Missouri Airman returns victorious from marksmanship challenge

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kelly Ferguson
  • 131st Bomb Wing Public Affairs

A 131st Bomb Wing Airman assigned to Whiteman Air Force Base scored highly during the Marksmanship Advisory Council (MAC) V Region Match at Camp Robinson, Arkansas, July 25-27, 2023.


Tech. Sgt. Brandon Keeton, 131st Maintenance Squadron (MXS) non-destructive inspections, was the sole member of his marksmanship team representing the Missouri Air National Guard during the competition.


Keeton, along with 11 other Missouri National Guard teammates, returned home with plenty of hardware. He won first place in the Individual Pistol Challenge - Novice, and second place in the Overall Individual Challenge - Novice. In team competitions, Keeton’s “Alpha Team” claimed first place in the Overall Team, Team Rifle, and Team Pistol competitions. Two other Missouri National Guard teams also earned their share of the accolades during the event.


The opportunity to build marksmanship skills, network with other skilled marksmen and enjoy a competitive atmosphere was a large draw for Keeton during this competition. During the event, Keeton experienced what he described as a challenging environment that mimicked combat conditions and he saw firsthand how other military branches train with firearms.


“It was an interesting situation for me because even though I have friends in other military branches, I’ve never really been integrated or surrounded myself with them,” said Keeton. “Watching them perform and being able to match them, or even excel in certain categories, was a great experience.”


Keeton’s former supervisor Master Sgt. Jessica Gibson, MXS resource advisor and Non-Destructive Inspections Section chief, played a large part in how he was able to being shooting competitively with the Guard.


“I knew he had a passion for competitions and tactical firearms since he works as a police officer in the city,” Gibson said. “When I saw an opportunity for him to get involved in the state Adjutant General’s Competition I submitted his name. He got the opportunity to go as a military member and do what he loves to do. Who wouldn’t enjoy that?”


Keeton hopes to be able to continue improving his skills through competitive shooting as well as share his experiences with any others who may be interested and hopes to be a point of contact for those who share an interest in marksmanship competitions in the future.


“I’m happy to promote this opportunity,” said Keeton. “I hope we could get people at Jefferson Barracks or even just a few more at Whiteman by getting the word out and informing people of these opportunities. If you can shoot, great; if you can’t shoot, we’ll teach you. You’ll learn a lot and take a lot away from the experience.”


The MAC Region Matches are designed to provide a combat focused marksmanship sustainment training event in each of the seven MAC regions covering the United States. The matches are used to substantiate and bolster perishable marksmanship skills essential to U.S. military mobilization readiness and success. 131st Airmen seeking additional information about the 131st Bomb Wing's marksmanship program or wanting to join the team should contact Tech. Sgt. Keeton, or Master Sgt. Joshua Trent.