DoD

April 26, 2012

Face of Defense: Marine Earns Top-Shooter Status

Tags:
Lance Cpl. Paul Peterson
American Forces Press Service
DOD photo by Lance Cpl. Paul Peterson
Gunnery Sgt. Joshua A. Peterson, one of the crack shots on the Marine Corps Shooting Team, practices his aim at the Stone Bay Ranges on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 13, 2012. The custom-made rifle he uses is specially weighted.

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C., April 23, 2012 – Gunnery Sgt. Joshua A. Peterson is one of the few riflemen to earn a coveted place on the Marine Corps Shooting Team, where the time-honored art of marksmanship is a full-time job.

Peterson recently earned top-shooter status at the Eastern Division Match Championship held here, dropping only 12 points out of a possible 600.

Peterson said he was no stranger to firearms growing up in Wisconsin.

“I grew up shooting with my dad,” Peterson said. “I learned on iron sights as a kid and he wouldn’t let me shoot with scopes or anything like that until I was proficient.”

Peterson says the examples his family set helped him to become the Marine he is today.

“I’ve done a lot of things in my life that probably haven’t been the greatest, but you always have to deal with those and take that right step forward,” he said. “Character just comes from my family. My mother and father always pushed [me] to do the right things and do the best I can and the best with what you’ve got. I give a lot of credit to both of them.”

Peterson said his work on the Marine Corps Shooting Team helps to spread the art of shooting across the Marine Corps community. In his spare time, he also coaches the local West Potomac High School air rifle team.

“The [Marine Corps] shooting team keeps us on a pretty busy schedule,” said Master Sgt. Gregory T. Schardein, the team’s staff noncommissioned officer in charge and an accomplished shooter himself. “I know [Peterson] likes to ride [motorcycles], but what little time he does have he’s coaching the high school shooting team.”

It’s not the kind of activity one might expect upon meeting Peterson, a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom with a Bronze Star medal for valor, though he’d never bring it up in an interview. He’s not a man to revel in his own accomplishments, nor does he ever stop pushing to do better.

Peterson enlisted in 1997. In 1998, his feet graced the same yellow footprints that greet the future of the Marine Corps today at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. He considers himself fortunate.

“I have had the opportunity to serve with some of the best Marines that have come into the history of the Marine Corps,” said Peterson, as he patiently waited for his turn on the pistol range here.

A stoic with a quiet but sincere passion for shooting, Peterson’s solid frame, shaven head and strong gaze say more than words about his character. His teammates describe him as a dangerous threat to the enemy with a weapon in his hand.

Schardein describes Peterson as a natural leader and the kind of shooter other competitors can never discount.

“He’s highly competitive and forces everyone to bring their ‘A’ game,” Schardein said of Peterson. “Gunny Peterson is a known quantity. He’s someone you can count on — highly reliable.”

Peterson said he believes the skills and discipline that are forged on the shooting range are not about winning competitions.

“I don’t consider this to be a sport,” Peterson said. “I consider this to be training, [as part of preparation] to go back in-country to take out those that are putting our guys in harm’s way.”

“There are some really good shooters, one or two that could probably match, or on a good day, beat him,” Schardein said of Peterson’s shooting ability. “He’s probably one of the top 10 shooters in the Marine Corps.”

Competitive shooting takes mental fortitude and physical strength, said Peterson, who sets aside time each day to ensure his physical and shooting skills remain sharp.

“You wake up every morning and the first thing that you see in the mirror is what you are,” he said. “You are a Marine.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
DoD

Joint Strike Fighter on track, costs coming down, Kendall says

Indications are that the F-35 joint strike fighter program — the most expensive aviation program in Defense Department history — is on track, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics told a Senate panel June 19. Testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee this morning, Frank Kendall said the F-35 will be...
 
 
DoD
WEBarmy-jltv2

Joint Light Tactical Vehicle ‘closes capability gap,’ Army says

While the Humvee has served the Army well for some 25 years, there’s a “capability gap” in what it can do for warfighters on a 21st-century battlefield, said the Soldier responsible for overseeing its replacem...
 
 
DoD
Marine Corps photograph by Lance Cpl. Casey Scarpulla

Marines practice crisis response mission, render humanitarian aid

Marine Corps photograph by Lance Cpl. Casey Scarpulla Marines and Sailors provide medical aid and disaster assistance at Kiwanis Park in Yuma, Ariz. during a Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Recovery Exercise conducted by Marin...
 

 
DoD

DOD releases fiscal 2014 defense budget proposal

President Barack Obama April 10 sent to Congress a proposed defense budget of $526.6 billion in discretionary budget authority to fund defense programs in the base budget for fiscal year 2014. The budget continues the department’s commitment to good stewardship of taxpayer dollars by seeking further consolidation of defense infrastructure, instituting a study of possible...
 
 
DoD

DOD looks at funding’s effect on personnel, programs

Defense Department officials are looking at the recently signed continuing resolution that funds the government for the rest of the fiscal year to discern how the legislation affects personnel and programs, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said March 27. The legislation may mean fewer furlough days for defense civilian employees. “The full range of options...
 
 
DoD

F-35B successfully completes AIM-120 separation

Lockheed Martin photograph On March 26, the F-35B Lightning II became the first F-35 variant to complete airborne weapons separations on three different munitions, the most of any model. Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks released an AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile from BF-3 over water in the Atlantic Test Ranges. The F-35B is...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin