U.S. Military Academy Takes Top Honors
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (April 11, 2014) — Smith & Wesson Corp. announced today that the U.S. Military Academy was awarded top honors during the 2014 Joint Service Academy Combat Weapons Competition held at the Smith & Wesson Employee Shooting Sports Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. The annual competition featured cadets from three of the nation’s top-ranked military academies and two senior military colleges. After the smoke from over 10,000 rounds cleared at Smith & Wesson’s indoor range facilities the West Point cadets stood victorious, outscoring the defending champions of the U.S. Naval Academy. In the individual competition, Andrew Zecha of U.S. Military Academy was named the overall winner, narrowly defeating fellow teammate Austin Mariette by a 0.24 match score differential.
Hosted by Smith & Wesson for the ninth year, the match featured nine stages of fire designed to test each cadet’s awareness and stamina as they pushed each other to the limit competing in four-man teams. Using current military equipment including semi-automatic pistols, shotguns and carbine rifles, each academy team displayed their shooting skills in a variety of simulated conditions involving low light, no light and physical challenges over the course of the one-day competition. The Joint Service Academy Combat Weapons Competition is one of the few events where cadets from separate divisions of the armed forces square off in head-to-head competition. The event featured teams from the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets Marksmanship Unit, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and the Virginia Military Institute.
“The annual joint service match exemplifies some of the finest qualities shared by the cadets of our nation’s premier military academies,” said Mario Pasantes, Smith & Wesson’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Global Professional Sales. “Each of the teams represented in this year’s match demonstrated their advanced marksmanship capabilities and their mastery of core fundamentals including leadership, discipline and camaraderie. It is truly a remarkable event to watch these cadets compete in a friendly but competitive arena. On behalf of Smith & Wesson, I congratulate all of the teams. We are very thankful and proud of their service to our country.
Pasantes continued, “I would also like to thank the sponsors and the individuals inside Smith & Wesson who helped make this match possible. We are grateful to have the opportunity to host this prestigious match and we look forward to growing our relationships with each of the academies.”
At the conclusion of the event, the cadets were treated to a special awards banquet attended by Silver Star recipient Colonel Phil Torres, USMC (Ret). Colonel Torres, who served as a Safety Officer earlier in the day, personally congratulated each of the team members and spoke to them about their responsibilities as future leaders of our nation. Assisting Torres behind the scenes was Match Director, Mike Crister. A long time coordinator for other Smith & Wesson hosted events such as the IDPA Indoor Nationals and the Back Up Gun Nationals, Crister and his team of volunteers played a leading role in designing each of the stages of fire while keeping the playing field safe and balanced.
Match sponsors for the 2014 Joint Service Academy Combat Weapons Competition included Smith & Wesson, the National Rifle Association, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, XS Sights, Brownells, Trijicon, Black Hills Ammunition, ATK Sporting/BLACKHAWK! and various other companies in the shooting sports industry.
About Smith & Wesson
Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC) is a U.S.-based leader in firearm manufacturing and design, delivering a broad portfolio of quality firearms, related products and training to the consumer, law enforcement, and military markets. The company’s brands include Smith & Wesson®, M&P® and Thompson/Center Arms™. Smith & Wesson facilities are located in Massachusetts and Maine. For more information on Smith & Wesson, call (800) 331-0852 or log on to www.smith-wesson.com.