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Unleashing Lethality at the 2023 TAG Match

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GUERNSEY, Wyo. – In the midst of Wyoming’s ever-changing weather, Soldiers and Airmen line up and take their positions along marked points. As the commanding instructor’s voice cuts through the air, a dozen rifles rise in unison, poised for action. A resounding horn blares, unleashing a symphony of bullets that tear through the chambers and speed toward their targets, their echoes reverberating through the surrounding hills.

From June 1-4, 2023, over 20 Wyoming National Guard service members gathered at the Camp Guernsey Joint Training Center for the annual Adjutant General’s State Marksmanship Competition, known as the “TAG Match.” This rigorous event featured a series of rifle and pistol challenges designed to test participants’ marksmanship skills and physical fitness. Competitors were not only vying for victory in the various matches but also had their eyes set on a prestigious accolade: the coveted Governors Ten Tab. This esteemed recognition is awarded to those who demonstrate exceptional marksmanship, ranking among the top 10% of all competitors.

The match not only provides advanced marksmanship training but also fosters a competitive environment that allows Wyoming Soldiers to enhance their skills, enabling them to train their fellow unit members more effectively.

Competitors were classified into different categories, distinguishing them from novice and open classes, ensuring a level playing field. Utilizing the M4 Carbine Rifle and the M17 Pistol, the matches in TAG Match resembled those found in the renowned Winston P. Wilson National Shooting competitions. The ultimate goal of this event is to identify the participants who will be moving on to the prestigious Marksmanship Advisory Council Region 6 Championship.

“The Adjutant General’s annual shooting match encourages healthy competition, tactical proficiency, and imparts the fundamental principles of basic and advanced marksmanship,” remarked Master Sgt. Morgan Jenkins, a senior marksmanship coordinator for the Wyoming National Guard’s TAG Match.

Following the fierce competition, first and second-place winners were announced in both team and individual matches. The TAG Match Championship Team title was awarded to Team Alpha from the 960th Brigade Support Battalion, who clinched victory for the  third consecutive year. The winning team consisted of Sgt. 1st Class Brant Knight, Sgt. Wayde Phelps, Sgt. Joseph Marchese, Sgt. Dustin Bohannon, and Sgt. Caleb Morland.

Three outstanding competitors, Wayde Phelps from the 960th BSB Team Alpha, Capt. Luke Meyer from the 115th FAB Team Charlie, and Staff Sgt. Brett Tillery from the 115th Team Alpha, exemplified extraordinary skill and unwavering dedication, earning them the prestigious Governors Ten Tab. In recognition of their exceptional marksmanship, these accomplished individuals will proudly wear the Governor’s tab on their upper-left sleeve, signifying their remarkable achievement. To further commemorate their accomplishment, they will also receive a signed certificate from Wyoming’s TAG, Maj. Gen. Greg Porter.

“We often speak of building lethality, and when everyone possesses exceptional shooting skills, knows their roles, and understands their comrades’ responsibilities, our growth potential becomes limitless,” emphasized  Sgt. 1st Class Brant Knight, reflecting on the event’s significance.

As the Wyoming National Guard continues to foster a culture of excellence and preparation, the TAG Match stands as a testament to their commitment to building a formidable force capable of tackling any challenge that lies ahead.

The winners of the different categories of this year’s TAG Match:

Individual Category Winners

Aggregate State Champion – Sgt. Wayde Phelps

Expert Rifle – Sgt. 1st Class Brown | Novice Rifle – Staff Sgt. Brett Tillery. 

Pistol Expert – Sgt. 1st Class Brant Knight | Novice Pistol – 1st Lt. Andras

Multi-Gun – Sgt. Maj. Paul Bennick | Novice Multi-Gun – SPC Rhode

Anti-Body Armor – Sgt. Wayde Phelps | Novice Anti-Body Armor – 1st Lt. Andras

Reflexive Fire – Sgt. Wayde Phelps | Novice Reflexive Fire – 1st Lt. Andras

Mountain 10 – Sgt. Maj. Paul Bennick | Novice Mountain 10 – Tech. Sgt Styers

Close Quarters Battle – Sgt. Wayde Phelps | Novice Rifle, Staff Sgt. Brett Tillery. 

Team Category Winners

State Champions: 960th BSB, Team Alpha | Team Coach-Sgt. 1st Class Brant Knight, Team Captain-Sgt. Wayde Phelps, Sgt. Joseph Marchese, Sgt. Dustin Bohannon, and Sgt. Caleb Morland.  

State Runner-Up: 115th Forward Support Battalion, Team Alpha | Team Captain-Master Sgt. Boname, Sgt. 1st Class Brown, Staff Sgt. Tillery, and Spc. Harrison.

20230604 Unleashing Lethality at the TAG Match