Marine Corps Tank Detachment Hosts Corps Wide TIGERCOMP VIII Gunnery Competition at Fort Knox

TIGERCOMP VIII Gunnery Competition 2010

Fort Knox; September 11, 2010:  Since 1996, the finest tank crews, representing each of the Marine Corps' three tank battalions, have converged on Fort Knox to compete for top honors during the TIGERCOMP VIII gunnery competition. It is the only event of its kind within the Department of Defense, which allows both active and reserve combat arms units to compete head-to-head for the distinction of being the top tank crew in the Marine Corps or Army. Two of the tank crews were comprised of active duty Marines (1st Tank Battalion and 2nd Tank Battalion), while one crew represented the reserve component (4th Tank Battalion). Each crew consisted of a tank commander, gunner, loader, and driver. The original concept of TIGERCOMP was designed to test each Marine tank crew's decision making abilities, communication, technical proficiency, weapons accuracy, and cohesiveness, while operating the Abrams M1A1 main battle tank.  During actual competition, each crew engages both stationary and moving targets simulating enemy tanks, armored personnel carriers, and infantry.  For each competing crew, TIGERCOMP is the culmination of months of intensive training and evaluation, and is characterized by fierce competition amongst tank crews in each tank battalion.  TIGERCOMP VIII was hosted by the Marine Corps Tank Detachment, U.S. Army Armor School at Fort Knox and witnessed by Marines, their families and friends, from throughout Kentucky and neighboring states. Winner of TIGERCOMP VIII was the 2nd Tank Battalion, commanded by LtCol John Scharr, USMC. Representing the 2nd Tank Battalion, based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, was its crew: GySgt Samuel Swain - Tank Commander, Sgt Marc Ramirez - Gunner, Cpl Bryan Barnes - Loader, and Cpl Jeffrey Kernan - Driver. Members of both the Marine Corps League and the Marine Corps Coordinating Council of Kentucky, who were in attendance, were grateful for outstanding hospitality and organizational coordination. Special "tanks" to LtCol Michael L. Muller, USMC and MSgt Joseph Estep, USMC, of the Marine Corps Tank Detachment at Fort Knox for welcoming our Kentucky Marine family to TIGERCOMP VIII for a truly impressive display of technical competence and military achievement. Congratulations to the 2nd Tank Battalion. (Photo L to R: LtCol John Scharaar, CO 2nd Tank Battalion; LtCol Michael Muller, CO MARDET Fort Knox Tank School; LtCol Dave Bardorf, Tank Advocate HQMC; LtCol Timothy Barrick, CO 1st Tank Battalion; and LtCol John Polidoro, Inspector and Instructor, 4th Tank Battalion.  Additional photographs in "Galleries" section)