Four-time Olympian Todd Graves to be Inducted into U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit Hall of Fame
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (October 14, 2016)
Four-time Olympian and 2000 Olympic bronze medalist Todd Graves is set to be inducted into the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) Hall of Fame in a ceremony on Saturday. Graves is the current National Team Coach for Shotgun for USA Shooting.
It’s already been a big week for Graves as he became a first-time grandfather last Saturday and watched as his athletes earned three medals at the World Cup Final in Rome, Italy. He’s guided the shotgun program since 2012 and has helped lead them to unprecedented success in that time including four Olympic, 21 World Championship and 47 World Cup medals.
More than 300 past and present Soldiers assigned to the U. S. Army Marksmanship Unit are expected to gather in Fort Benning today and Saturday for the 60th anniversary of the founding of the unit. USAMU Reunions are organized by the Military Marksmanship Association (MMA)—the alumni association of the unit. This year’s festivities include Soldier of the Year presentations, the Hall of Fame induction and shooting demonstrations.
Graves began his shooting career as a 12-year-old and quickly became one of the most dominant skeet shooters in the history of USA Shooting. He earned a spot on four U.S. Olympic Teams including 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004. At the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, Graves won the bronze medal in men’s skeet to join Nancy Johnson and Kim Rhode as the only Americans to win shooting medals at the Sydney Games. At the time, Graves and Matt Dryke were the only Americans to have ever won an Olympic skeet medal.
Graves finished 11th in trap and 29th in skeet in 1992, 15th in skeet in 1996, and ninth in 2004 to finish out his Olympic shooting career. During his 20-year career, he also a World Championships bronze medalist twice in 2005 and 1998 and earned 12 World Cup medals, including five victories. He’s the only person in the history of the sport to earn a World Cup medal in all three shotgun disciplines.
“Being inducted into the USAMU Hall of Fame is absolutely a tremendous honor for me,” Graves acknowledged. “The Army made it possible for me to fulfill my dream of winning an Olympic medal. I really have to thank Mr. Burl Branham for bringing me into the Army, being my mentor and coach as well as being a second father to me for all those years.”
Graves was raised in Laurel, Miss., and graduated from West Jones High School in 1982. Graves enlisted in the Army in 1984 and was assigned to the U.S. Army’s Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) after he completed Basic and Infantry Training at Fort Benning, Ga. In 1990, he was assigned as a team leader with the 20th Infantry Regiment in Korea, then returned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit in 1991.
Since its formation by President Eisenhower in 1956, the USAMU has continuously served our nation by providing excellence in marksmanship and small arms development. The service members and civilians who have served with or supported the USAMU have directly contributed to our Army’s readiness to protect America’s interest at home and abroad. Since its creation, the USAMU has won 23 Olympic medals, 40 World Championships, and over 300 national team and individual titles, demonstrating to the world the Army’s marksmanship proficiency.