The International Team’s missions are to raise the standard of marksmanship and combat readiness throughout the Army and to enhance the Army’s recruiting effort. The team accomplishes the first element of its missions by conducting Basic Rifle Marksman Courses on Fort Benning for Active Army, Army Reserve, National Guard, and ROTC units. The team also works with the USAMU's Research and Developed and Customs Firearms Shop as a proving ground for technology that can be passed on to the Army Warfighter.
The International Team enhances the Army’s recruiting effort by interacting with the public through various competitions that include National Championships, Regional, Junior, and JROTC events.
Over 2,500 people pass through the International Team’s Pool Range Complex annually as competitors or spectators to these competitions. The team also conducts clinics in conjunction with the National Matches at Camp Perry, the USA Shooting National Championships, and various other competitions. These clinics consist of a period of classroom instruction by the instructors of the International Team, followed by hands-on range firing. The International Team is also invited to the NRA Jr. Clinic at Camp Perry, sharing their Army Story with the juniors, coaches, and families in attendance.
There are five different kinds of rifles used in International Rifle competition. The first is air-rifle which is shot in the standing position at 10 meters and fires a .177 caliber lead pellet. Also used are the smallbore free-rifle and ladies sport rifle. These are .22 caliber rifles fired at 50 meters. Men's events include a three-position match and a prone only match. Ladies also shoot a three-position match and prone only match. The air-rifle and smallbore rifles are used in all of the competitions listed above except for the CISM matches. The final kinds of rifles are those used in 300 meter competition. A big bore free-rifle, similar to the smallbore free-rifle above is used in 300 meter three-position and prone matches shot at the World Championships and Pan American Games. There is also a 300 meter standard rifle that has similar dimensions to an air-rifle, but has minimum trigger weight. This standard rifle is used in the World Championship, Pan American, and CISM competitions. All 300 meter rifles can use a maximum of 8mm cartridge.
The International Rifle Section enjoys a rich history of success in all national and international competitions, up to and including the Olympic Games. Soldiers from IR have amassed 14 Olympic medals since the USAMU inception in 1956. They have also won countless medals won in Pan American Games, World Championships, and the World Cups. During these international competitions 84 world records have been set in both team and individual events by section members. There are three past Olympians, three World Record Holders and three World Champions currently assigned to this section.
Ultimately, competing in and winning National and International level competitions enables the International Team to share the knowledge gained from these competitions with the broader Army in an effort to increase the Army’s combat readiness. These competitions also enable the team to connect America’s people with America’s Army in unique ways that may support the overall Army accessions mission and subsequently raise the Army’s combat readiness as well.