CAMP SMITH TRAINING SITE, N.Y. — New York Army National Guard Pvt. Briana Tilloston, a Newark Valley resident, took home two first place awards at the 2019 Adjutant Generals’ Marksmanship Match.
Known as the “TAG Match” – short for “The Adjutant General’s Match “-the annual marksmanship competition tests the ability to New York National Guard Soldiers and Airmen to master the M-16 and M-4 rifles and the M-9 military pistol. Members of the New York Naval Militia and the New York Guard, the state’s volunteer self-defense force, can also participate.
Tillotson is a member of Headquarters and Support Company of the 204th Engineer Battalion which is based in Binghamton.
She finished in first place in the Sgt. Henry Johnson Individual Combat Rifle Match and the Sgt. Timothy Murphy “Bullseye” competition.
Sgt. Henry Johnson was an African-American Soldier who was one of the first New York National Guard heroes of World War I. Timothy Murphy was a Revolutionary War militia Soldier from the Schoharie Valley who was famed as a marksman.
The Individual Combat Rifle Match tests a Soldier’s ability to hit a variety of targets using the issue M-16 or M-4 rifle. The Timothy Murphy contest is a shoot-off designed to break ties.
Tillotson and another Soldier got the same score in the Henry Johnson competition and the Timothy Murphy results determined the winner in that competition.
The annual marksmanship competition is an important event for the New York National Guard, said Major General Ray Shields, the Adjutant General of New York.
“Our Soldiers and Airmen must be able to engage an enemy with accurate small arms fire under stressful combat conditions. Every opportunity our Soldiers and Airmen get to fire their individual weapons is critical to building combat effectiveness,” Shields said.
Tillotson, who competed in the event in 2018, said she came out to have fun and was surprised to have won the event.
“I did not know that I had won until other soldiers told me,” Tillotson said
She grew up in Whitney Point shooting with her father, Tillotson said, and she’s learned to be patient which is an important marksmanship skill.
Tillotson was also awarded an Army Achievement Medal by Brig. General Michel Natali, commander of the 53rd Troop Command, in recognition of her accomplishment.