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Tallest Airman makes short work of marksmanship match field

group photo of 2019 Marksmanship Event

Nevada Air National Guardsmen that competed in the 2019 Nevada Guard Adjutant General’s Marksmanship Match, from left to right: Master Sgt. Michael Moore; Master Sgt. Anthony Haley; Senior Airman Elizabeth Smith; Senior Master Sgt. Paul Hinen; and Master Sgt. Patrick Hall.

HAWTHORNE, Nev. --

At first glance, most people would feel confident guessing which sport Master Sgt. Michael Moore – the tallest Airman in the Nevada Guard at 6 feet 10 inches tall – excelled in while attending Reno’s Hug High in the early 2000s.

But the answer of basketball is wrong.

Despite dabbling in hoops his freshman year for the Hawks, Moore (Class of 2003) found himself drawn to the rifle team, where he earned three varsity letters, was named second-team All-State, and set a Hug High match scoring record. His early exposure to marksmanship led to a lifelong passion for the sport and laid the foundation for the skills that earned Moore, 34, of Reno, the Adjutant General’s Marksmanship Match overall title in August at the Hawthorne Army Depot.

“Shooting is definitely the one activity I put the most time and energy into, whether I’m in uniform or not,” said Moore, who has maintained his shooting passion into his adult life and today organizes and oversees NORNEV precision rifle matches sponsored by the Palomino Valley Gun Club in Reno.

It was the second TAG title for Moore, who also won in 2012. Staff Sgt. Frank Nash, the 2014 champion, did not compete. The top 20 in the field of 50 were awarded “Governors Twenty” tabs, a state tab designating the top 20 marksmen in the Nevada Guard. Sixteen Soldiers and four Airmen received tabs from Brig. Gen. Bill Burks, who was presiding over his final TAG match before his retirement in September.

Burks had to be pleased with the performances by his fellow Airmen, as four of the five Air Guard entrants earned tabs. In addition to Moore, tab recipients Master Sgt. Patrick Hall and Tech Sgt. Anthony Haley work as instructors in the combat arms training and maintenance section of the 152nd Security Forces Squadron. The fourth tabbed Airman was Senior Master Sgt. Paul Hinen of the 152nd Medical Group.

Another section that performed well was the Army Guard’s Recruiting and Retention staff. All three of the sections entrants – 1st Sgt. Jose Obregon, Sgt. 1 st Class Skylar Lee and Sgt. Richard Rupe – earned tabs. In fact, Lee and Rupe took the overall second and third places respectively.

Although he had a comfortable lead after all four events in the marksmanship match were scored, Moore’s victory this year was not as dominant as it was in 2012, when he won all four events. After the first event, the Pistol Excellence in Competition, Moore found himself trailing by 20 points to 1st Lt. Benjamin Holden of 1-221st Cavalry.

But Moore rebounded to win two of the final three events, the Rifle Excellence in Competition and Pistol Anti-Body Army contests. In those two events, Moore put 122 points on Holden as the cav officer slipped to fifth overall. The winner of the fourth event was Spc. Brent Caber of the 593 rd Transportation Company. He won the Rifle Reflexive Fire individual event, but his poor performance in the Pistol Anti-body Armor event left him in 12th overall.

After a five-year hiatus since the last TAG match, Capt. Jacob Sanford of the Army Guard’s Operations and Training section said, if funding allows, he plans to schedule the match annually. For information on competing in 2020, call 775-887-7223.