By Canadian Ranger Master Corporal Chris Vernon
Members of Ontario’s 3Rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group’s (3CRPG) Junior Canadian Ranger program hit the bull’s-eye recently and came home from Winnipeg with medals after participating in a national marksmanship competition.
The Junior Canadian Rangers National Marksmanship Competition was held Oct. 7 – 10, in Winnipeg, Manitoba at Canadian Forces Base Winnipeg, and played host to competitors from all five Canadian Ranger Patrol Groups in Canada.
According to 3CRPG Junior Canadian Rangers Training Officer Captain Courtney Giles, Ontario sent two five-member teams to the air rifle competition and one individual competitor who was attached to another team.
“The Junior Canadian Rangers competed in a prone shooting position and a standing. Electronic targets were used for this competition. It allowed competitors to see in real time exactly where their shot hit and their score,” said Captain Giles.
Captain Giles added that 3CRPG’s competitors prepared for the competition by practicing the principles of marksmanship, including shooting positions, shot release, alignment and breathing control.
The practice paid off with 3CRPG Junior Canadian Ranger Amelia Gull from the Peawanuck Patrol placing third from the standing position. Junior Canadian Ranger Thunder O’Keese from the Kasabonika Patrol and his team placed third in the team turkey shoot.
“It’s an opportunity for our Junior Canadian Rangers to get together, meet other Rangers and go somewhere they may not have been before. It’s much more than a competition. They represented us extremely well,” said 3CRPG Commanding Officer Lt.-Col. Shane McArthur.
Ten teams, comprised of 70 Junior Canadian Rangers from across Canada, participated in this year’s competition, hosted by the 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group.
Similar to the national cadet program, the Junior Canadian Rangers program is open to youth between the ages of 12 to 18 who live in remote isolated locations, and is managed and facilitated by army personnel, local Canadian Ranger Patrols and community volunteers.
The Junior Canadian Rangers are taught “The Three Circles,” life skills, traditional skills and Ranger skills. Marksmanship and safe firearms handling are part of the Ranger skills.