Specialist Jonathon Wannemacher is an infantryman in the 82nd Airborne. He’s also a skilled marksman. At age 26, he’s ranked as one of the top 100 competitive shooters in the country. He placed 81 out of roughly 1,200 shooters in the President’s Hundred Match, a national competition held this past July in Camp Perry, OH.
“I knew if I shot my averages, I’d be OK,” said Wannemacher. “My first ten shots I took, I was shooting kind of on the low end of my averages, so I was in the pressure cooker a little bit, but it ended up working out just fine.”
Earning the President’s Hundred tab helped Wannemacher secure a spot in the prestigious Army Marksmanship Unit, home to some of the most elite competition shooters in the world.
His next assignment will be at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he will compete with the service rifle team and train other soldiers.
Unlike most in the Army Marksmanship Unit, Wannamacher didn’t start shooting competitively until he was 22. His first competition was the 82nd Airborne’s Small Arms Championship, but he has been an avid recreational shooter since he was nine.
His first rifle was a "Lil Champ" single shot, bolt action .22 bought with money he earned doing chores around the house.
“I probably put thousands and thousands of bullets through that little thing,” Wannemacher said. “Repetition brings success, and I was a shooting fool when I was a little kid. I just wasn’t shooting in front of an audience.”