March 7th, 2012

SSG Ty Cooper of USAMU Wins MMA Shooter of Year Award

SSG (Staff Sgt.) Ty Cooper, a service rifle shooter/instructor with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, was selected as the Military Marksmanship Association (MMA) Soldier of the Year (SOY) for 2011. MMA president Lt. Col. (Ret.) Robert Harbison made the announcement at the MMA Annual Membership Meeting. Harbison presented the Soldier of the Year Award to Cooper — a .45acp pistol donated by Smith & Wesson. Other MMA 2011 SOY nominees were: PFC Matthew Sweeney from the Action Shooting team; SGT Lawrence Cleveland from the Service Pistol team; SFC Thomas Rose, International Pistol; Shotgun team member SSG Josh Richmond; SFC Eric Uptagrafft from the International Rifle team; and SPC Billy Hankins from the Custom Firearms Shop.

Cooper Wins Big Matches After Deployment to Afghanistan
Ty Cooper had a remarkable year on and off the range. Cooper claimed his first Interservice individual championship at Quantico in July. He also won the long-range individual championship and was a member of the overall team champions, making it a clean sweep. A few weeks later, Cooper won the National Service Rifle Championship at Camp Perry, Ohio. All of this success was accomplished despite a deployment to Afghanistan that stretched into the spring.

SSG Cooper (center) with Lt.Col. R. Harbison (Ret.) (left) and Lt.Col. D. Hodne USAMU Commander (right).

“Looking back over the whole year I really am proud of being able to maintain the level of consistency it took to stay right there at the top,” said Cooper. “I think the thing I am most proud of was winning the two biggest matches that we have in our season in the same year. My goals kind of progressed as the summer went. I had never won an Interservice Championship and that was top of the list. I [also]had a burning desire to prove myself at the NRA Nationals and I won the Service Rifle National Championship.” When not shooting in competition, Coopper serves as a lead instructor for the service rifle team.

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