USAS and USAMU Athletes Honored at the National Infantry Museum’s USAMU Olympic Exhibit
FORT BENNING, Ga. (June 8, 2012)
Olympians were honored as the National Infantry Museum unveiled a display celebrating the tradition of Olympians hailing from the United States Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU). Robert Mitchell, Executive Director of USA Shooting, praised the “Home of Champions” and their work in marksmanship excellence with 70 Olympians and 44 Olympic medals hailing from USAMU shooters.
Several USAMU alumnae and USAS athletes were on hand to admire the collection of Olympic, World Cup and World Championship medals, uniforms, guns and an Olympic torch all used or worn by past members of the USAMU. Prominent items include: Olympic medals from the legendary Lones Wigger, the only shooter in the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, Assistant National Shotgun Coach Todd Graves’ bronze medal winning Perazzi and Wanda Jewell’s 1984 bronze medal.
USAS and the USAMU proudly displayed a partnership that has fostered several Olympic and World Champions. To date, there are five members of the USAMU that have qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Games: Staff Sergeant Josh Richmond (Hillsgrove, Pa.), Sergeant First Class Eric Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Ala.), Sergeant Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Ga.), Sergeant Glenn Eller (Katy, Texas) and Staff Sergeant Michael McPhail (Darlington, Wis.). With four more Olympic spots remaining on the team, several USAMU soldiers are still in contention for London. Additionally, Sergeant First Class Josh Olson (Spokane, Wash.) is the first active-duty service member to earn a nomination to the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team.
"I liked going back and seeing all the medals from 1964 to 2008, and the tradition that the Army Marksmanship Unit brings to the Olympic history," said Hancock in an interview with a local reporter. "It's about experiencing the camaraderie that all the soldiers have, the past present and future soldiers. It's a great feeling knowing you're part of that brotherhood."
1960 Olympian Laurence "Red" Mosely, a former rapid fire pistol shooter with the USAMU, and 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Nominee McPhail had the honors of unveiling the display. The exhibit will remain available for public viewing through the end of the year.