Woman wins National Rifle Championship: she’s the best! – Focus on People

Woman wins National Rifle Championship: she’s the best! – Focus on People – Liana Bombardier

Paula J. Randall Pagan

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, an 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 in August.

The 21-year-old soldier is the first woman in the match’s 100-year history to win the trophy awarded to the service-rifle shooter with the highest aggregate score over the entire championships.

“The Atkins Trophy is difficult to win and I was thrilled to find out I’d won it,” Bombardier said. “I was behind by five points going into the last day of competition, but I shot well that last day and came up ahead. I never thought I was going to win.”

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 in 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 said.

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 her shooting career 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.

Paula J. Randall Pagan is with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit Public Affairs Office.

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