U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Brandon Green, with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, explains to soldiers how to make proper front sight adjustments during a 10-day Basic Rifle Marksmanship Instructor Course at Kabul Military Training Center in Kabul, Afghanistan. (DoD photo)

Legion alum named 'Soldier of the Year'

Staff Sgt. Brandon Green, a shooter with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) at Fort Benning, Ga., was recently named the 2013 Soldier of the Year by the Military Marksmanship Association. A native of Covington, La., Green won The American Legion's Junior 3-Position Air Rifle National Sporter competition in 2001 while shooting for his high school's Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps air rifle team. He was recruited out of high school 10 years ago to shoot for the USAMU – a career that has allowed him to train active-duty soldiers in country and overseas, such as Afghanistan.

"Everything that we learn through the competitive marksmanship side of what we do is transferred directly into the military marksman and how we train our soldiers and what we train our soldiers," Green told the Ledger-Enquirer. "This is pretty much as good as it gets for a competitive shooter. For someone that loves to do what we do in the competitive shooting world, and training the war fighter, this is as good as it gets. We get a lot of interaction with guys that are going to deploy, that are going to have to use the tactics that we're teaching them. So it's very rewarding that we get to get out there and instruct as many soldiers as we do every year."

Green's career with the USAMU has also led to many accolades. He won the National Rifle Association's National Highpower Rifle Championships in 2013, the U.S. Army Forces Command Rifle Trophy in 2013, the Hearst Rifle Trophy in 2010, the Association of the U.S. Army Trophy and Daniel Boone Trophy in 2006, and he was the first shooter in the nation to earn the Junior Distinguished Badge in 2001, awarded by the Civilian Marksmanship Program. Green has also been a firing member on the National Trophy Rifle Team Match and the National Trophy Infantry Team Match for the past several years, and he's an instructor for the Rifle Small Arms Firing School held at Camp Perry in Port Clinton, Ohio, for young people.