Soldiers, Airmen compete in 2017 TAG Marksmanship Match

Soldiers from the Kansas Army National Guard fire M4’s during the 2017 TAG Marksmanship Match. (Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Justin Jacobs)

By Tech. Sgt. Justin Jacobs, 184th Public Affairs

More than 80 Soldiers and Airmen from across Kansas took aim downrange at the Kansas National Guard Weapons Range in Salina, Kansas, on Sept. 14. They competed for top honors in the annual Kansas Adjutant General’s Marksmanship Match, commonly known as the TAG Match.

The TAG Match is a marksmanship competition that tests the skill of using pistols and rifles.

“We were expecting 150 to 200 shooters, but due to budget cuts and the hurricanes that hit Texas and Florida, our turn-out wasn’t what we hoped it would be,” said Sgt. Joseph Romans, noncommissioned officer in charge of the TAG Match.

Kansas National Guard shooters, both Army and Air Force, took part in individual and team contests to prove their marksmanship skills.

Competitions consisted of shooting from varying distances and positions with the M-9 pistol and the M-4/M-16 rifle.

During the Excellence in Competition legs of the match, individuals vied for the top spot among all shooters for a chance to earn the Governor’s Twenty tab; a state-level award presented to the top 20 shooters in the state. Recipients of the award may wear the tab on their uniform to signify their excellent marksmanship.

The TAG Match isn’t just a competition; it is a way for Kansas Guardsmen to build morale and hone their marksmanship skills.

“It enables Soldiers and Airmen to come out and work on a fundamental skill like marksmanship, and show off their talent, in addition to having fun shooting together,” said Romans.

Over the years, the Kansas National Guard has made improvements to the range that have made the competition even better.

“The upgrades that they have made to the range are phenomenal,” said Tech Sgt. Treg White, NCOIC pistol range. “We are able to use several different courses of fire because of the improvements and it has made the TAG Match better and better every year.”