The Service Pistol 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 multiple Train the Trainer courses both at home and abroad.
The Service Pistol Team enhances the Army’s recruiting effort by interacting with the public at the Small Arms Firing School (SAFS). SAFS is conducted in conjunction with the National Matches. Begun in 1903, and mandated by US Code, SAFS is a program of instruction designed to instruct civilians in the use of the current Service Rifle (M16A2) and Service Pistol (M9). SAFS consists of a period of classroom instruction, by the instructors of the Service Pistol Team, followed by hands-on range firing.
The Service Pistol Team conducts its unique outreach mission through planning and conducting various pistol matches. The team runs the Pistol phase of the US Army Small Arms Championships (also referred to as the “All Army”). Service Pistol members provide marksmanship instruction prior to firing, and carefully mentor the competitors throughout the matches. During these Championships, Soldiers compete with issue weapons and full combat equipment in a variety of events, emphasizing both precision marksmanship and physical fitness.
The team competes with a variety of pistols. Shooters participate in slow-fire (at 50 yards), timed-fire and rapid-fire matches (both at 25 yards), which make up the National Match Course and aggregate competitions using .22-caliber, center-fire and .45-caliber pistols as well as a highly accurized version of the M9 pistol.
The Service Pistol Team also competes in NRA Action Pistol Championships which requires extreme accuracy over a four stage event. NRA Action Pistol is considered to be one of the most difficult pistol championships in all of pistol shooting sports.
Ultimately, competing in and winning the Interservice and National Championship Matches, as well as numerous Local, State, and Regional Championships enables the Service Pistol 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.