TF soldier wins Army’s top shooting award
Captain Sergai Davis, second in charge of Bravo Company, 7th Wellington Hawkes Bay Battalion, is the 2009 Queen's Medal and Championship Belt winner.
Fifty-two soldiers from all branches of the Army entered the competition. They practised at Waiouru’s Taylor Range before two days of competition. After three preliminary matches had been completed, the top ten marksmen took their places on the 300-metre mound for “The William Brighton Match”, the prestigious fourth and final round of the Queen's Medal Shooting Competition.
CAPT Davis faced some formidable opposition; the other nine finalists on the 300m line included experienced rifle instructors, soldiers who had competed at the Bisley tournament in the UK, and young infantrymen who were top scorers in the Freyberg Trophy.
The ten firers competed in a match that flowed in a similar style to the Annual Weapons Qualification shoot but with more demanding engagement scenarios, with no allowance for failure of the firer’s weapon, ammunition and personal equipment, and with a rapidly increasing pace as the distances closed.
The final close-quarter sequences, firing at pairs of small figure 12 and 14 targets, were fast and complex, requiring a high degree of concentration not only from the firers but also from the butt party.
The weather for the Queen’s Medal was variable, with showers and a gusty crosswind in the opening match. However the weather cleared for the end of the competition although some shooters had to negotiate large puddles near the 75 yard mark.
Others in the top ten, all of whom received marksmanship badges for their achievement, were Corporal Gillgren, Private B Falk, Staff Sergeant K Andersen, PTE M Lupi, Lieutenant B Jones, Corporal D M Garden, Warrant Officer Two P Mumm, PTE P Hitch and SSGT S Muschamp.
Other award winners were SSGT K Andersen, 16 FD REGT, the Log (for highest scoring competitor from 1RNZIR ) and the Artillery Trophy (for highest scoring competitor from 16 Field Reg ); SSGT M Bedford, Land Operational Training Centre; the Waiouru RSA Shield (highest total scorer from ATG Waiouru), PTE A Clark, 2/1 Battalion (2/1BN) the School of Infantry Trophy (top score for young junior rank infantryman); PTE B Falk, 2/1 BN, the Army Rifle Team Trophy (highest total score in Matches 1,2,3) and the Army Cup; PTE G Hitch,1 RNZIR, the Trentham Rose Bowl (top score for a first time firer) PTE M Lupi 2/1 RNZIR, the Vickers Trophy (top scorer Match 2); LCPL J Mablin, 2 LOG BN, the Lewis Trophy, (top scorer Match 1), PTE P Harrison, 2/1 BN, the Pistol Trophy.
CAPT Davis has been in the Territorials for 20 years. He has competed in 16 Freybergs and nine Queen’s Medal competitions. He works in the construction industry as a health and safety officer, and until recently has served with 7 WNHB at Napier, but he is now in Wellington with Norfolk ODG Rail the company upgrading the Wellington suburban rail system.