Spc Bombardier
Shooting her M-16A2, Spc. Liana Bombardier, U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit service rifle shooter,
won the Service Rifle National Long Range Rifle Championship at Camp Perry, Ohio.

Woman wins national rifle championship

By Paula J. Randall Pagan FORT BENNING, Ga. (Army News Service, Aug., 2003) -- She says she's "just one of the guys." But when this female soldier triumphed over hundreds of the country's best rifle shooters, she became the first woman to win a particular national shooting title.

Shooting her M-16A2, Spc. Liana Bombardier, a U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit service rifle shooter, won the Service Rifle National Long Range Rifle Championship at Camp Perry, Ohio. Bombardier garnered the Billy C. Atkins Trophy as the highest scoring service rifle shooter in the National Highpower Rifle Long Range Championships Aug. 15 - 18.

The 21-year-old soldier is the first woman in the 100-year history of the matches to win the trophy awarded to the service rifle (now a M-1, M-14 or M-16) shooter with the highest aggregate score over the entire championships.

"The Atkins Trophy is a hard trophy to win and I was thrilled to find out I had won it," Bombardier said. "I was behind by 5 points going into the last day of competition. I shot well that last day and came up ahead. I never thought I was going to win it."

Bombardier also fired her M-16A2 in matches at 600, 800, 900 and 1,000 yards, and won the Service Rifle Category in the Palma Individual Trophy Match and the High Master Category in the Porter Trophy Match. She also won the Annie Oakley Trophy for being the best female shooter in this year's Interservice Championships at Quantico, Va.

"I attribute my success to the great equipment, the gunsmiths and the coaching staff behind the line giving shooters' advice and help," Bombardier explained.

And how does she feel about being the lone female training with more than a dozen of the Army's best male shooters on the USAMU Service Rifle Team?

"I get treated like everyone else, but I expect a lot of myself," she said. "I would like to tell other shooters, especially women, to get out there, practice and enjoy the competition."

Bombardier started shooting in 1995. She was the 2001 Junior Service Rifle National Champion, a member of the 2000 Trophy Cup Championship Team and won the Arizona State Junior Service Rifle Championship in 1996, 1999, 2000 and 2001.

For more information on the units' accomplishments visit www.usarec.army.mil/hq/amu/.

(note: Paula J. Randall Pagan is a writer for the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit Public Affairs Office)

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