military Forces were awarded annually in Canada, the second to a member of either the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or the Canadian Reserve Force.
Prior to 1963, the Jamaican competition was an annual local shooting competition which did not form part of the Queen’s Medal Competitions. The first Queen’s Medal competition in Jamaica was held in 1963, and can still be awarded annually in Jamaica.
In 1966, the Naval Good Shooting Medal was replaced with the institution of The Queen’s Medal for Champion Shots of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, with only one medal or clasp to be granted annually. The medal can be competed for by all serving officers and ratings in the Royal Navy and serving officers and other ranks of the Royal Marines.
The first electronic target range (ETR) was used in 1967.
The Queen’s Medal competition was introduced to Trinidad and Tobago in 1970, but the first medal was only awarded in 1972, being awarded only two more times, in 1973 and 1975.
By the 1970s all three UK Services had established their own shooting competitions and associations. The “[British] Army’s first ever operational shooting policy” was also introduced in the 1970s (British Army, 2006, p.8-13) establishing the Regular Army Skill at Arms Meeting (RASAAM).
A moving target match was introduced in 1974 with two infantry night shooting matches being competed-for initially in 1982.
On 28 August 1991, the Canadian’s instituted the Queen’s Medal for Champion Shot, with the British version ceasing to be awarded from 1992. No shooting competition is held in the UK in 1991 due to the Gulf War (RAF Media Reserves, 2016).
The RASAAM/TASAM are renamed, respectively, the Army Operational Shooting Competition (AOSC) and Army Reserve Operational Shooting Competition (AROSC) in 2009, alongside the introduction of a casualty recovery event and the carrying of 15 kilogrammes (total weight) of personal equipment (MOD, 2009).
In 2000, Joanna Hossack, then a student reading philosophy and psychology at Edinburgh University, become the second (civilian) woman to win the top prize (gold medal) for rifle target shooting during the Imperial Meeting at Bisley (Sengupta, 2000). The first was Marjorie Foster in 1930 (Sengupta, 2000).
“By 2008, the British Army had launched Project Odysseus to address the problem of weapon mindedness after it was established that only 59 per cent of the Army (including combat arms) would potentially pass their Annual Personal Weapons Test.” (Ford, 2017, p.54).
Project Odysseus was “a review of Army Operational Shooting Policy” (King, 2013, p.240) looking at the combat training required for the then current active deployments by UK forces which highlighted that the extant operational shooting policy did not meet the needs of contemporary operational environments (TES(RE), 2009; Landmarc, 2015).
Part of the new policy involved physical changes to the ‘furniture’ on ranges that provided training in the transition from marksmanship training to field firing. The ranges involved were Multiple Moving Target Trainer Ranges (MMTTR) and Individual Battle Shooting Ranges (IBSR). The idea was to create an environment that accurately replicated the pressures and experiences of the combat or operational environment with the aim to better prepare soldiers for deployment to contemporary battlefields.
The changes to firing points involved providing furniture which mimicked the actual environment and trained soldiers in shooting from difficult positions with minimum personal exposure. Domed roofs, ditches, walls, ladders, replica trees, building facades and blast holes were designed and built to provide an authentic experience for soldiers. In front of all moving targets, screens of various shapes were positioned to emulate the operational environment and make the target exposure shorter.
Project Odysseus was the catalyst for the first real physical changes to range infrastructure in a number of years, thus providing soldiers with an enhanced opportunity to prepare for contemporary combat environments.
In 2009, the NRA celebrated its 150th anniversary and, although retaining its military heritage and close links with the British Armed Forces through support for marksmanship training and the development of improved performance, these days the NRA is primarily concerned with civilian full-bore target rifle shooting (NRA, 2018).
In 2009, the new format Army Operational Shooting Competition (AOSC) was introduced, which had been adapted to better replicate the then current operational environment (MOD, 2009).
Competitors at the 2009 AOSC were required to complete more strenuous physical components than in previous years, such as a casualty recovery phase and carrying a weight of 15kg of personal equipment over various distances, before engaging targets. Greater emphasis was also placed on team matches and firing from the standing and kneeling positions.
On 01 January 2010, the British Army published a new Army Operational Shooting Policy (AOSP) which introduced a number of improvements to raise marksmanship.
The Army Combat Marksman Test (ACMT) replaced the Annual Personal Weapons Test (APWT) and the Annual Weapons Assessment (AWA) for all personal weapons, ensuring that there was a single standard irrespective of whether it was an individual’s primary or secondary weapon. For instance, the ACMT for the SA80 rifle requires soldiers to close with the target, and includes a standing/kneeling practice at 50 metres. Infantry and other soldiers involved in Dismounted Close Combat (DCC) are now required to accurately engage targets at close quarters (i.e. 20m). There were other enhancements, including practice using night vision devices, moving/fleeting targets, live firing of the Underslung Grenade Launched High Explosive Dual Purpose (UGL HEDP) Grenade, and completing a live Fire Team Attack prior to deployment. The requirement for support troops was less demanding, having to complete a Fire and Movement Test (F&MT) 2.
The new AOSP brought a number of other benefits, including:
- Greater focus on foundation training and effective coaching;
- Progressive live firing practice with additional group and zeroing (G&Z);
- Increased shooting from standing and kneeling positions;
- Increased Close Quarter Marksmanship (CQM) engagements under 20m;
- A more relevant test;
- The introduction of mandatory pre-deployment live firing tests;
- Better alignment of ACMT, MATT 1, pre-deployment tests & competitive matches; and
- The upgrading of ranges and targetry to support new training requirements.
The intent of revised AOSP was to place more emphasis on the effective delivery of preliminary practices before mastering the type of engagements then being encountered during operations. Training was designed to be more imaginative and progressive, in order to improve accuracy and prevent skill fade. In parallel to the introduction of the new AOSP, adjustments were made to the training of all Skill at Arms Instructors to ensure that they would be better able to coach marksmanship and correct individual shooting weaknesses.
Previously, most shooting training/contests/competitions had focussed on bull’s eye shooting rather than on combat shooting situations, as one Royal Marine succinctly puts it:
“In combat you don’t get the chance to take your time getting a perfect stance,” said British Marine Ross Tyler, a competitor in the event. “If you are in a fire fight, you have to adapt to your surroundings and do your best to get your shot on target.” (Tactical-Life, 2014).
With further changes to the AOSP, the Small Arms Targetry System (SARTS) programme was initiated in 2011 (TAS(RE), 2011). The intention was to improve the capability of small arms users by developing the efficiency and effectiveness of current ranges. This would support the mandatory, progressive small arms training in order for UK Defence forces to achieve their Operational Shooting Requirements (OSR) and Marksmanship Standards detailed in the revised AOSP (Rockford, 2011).
In 2015, the AOSP was renamed the Operational Shooting Policy, becoming a Defence-wide policy and Tri-Service doctrine.
Following this, further changes to the Defence-wide shooting policy, ranges for small arms training were again upgraded to include the latest target system technology, providing a more efficient short range firing activity for training personnel (MOD, 2016; Travis, 2017). For example (Travis, 2017):
- A 100m G&Z range, with a pneumatic targetry swivel system which will enable units to practise CQM training; and
- A 600m electronic target range (ETR) using SARTS.
As Ford succinctly states (2017, p.54):
“…the soldier’s ability to use their firearm with confidence, knowing the basics of marksmanship – so that they can get the best out of the weapon while adjusting for specific conditions – is a recurring issue that needs to be managed through training and education. More complex weapons make greater demands of the average solider. For the Army, this poses a number of organisational and ongoing challenges associated with the provision of shooting ranges, time for shooting practice and sufficient quantities of ammunition to allow soldiers to bring themselves up to proficiency. These practicalities in turn have an impact on soldier recruitment profiles.”
1.3 What are Operational Shooting Competitions?
Operational shooting competitions include central and non-central matches for Service small arms. It is an integral and important part of a soldier’s marksmanship training, and officers and soldiers participating in operational shooting competitions are classified as ‘on duty’.
The task of co-ordinating the Army Operational Shooting Competition (AOSC) and the Central Skill at Arms Meeting (CENTSAM) is a joint responsibility between the ARA and the Operational Shooting Training Team (OSTT).
Service weapon target shooting includes personal, individual and support weapons fired in accordance with the operational shooting policy during Unit and Formation skill at arms meetings or operational shooting competitions.
The conduct of operational shooting competitions is vested in the Army Service Shooting Committee.
The OSTT is manned by personnel from the Small Arms School Corps (SASC). The role of the OSTT includes:
- Delivery of instructor training, including the All Arms Skill at Arms (AA SAA) course;
- Live Fire Tactical Training (LFTT); and
- Range Management.
1.4 What is the Operational Shooting Policy?
The Operational Shooting Policy (OSP), formerly known as the Army Operational Shooting Policy (AOSP), is a Headquarters Army (HQ Army) endorsed policy and is the Tri-Service doctrine for the training of live firing (LF) for dismounted close combat (DCC) and armoured fighting vehicles (AFV) up to and including Pre-Deployment and Mission Specific Training (MST).
1.5 What is the Goal of Operational Shooting Competitions?
“Competition shooting is the ideal vehicle for building confidence with the personal weapon systems that may one day save you or your ship mates lives. Be in no doubt Service Weapon shooting is serious business; it can, however, also be fun and personally satisfying.” (Morgan-Hosey, 2008, p.5).
The goal of operational shooting competitions is to test a soldier’s ability to fire in an operational-style environment (Hanson, 2014).
This means shooting from a variety of firing positions and ranges, whilst wearing full personal kit and protection, often completing physically demanding tasks prior to or in-between shooting.
All soldiers (whether frontline, Regular, or Reserve) are required to be competent and confident in using their personal to defend themselves, their comrades, and equipment in the course of their duties. With the evolution of the 360 degree battlefield, there is no longer a clear distinction between combat and support troops – being a good tradesman is no longer sufficient (MOD, 2010).
As such, all soldiers require the ability to shoot from all positions, with and without the respirator, from 10m up to 500m with confidence and under pressure.
Operational shooting competitions provide direct operational shooting training value and require a high level of individual fitness – It is well recognised that competition pressure or nerves has a similar effect on an individual to the stress felt while on operations.
1.6 What do Operational Shooting Competitions Consist Of?
Operational shooting competitions are run using a set format of specific ‘matches’ including (Hanson, 2014):
- Automatic shoots up to 500 metres away with the light support weapon;
- Extremely quick ‘snap-shooting’; and
- Firing pistols.
Using the current service rifle and service pistol, competitors run a series of operational orientated matches from distances of 500m down to 25m. Each competitor must wear webbing weighing a minimum of 7.5 kg (weight excludes weapon, helmet, and ammunition) and combat body armour when they compete, which adds to the challenge during the 500m to 100m fire-with-movement matches. Certain matches also require the wearing of a respirator.
1.7 What are the Weapons Categories in Operational Shooting Competitions?
Military personnel can compete in three weapons categories:
- Service rifle: currently the 5.56mm SA80 A2 rifle, for distances from 25m to 500m
- Service pistol, currently the 9mm Glock 17 pistol, for distances from 10m to 25m.
- Light machine gun.
PART TWO: OPERATIONAL SHOOTING COMPETITIONS
2.0 What are the Levels of Operational Shooting Competition?
“The FTC OSC is an inter-corps competition and totals (Reserve/Regular competitions) around 1,200 firers. It is regarded as the largest shooting competition in the world.” (RCS, 2017).
The pinnacle of operational shooting competitions is the Defence Operational Shooting Competition held at Bisley each June. However, there are a number of qualifying competitions prior to this stage. Competition levels vary according to Service, as noted in the following sections.
2.1 The Defence Operational Shooting Competition
“…the medal winners from the Royal Navy/Royal Marines and the Army and myself [Corporal Roderick Jamieson, RAF winner] were hoisted aloft on sedan chairs by our fellow competitors and marched off from the range to the Army Rifle Association Officers Mess for the Presidents lunch.” (Watson, 2013).
The Defence Operational Shooting Competition (DEF OSC) is a major event covering several different preparation and shooting events (MOD, 2010; ARA, 2018) for UK Regular and Reserve personnel. DEF OSC, also known as the Central Skill at Arms Meeting (CENTSAM) (GBA, 2017), is the culmination of British military (British Army, RAF, and Royal Navy and Royal Marines) operational shooting competitions, and the British National Rifle Association Service Competitions at the National Shooting Centre, Bisley in Surrey, England.
The aim of DEF OSC is to promote military efficiency by encouraging disciplined marksmanship and emphasises the importance of accuracy with service small arms and physical fitness. The first week is devoted to training, and getting to know the more complicated shoots, such as the night shoot (Hanson, 2014).
DEF OSC has also been known as:
- The “Tri-Service Defence Operational Shooting Competition (defosc or Def OSC).” (The Craftsman, 2016, p.454);
- The Service Championships; and
- Simply as ‘Bisley’.
DEF OSC is held over a two-week period each summer, usually June, and involves:
- The Army Operational Shooting Competition (AOSC) for Regular Force matches.
- The Army Reserve Operational Shooting Competition (AROSC) for Reserve Force matches.
- The Royal Air Force Operational Shooting Competition (RAF OSC) for both Regular and Reserve matches.
- The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Operational Shooting Competition (RN/RM OSC) for both Regular and Reserve matches.
- Army Cadets.
- International military shooting teams.
Running alongside the DEF OSC is an international competition, with the USA, Oman, Germany, The Netherlands, Canada, and the French Foreign Legion all competing (Hanson, 2014).
DEF OSC consists of:
- Days 1-3: International Teams Range Practice.
- Day 4: Dry and Live Firing Rehearsals Range Teams.
- Days 5-8: Army Operational Shooting Competition (AOSC) Regular Army.
- Day 9: The Methuen Cup (Short Range Rural Contact Assessment).
- Days 10-12: Army Reserve Operational Shooting Competition (AROSC).
- Days 13-14: Inter Services, International Competitions and UKAF.
Teams compete for 24 trophies over 20 rifle and seven pistol events (Navy News, 2014).
“The competition starts with the rifle at 100 yards, firing standing around cover. They then run the stages to 75 yards to fire kneeling around cover, then 50 yards firing standing and kneeling, followed by standing at 25 metres. The competitors then sling their rifles, draw pistols to engage targets at 25, 20, 15 and 10 metres in both the standing and kneeling positions.” (RAF News, 2017, p.34).
Examples of matches include (Morgan-Hosey, 2008; GBA, 2013; Parbate, 2014):
- Match 1: Inter Unit Operational Shooting Championship.
- Match 2: The Defence Match (Roupell).
- Match 4: The Rural Contact Match.
- Match 7: The Attack Match (Roberts).
- Match 8: The Rural Contact Match (Short).
- Match 10: Inter Corps Match Championship (Metheun Cup), instituted in 1895.
- Match 11: The Pistol CQB Match.
- Match 17: The Urban Contact Match (FIBUA).
- Match 40: Combat Rifle Championship (Queen’s Medal), first instituted in 1869.
In 2010, a number of changes were made, including (MOD, 2010):
- The long-established Parachute Regiment Cup was tweaked to make it operationally-relevant. Teams now have to complete a casevac (casualty evacuation) with a 75kg dummy over 300 metres and carry ammunition tins along the range during the frantic move-and-fire shoot.
- The claustrophobic nature of the modern battlefield has also been taken into account with the introduction of a close quarter’s marksmanship (CQM) match. The discipline tasks personnel with advancing to combat along a 100-metre range, switching from rifle to pistol for the final sections to simulate what they would have to do if their weapon malfunctioned; and
- New targets have been introduced to help train soldiers to improve their aim.
The final day of the DEF OSC is where the top 100 shots (Section 3.1) in the Army compete for a final placement, the “I-S matches” (RAF News, 2017), with fifty firers firing on the range at any one time (Hanson, 2014).
The winners are carried, by their fellow shooters, aloft on a wooden chair from the century range to the Army Rifle Association Clubhouse led by a band. The winners then attend the President’s Lunch, followed by the official prize giving ceremony with the presentation of trophies to the successful home and international military teams and individuals. On completion of the ceremony, a band will play the National Anthem to close the event (ACF, 2012).
“…the medal winners from the Royal Navy/Royal Marines and the Army and myself [Corporal Roderick Jamieson, RAF winner] were hoisted aloft on sedan chairs by our fellow competitors and marched off from the range to the Army Rifle Association Officers Mess for the Presidents lunch.” (Watson, 2013).
2.2 British Army Operational Shooting Competitions
Operational shooting competitions are restricted to four levels:
- Command/Division/District/Brigade; and
The basis for operational shooting starts at Unit-level (i.e. the regiment or battalion) where personnel with potential are selected to attend higher-level competition (Hanson, 2014).
Corps meetings (CORPS OSC) are held annually and are complementary to the Command/Division/District/Brigade meetings. With this in mind, some Corps and Infantry units may have a specific period of shooting concentration before and/or after each level of competition, for example:
- “…the Royal Engineers Reserve Shooting Championships…” (East Midlands RFCA, 2018);
- “a two-week marksmanship course” held by REME (The Craftsman, 2016, p.454); or
- The London District Operational Shooting Competition.
- “…underwent three weeks of training prior to the [101 Logistic Brigade Operational Shooting] competition…” (GBA, 2018b).
The next level of competition is currently the Brigade Operational Shooting Competitions (Matthews, 2015; RFCA, 2015; British Army, 2017; ParaData, 2017; GBA, 2018b).
This is followed by the Command/Division-level Operational Shooting Competitions, such as the Force Troops Command Operational Shooting Competition (FTC OSC), which is an inter-Corps competition consisting of Regular Army and Army Reserve competitions (RCS, 2017) and “intra-corps competitions” (The Craftsman, 2016, p.454). The command/division OSC and Brigade OSC generally follow the same format (Hanson, 2014). The Army Reserve FTC OSC was launched in Pirbright in 2015 (RFCA NI, 2015). The FTC OSC is usually held in April or May.
Overseas commands also operate their own competitions, such as Cyprus (Newton, 2017) and the British Forces Brunei Operational Shooting Competition (GBA, 2018a).
Examples of events during the two-day FTC OSC include (RFCA NI, 2015):
- Day One:
- Urban Contact Assessment consisting of two phases, rifle phase followed by pistol phase.
- Short Range Rural Contact Match.
- Defence Assessment.
- March and Shoot Match.
- Machine Gun Match.
- Advance to Contact Match (aka The Whitehead).
- Falling Plates Prelims: Teams “go head-to-head in a knock-out format, with the first team to sprint 100m and then shoot down ten targets winning.” (Hanson, 2014, p.4).
- Day Two:
- The top six (6) competitors from each Corps shoot against each other for the FTC Methuen Cup, and to determine the Champion Shot from each of the Corps.
- Inter-Corps Falling Plates Finals.
- Overall winner crowned Champion Rifle and there is also a Champion at Arms trophy up for grabs.
Examples of honours up for grabs include (The Craftsman, 2016):
- Major unit champions and runners up;
- Minor unit champions and runners up;
- Rifle and Skill at Arms Champion and runner up (for both Regular and Reserve); and
- Reserve unit champions.
2.3 Royal Air Force Operational Shooting Competitions
As noted above, RAF personnel compete in the RAF OSC at DEF OSC.
However, prior to this, shooters compete at the Group Operational Shooting Competition (GpOSC) which is held over a week every April at the RAF Small Arms Association (RAFSAA) in Bisley (One to One, 2016; RAF Media Reserves, 2016). The GpOSC is one of two qualifying competitions from which personnel can be selected for the RAF OSC. To get to the GpOSC stage personnel must qualify and be selected at the individual unit-level within their RAF Group.
Personnel from RAF Regiment field squadrons compete at the Regiment OSC (One to One Online, 2016).
Senior officers, from Group Captains (OF-5) to Air Chief Marshal’s (OF-9), in the RAF can also compete in the Air Officers and Station Commanders Pistol Match at Bisley (MOD, 2008).
2.4 Royal Navy and Royal Marines Operational Shooting Competitions
The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Rifle Association (RNRMRA) is the umbrella organisation for all competitive shooting within the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and their Reserve counterparts, and is composed of:
- Naval Air Command Rifle Association (NACRA).
- Portsmouth Area Rifle Association.
- Plymouth and Scotland Area Rifle Association.
- Royal Marines Rifle Association.
- Royal Naval Reserve Rifle Association.
Each association holds its own shooting competition, for example, the Naval Air Command Operational Shooting Competition (NAC OSC) between NAC Teams (FAAOA, 2014), including:
- (Royal Naval Air Station) Culdrose Operational Shooting Team
- (Royal Naval Air Station) Yeovilton Operational Shooting Team;
- Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S); and
- Royal Naval Reserve Air Branch.
Both Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel compete in each association’s competition (Royal Navy, 2016). Those selected by each association will compete in the “Royal Navy & Royal Marines Operational Shooting Competition (RNRMOSC)” at DEF OSC (Navy News, 2014, p.40), previously known as the “Royal Navy Skill-At-Arms meeting” (Royal Navy, 2013).
RNRMOSC culminates with the top 20 marksmen competing for the Queen’s Medal for Champion Shot of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines (Navy News, 2014) (Section 3.2).
The Royal Marines Operational Shooting Competition (RM OSC) takes place annually, with the US Marine Corps usually travelling to compete (DVIDS, 2017; Royal Navy, 2017). The purpose of the RMOSC is to evaluate the marksmanship skill, and physical and operational abilities of American, British, French, and Dutch Marines in combat related shooting matches by utilising realistic structures, fast-moving targets, and movement to contact drills.
Prizes up for grabs include (Tactical-Life, 2014):
- The Revolver Pistol Cup.
- The Dallas Brookes Cup, awarded to the international competitor with the highest score for the pistol.
- The Victory Cup, awarded to the non-British competitor who achieves the highest total score for both rifle and pistol during all matches.
- The Duke of Edinburgh Cup, awarded to the team who has the highest total score on both rifle and pistol.
PART THREE: MEDALS AND TROPHIES
3.0 Individual and Team Trophies
There are a number of individual and team trophies that can be won at DEF OSC, for example (GBA, 2013; Parbate, 2014; CAF, 2016):
- Individual Champion Trophies:
- The Pistol Cup Overall.
- ARA Silver Jewel Cup Winner.
- The Artillery Cup (Class B) Overall.
- The Graham Trophy Class B (The Urban Contact Match).
- The Graham Trophy Overall (The Urban Contact Match).
- The Association Cup Overall Winner (The Short Range Rural Contact).
- The Manchester Reg Cup Winner (Class B) (The Indv Rifle Championship).
- The Roupell Cup Overall Winner (The Defence Match).
- The Governor’s Cup (Class B) Winner (The Attack & Re-org Match).
- The Malta Cup (Class B) Winner (The Short Rang Rural Contact).
- The Roberts Cup (The Short Range Rural Contact Match).
- Top Royal Engineer Team (The Wyke Cup Winner).
- The RAC Cup Winner (Non-Infantry Unit Champion on Rifle & Machine Gun).
- The Queen’s Own Highlanders Cup (Class B) Winner (The Machine Gun Match).
- The Worcestershire Cup and ARA Gold Bar Overall Winner (The Machine Gun Match).
- The Henry Whitehead Cup (Class B) Winner (The Advance to Contact).
- The Roberts Cup Overall Winner (The Attack & Re-org Match).
- The Bullock Trophy & Large Presentation Khukri Winner (The Gurkha Welfare Match).
- The Southern Command Cup Class A Winner.
- The Southern Command Cup Overall (Individual Rifle Championship).
- The Watkin Cup and ARA Gold Jewel Overall Winner.
- The Young Soldier Challenge Cup (Class B) Winner.
- The Revolver Challenge Cup (Class B) Winner (The Pistol Match).
- ARA Silver Jewel Overall Winner.
- ARA Bronze Jewel Overall Winner.
- 1st The Watkin Cup and ARA Gold Jewel (The Individual Rifle Championship).
- The Queen’s Own Highlanders Cup(Class B) Winner (The Machine Gun Match).
- The Worcestershire Cup and ARA Gold Bar Overall Winner (The Machine Gun Match).
- The Henry Whitehead Cup (Class B) Winner (The Advance to Contact Match).
- The Cheylesmore Cup (Class B) Winner (The Defence Match).
- Top Tyro – Small Presentation Khukri Winner (The Gurkha Welfare Match).
- Tyro The 6th Queen Elizabeth’s Own Gurkha Rifles Trophy Winner (The Individual Rifle Championship).
- New Soldier the Rifle Brigade Cup Winner (The Individual Rifle Championship).
- The Old Contemptibles Cup Winner (The Champion at Arms).
- Fleeting Encounter Match and Advanced Fleeting Encounter Match.
- The Army 100 Cup (The Long Range Rural Contact Match).
- Team Champion Trophies:
- The Royal Ulster Cup Winner (The Fire Team Falling Plates Match).
- The Parachute Cup Overall Winner.
- The Provost Marshall’s Cup Overall.
- The Coronation Cup Overall Winner.
- The Kings Royal Rifle Corps Cup (The Infantry Champion Winner).
- The Dunlop Trophy (Overall Unit Champion).
- The Britannia Trophy Overall Winner.
- The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders Cup Overall Winner.
- Top Royal Signal Team (The Royal Signal Shield).
- Thee Household Division Cup (OA & CS) Winner.
- The Eastern Command Cup Overall Winner.
- The Royal Hussars Cup Winner (The Fire Team Combat Sharpshooting Match).
- The Queen’s Regt Cup (OA & SVCS) Winner (The Fire Team Close Combat Match).
- The Malta Challenge Cup Overall Winner (The Fire Team Close Combat Match).
- The Unknown Distances Shoot.
- International Falling Plates.
- The ARA Medallion Runners-Up.
- The Artillery Cup (The Fire Team Night Engagement Match).
- Top O&A (Inter Unit Pistol Match).
Other trophies include the Duke of Hamilton Cup and the Urban Contact Match for the Royal Marines Challenge Bowl (RAF News, 2017).
3.1 The Army 100, Reserve 50, RAF 20, & Navy 10
The Army 100 badge is awarded to all competitors who have fired in the Army 100 rifle competition. It is to be worn in perpetuity on all forms of dress as laid down in the relevant regulations.
The Reserve 50 (formerly TARA 50) is for the top 50 competitors competing in the Army Reserve Service Rifle Championship.
The Pistol 30 badge is awarded to all competitors who have fired in the Army 30 pistol competition.
The RNRMOSC culminates win the top 20 marksmen competing for the Queen’s Medal for Champion Shot of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines (Navy News, 2014).
The Small Arms School Corps (SASC) notes the “Army 100, Navy 10, RAF 20 respectively.” (SASC, 2017).
The top ten shots in the Royal Navy, Army, and RAF are usually presented with their badges by a dignitary, for example HRH The Duke of York in 2015 (BFBS Gurkha, 2015).
“…with the famous Army 100 badge being awarded to these individuals, which they can wear for life on the wrist of their uniform.” (RCS, 2017).
In March 2018, via Soldier Magazine, the British Army announced that “Army 100 and Reserve 50 marksmen” would be awarded a bronze badge “worn on the left pocket on combat uniform in barracks.” (Soldier, 2018, p.12).
3.2 The Queen’s Medal for Champion Shots
“The Queen’s Medal is all rifle shooting using the current service 5.56 weapon, from 500 metres all the way down to the close quarters at 25 metres.” (Navy News, 2014, p.40).
Approximately 1000 military personnel take part in DEF OSC/CENTSAM, but only three win the highest award of the Queen’s Medal. Three medals are awarded annually, one to the Royal Navy or Royal Marines, one to the Army, and one to the RAF. The Queen’s Medal is the only award which may be worn on dress uniform (Watson, 2013; Forces Network, 2014).
The Queen’s Medal for Champion Shots is a family of medals awarded to the champions of small arms operational shooting competitions held in several Commonwealth countries. Within DEF OSC, the Queen’s Medal for shooting is awarded to the best shooter for each Service. Although foreign nationals may compete in DEF OSC, and other British OSC, they cannot win a Queen’s Medal as they are invited “on an honours-only basis” (Lanktree, 2015). The same is true for British nationals when they attend certain foreign competitions. However, as noted earlier, certain commonwealth countries do have their own version of the Queen’s Medal. Examples of extant and obsolete medals include:
- Queen’s Medal for Champion Shots of the Army for Regular members of the British Army.
- Queen’s Medal for Champion Shots of the Royal Air Force for members of the British RAF.
- Queen’s Medal for Champion Shots of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines for members of the British Royal Navy and Royal Marines. Instituted in 1966.
- “Queen’s Shot of the Army Reserve” (Lanktree, 2015) for members of the Army Reserve.
- Queen’s Medal for Champion Shots in the Military Forces: This medal was instituted by Queen Victoria in 1869 and was awarded annually from 1870 to 1882 to the best shot of the Infantry of the British Army, including the Royal Engineers and the Colonial Corps.
- King’s Medal for Champion Shots in the Military Forces.
- Queen’s Medal for Champion Shots of the Air Forces. Instituted in 1953.
- Queen’s Medal for Champion Shots of the New Zealand Naval Forces. Instituted in 1958.
- Queen’s Medal for Champion Shot for members of the Canadian Armed Forces. Instituted in 1991.
- Champion Shots Medal for members of the Australian Defence Force. Instituted in 1988.
- 1869: The original Queen Victoria version.
- 1923: The first King George V version shows him in Field Marshal’s uniform.
- 1933 to 1936: The second King George V version shows him crowned and in coronation robes.
- 1936: The first King George VI version shows him coronation robes.
- 1947: The second King George VI version was introduced when his title ‘Emperor of India’ was abandoned and the reference to India was omitted from the medal inscription.
- 1952: The first Queen Elizabeth II version was introduced after her succession to the throne.
- 1953: The second Queen Elizabeth II version was introduced after her coronation.
The front of the medal shows the effigy of the reigning monarch whilst the reverse shows the winged mythological goddess Pheme, with a trumpet in her left hand and rising from her throne to crown a warrior with a laurel wreath. At left is the naked and cloaked warrior, with his left foot on the throne dais, a bow and a quiver of arrows in his right hand and supporting a target with three arrows through its centre on his left knee.
As the medal can be won multiple times, each subsequent award is indicated by the award of another clasp, which displays the year of the subsequent award. The clasps are designed to be attached to the suspender and to each other with rivets, in roller chain fashion. When medals are not worn, the award of second and subsequent clasps are denoted by silver rosettes on the ribbon bar. Since it is impossible to sew more than four rosettes onto a single ribbon bar, and since several champions have won the award more than five times, gold rosettes were introduced to cover situations where more than five championships have been won.
For a concise history of the Queen’s/King’s Medal look here.
3.3 The British Army Combat Shooting Team
Regular Army personnel who do well on the DEF OSC may be awarded a place on the British Army Combat Shooting Team (BACST), from where they can be selected to compete for the British Army in international competitions in the USA, Canada, and Australia (British Army, 2010; Hanson, 2014; SASC, 2016).
Army Reserve personnel who distinguish themselves at AROSC may be selected for the British Army Reserves Operational Shooting Team (BAROST) (RFCA East Anglia, 2014; RFCA Greater London, 2017).
PART FOUR: TRAINING AND SHOOTING FACILITIES
4.0 Bisley Ranges Complex
The Bisley Ranges Complex is set in approximately 3000 acres of Surrey heathland, about thirty miles from central London, and is composed of a number of facilities and ranges (MOD, 2009; NRA, 2018):
- NRA Admin Offices.
- The Pavilion.
- The National Clay Shooting Centre.
- The National Shooting Centre.
- The Museum of the National Rifle Association.
- Stickedown Range (the long-distance range): A gallery range with a total of 50 targets with distances of 800, 900, 1000, 1000, and 1200 yards.
- In 1903, Stickledown was extended from 24 to 40 targets.
- It was extended from 1100 to 1200 yards in 1910.
- Century Range: A gallery range with a total of 108 targets with distances of 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, and 600 yards (includes electronic targets).
- Named century when the Great Butt was widened from 90 to 100 targets.
- Short Siberia Range: A rifle range with 27 x 100m targets and 9 x 200 yard targets.
- Melville Range: This range contains four bays of ten targets and one bay of seven advancing targets. There are firing points at 25m and 50m.
- Cheylesmore Range: This range contains three bays including one Olympic ETR (used by the Army and GP Pistol Team only), one with twenty turning targets, and one with two overhead retrievable targets.
- Winans Range: Includes a zero range, 25 yard NSA range, and a 25 yard range designed primarily for shotgun use.
- The complex also houses a number of rifle associations and clubs.
DEF OSC also utilises Ministry of Defence ranges at Pirbright and Ash Vale (known as Ash Ranges).
4.2 Army Marksmanship Training Centre
The Army Marksmanship Training Centre (AMTC) is located at Bisley, and is led by the Officer Commanding (OC), an OF-3 level officer – a British Army Major (OF-3) from the Small Arms School Corps (SASC) in 2018 and a RAF Squadron Leader in 2016 (ARA, 2016; 2018).
4.3 Troops to Target Programme
The Troops to Target (T2T) Programme is an initiative to find military personnel with the attributes to become Olympic hopefuls with the help of Team GB and work towards competitions such as the Commonwealth Games in 2018 or the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, in 2020.
The T2T programme is delivered at the AMTC and training involves shooting both service and non-service pattern weapons. The aim of the T2T programme is to feed Team GB with personnel, who through the military, can practice full-time with firearms not usually available to the general public.
PART FIVE: NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIONS AND MEETINGS
5.0 National/International Competitions and Meetings
There are a number of civilian and military shooting competitions that military personnel may attend in either a military or civilian capacity.
Examples of military competitions include:
- Army Target Shooting Championships (domestic event).
- Australian Army Skills at Arms Meeting (AASAM):
- Usually held in May in Puckapunyal, Victoria.
- First held at ANZAC Range Malabar, over five (5) days, in May 1984.
- Has individual and teams levels in three categories: the Sniper Competition; the International Competition; and the Champion Shot (NZDF, 2017).
- Canadian Armed Forces Small Arms Concentration (Ammoland, 2015).
- Ex Fortuna (Allied Forces Skill at Arms Meeting) (RFCA East Anglia, 2014): Initially set up in 1991 as a competition and exchange meeting between the US National Guard and the Territorial Army (now Army Reserve) where both teams would compete for the Fortuna Trophy.
Examples of civilian competitions include (ARA, 2016):
- Commonwealth Games.
- Olympic Games.
- North Wales Championships (domestic event).
- International Shooting Competition Hanover (ISCH), Germany, usually held in May.
- Jozef Zapedzki Rapid Fire Pistol Grand Prix in Wroclaw, Poland, usually held in March/April.
- Intershoot in The Hague, Netherlands, usually held over three (3) days.
- British Airgun Championships (domestic event).
PART SIX: MISCELLANEOUS
This article provides a brief overview of the UK’s operational shooting competitions. It provides a brief history of operational shooting, as well as outlining the various levels of competition open to personnel. It also highlights some of the medals and trophies awarded to competitors, and the training and shooting facilities available.
6.1 Useful Publications
- Operational Shooting Policy (Extant):
- The Operational Shooting Policy, Volume 1 – Personal Weapons.
- The Operational Shooting Policy, Volume 2 – Individual Weapons.
- The Operational Shooting Policy, Volume 3 – Support Weapons.
- The Operational Shooting Policy, Volume 4 – AFV Live Firing.
- Operational Shooting Policy (Obsolete):
- Army Operational Shooting Policy, Volume 1 – Personal Weapons (2003), AC 71795.
- Army Operational Shooting Policy, Volume 1 – Personal Weapons (2005), AC 71810.
- Army Operational Shooting Policy, Volume 1 – Personal Weapons (2011), AC 71810.
- Army Operational Shooting Policy, Volume 2 – Individual Weapons (2010), AC 71850.
- Army Operational Shooting Policy, Volume 3 – Support Weapons.
- Defence Instructions & Notices (DINS):
- DIN 2015DIN07-114: The Operational Shooting Policy (formerly Army Operational Shooting Policy) 2015, Volumes 1-3.
- DIN 2015DIN10-042: Army Rifle Association Target Shooting Courses 2015.
- DIN 2016DIN10-011: Army Rifle Association Target Shooting Courses 2016.
- DIN 2016DIN10-035: Army Rifle Association Target Shooting Courses December 2016.
- DIN 2018DIN07-026: The Operational Shooting Policy (formerly Army Operational Shooting Policy, Volume Four – AFV Live Firing).
- Army Briefing Notes (ABN):
- ABN 105/15: Army Rifle Association Annual General Meeting 2015.
- ABN 100/16: Army Rifle Association AGM.
- Range Advice Note (RAN):
- RAN 04/14: Implementation of the Army Operational Shooting Policy 2014 (08 May 2014).
- RAN 02/11: Small Arms Range Targetry System (SARTS) Project Preparatory Works (15 February 2011).
- RAN 01/09: Project Odysseus – Range Alterations and Change of Use (02 February 2009).
- Joint Service Publication (JSP):
- JSP 403: Handbook of Defence Ranges Safety, Volume 1.
- JSP 403: Handbook of Defence Ranges Safety, Volume 2.
- JSP 403: Handbook of Defence Ranges Safety, Volume 3.
- JSP 403: Handbook of Defence Ranges Safety, Volume 4.
- Other Documents (Extant and Obsolete):
- Infantry Training Volume I:
- Skill at Arms (Individual Training) Pamphlet No. 4, Sniping.
- Infantry Training Volume II:
- Skill at Arms (Personal Weapons), Pamphlet No.5, The SA80 A2 (5.56 mm) System (Rifle, Light Support Weapon & Carbine) & Associated Equipment (2004), AC 71807.
- Skill at Arms (Personal Weapons), Pamphlet No. 5, Rifle 5.56 mm Modified L85A2, Light Support Weapon Modified L86A2 and Associated Equipments.
- Skill at Arms (Personal Weapons), Pamphlet No. 6, The 5.56 mm Rifle Light Support Weapon and Associated Equipments.
- Skill at Arms (Personal Weapons), Pamphlet No 8, 5.56 mm Light Machine Gun.
- Skill at Arms (Personal Weapons) Pamphlet No. 10, Pistol Automatic 9mm L9A1.
- Infantry Training Volume III:
- Skill at Arms (Section and Platoon Weapons) Pamphlet No. 17, The General Purpose Machine Gun.
- Infantry Training Volume IV:
- Ranges, Pamphlet No.20 Competition Shooting (1998).
- Ranges and Training Safety, Pamphlet No. 21, Regulations for Training with Armoured Fighting Vehicles, Infantry Weapon Systems and Pyrotechnics.
- The RAF Skill at Arms Meeting (RAFSAM) – 2011 RAF Target Rifle Championships.
- The Central Skill at Arms Meeting 2011 Administrative Order (The White Book).
- Army Operational Shooting Policy Volume 1 (Match Conditions).
- Infantry Training Volume IV, Pamphlet 20, Competition Shooting 2011.
- Pamphlet No. 5: The SA80 A2 (5.56 mm) System (Rifle, Light Support Weapon and Carbine) and Associated Equipment, AC 71807.
- D/HQDT/18/28/58 – Revised 1995 – Pamphlet No. 10 – Pistol, Automatic, 9 mm, L9A1, AC 71029.
- Pamphlet No. 20: Competition Shooting (Revised 2007), AC 71062.
- Pamphlet No. 21: Regulations for the Planning, Conduct and Supervision of Firing and Training with Infantry Weapon Systems and Pyrotechnics (2007), AC 71855.
- BRd 8898: Royal Navy Manual of Military Training, Operations and Tactics (April 2008 Edition).
- Infantry Training Volume I:
6.2 Useful Links
- The Queen’s/King’s Medal for Champion Shots: http://www.queensmedal.net/.
- National Rifle Association (NRA): https://nra.org.uk/.
- Army Rifle Association (ARA): http://www.armyshooting.org/index.html.
- Royal Signals Shooting Association.
- REME Rifle Association.
- Royal Navy and Royal Marines Rifle Association (RNRMRA): http://www.rnrmra.org/.
- Naval Air Command Rifle Association.
- Portsmouth Area Rifle Association.
- Plymouth and Scotland Area Rifle Association.
- Royal Marines Rifle Association.
- Royal Naval Reserve Rifle Association.
- Royal Air Force Small Arms Association.
- Council for Cadet Rifle Shooting (CCRS): https://www.ccrs.org.uk/competitions/cadet-gp-rifle-5-56/the-cadet-inter-services-skill-at-arms-meeting-rules/.
4RAR Museum (1986) Australian Army Rifle Team UK/Canada 1986. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.4rarmuseum.com/49%20AASAM%2086.pdf. [Accessed: 27 March, 2018].
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Ammoland (2015) Canadian Army Reservist Top Shot At international Shooting Competition. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.ammoland.com/2015/08/canadian-army-reservist-top-shot-at-international-shooting-competition/#axzz5AayGdTOr. [Accessed: 23 March, 2018].
ARA (Army Rifle Association) (2016) Army Rifle Association Target Pistol News. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.armyshooting.org/news/ARA_news_tp_hague.html. [Accessed: 27 March, 2018].
ARA (Army Rifle Association) (2018) Army Rifle Association Contacts. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.armyshooting.org/contacts.html. [Accessed: 27 March, 2018].
BFBS (British Forces Broadcasting Service) Gurkha (2015) Defence Operational Shooting Competition 2015. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.facebook.com/GurkhaRadio/photos/a.931365616916002.1073742217.141968062522432/931365993582631/. [Accessed: 23 March, 2018].
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DVIDS (Defense Visual Information Distribution Service) (2017) Royal Marines Operational Shooting Competition 2017. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.dvidshub.net/image/3395932/royal-marines-operational-shooting-competition-2017. [Accessed: 23 March, 2018].
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Essex and Suffolk Military Herald (2017) Soldiers on Target in Shooting Competition. Essex and Suffolk Military Herald. No. 129, June/July 2017, p.6-7.
FAAOA (Fleet Air Arm Officers Association) (2014) Top Guns at Culdrose. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.fleetairarmoa.org/news/top-guns-at-culdrose. [Accessed: 23 March, 2018].
Forces Network (2014) Gurkha Named as the Army’s Champion Shot. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.forces.net/news/army/gurkha-named-armys-champion-shot. [Accessed: 09 April, 2018].
Ford, M. (2017) Weapon of Choice: Small Arms and the Culture of Military Innovation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
GBA (Gurkha Brigade Association) (2013) Bisley 2013 Results. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.gurkhabde.com/bisley-2013-results/. [Accessed: 25 March, 2018].
GBA (Gurkha Brigade Association) (2017) Success – Army Operations Shooting Competition 2017. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.gurkhabde.com/success-army-operational-shooting-competition-2017/. [Accessed: 09 April, 2018].
GBA (Gurkha Brigade Association) (2018a) British Forces Brunei Operational Competition 2018. Available from World Wide: http://www.gurkhabde.com/british-forces-brunei-operational-shooting-competition-2018/. [Accessed: 25 March, 2018].
GBA (Gurkha Brigade Association) (2018b) Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment Excel in Shooting Competition. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.gurkhabde.com/queens-own-gurkha-logistic-regiment-excel-in-shooting-competition/. [Accessed: 23 March, 2018].
Hanson, P. (2014) Operational Shooting Team. Dragon’s Drumbeat. 1(2), p.4. Available from World Wide Web: rwf-forum.co.uk/vBulletin/albums/1/2978.attach. [Accessed: 23 March, 2018].
King, A. (2013) The Combat Soldier: Infantry Tactics and Cohesion in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Landmarc (2015) Range Improvements. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.landmarcsolutions.com/our-successes/defenceandsecurity/defence-success-1/a-full-range-of-solutions. [Accessed: 23 March, 2018].
Lanktree, G. (2015) Sharpshooting Female Soldier Beats Best Brits but Fails to take Home Top Queen’s Medal. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/sharpshooting-female-soldier-beats-best-brits-fails-take-home-top-queens-medal-1510334. [Accessed: 20 March, 2018].
Matthews, A. (2015) Teams Battle It Out In Army Shooting Competition. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.forces.net/news/feature/teams-battle-it-out-army-shooting-competition. [Accessed: 26 March, 2018].
MOD (Ministry of Defence) (2008) RAF Boss Draws His Pistols. Available from World Wide Web: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100408190452/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/PeopleInDefence/RafBossDrawsHisPistols.htm. [Accessed: 23 March, 2018].
MOD (Ministry of Defence) (2009) Sharp Shot Cook Wins Army Shooting Competition. Available from World Wide Web: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100409025734/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/TrainingAndAdventure/SharpShotCookWinsArmyShootingCompetition.htm. [Accessed: 23 March, 2018].
MOD (Ministry of Defence) (2010) Lessons from Helmand are Honing Skills of Army’s Top Shots. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/lessons-from-helmand-are-honing-skills-of-armys-top-shots. [Accessed: 23 March, 2018].
MOD (Ministry of Defence) (2016) Refurbished Chilcomb Ranges Improves Soldiers’ Training Experience. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.govwire.co.uk/news/ministry-of-defence/refurbished-chilcomb-ranges-improves-soldiers%E2%80%99-training-experience-3642. [Accessed: 23 March, 2018].
Morgan-Hosey, J.N. (2008) Plymouth & Scotland Area Combat Shooting Team: Rifle & Pistol Marksmanship Notes. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.rnrmra.org. [Accessed: 29 March, 2018].
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Newton, S. (2017) Military Marksmen Face Off In Shooting Competition. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.forces.net/news/military-marksmen-face-shooting-competition. [Accessed: 23 March, 2018].
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NZDF (New Zealand Defence Force) (2017) NZDF’s Top Shots Compete in Australia. Available from World Wide Web: https://medium.com/@nzdefenceforce/nzdfs-top-shots-compete-in-australia-6ff97f630219. [Accessed: 29 March, 2018].
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ParaData (2017) Soldiers on Target in Shooting Competition, March 2017. Available from World Wide Web: https://paradata.org.uk/images/soldiers-target-shooting-competition-march-2017. [Accessed: 23 March, 2018].
Parbate (2014) Gurkhas Reign Supreme at Bisley 2014. Parbate. 66(2), p.2-3.
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RCS (Royal Corps of Signals) (2017) Force Troops Command Operational Shooting Competition
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RFCA East Anglia (Reserve Forces and Cadets Association for East Anglia) (2014) Ex Fortuna the 23rd Allied Forces Skill at Arms Meeting USA. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.earfca.org.uk/ex-fortuna-23rd-allied-forces-skill-arms-meeting-usa/. [Accessed: 29 March, 2018].
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