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By Staff Sgt. Zane Craig
FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. – One hundred five Pennsylvania National Guard Soldiers and Airmen competed with rifles and pistols in multiple courses of fire to determine the Commonwealth’s best marksmen during the Governor’s Twenty match here Aug. 14-15.
Created in 1968, the Governor's Twenty is a state-level National Guard award presented annually to the top 20 shooters in a state. Participants have the opportunity to test marksmanship skills and weapon systems in four different matches: the 400-yard slow fire, combat rifle excellence in competition, 30-yard slow fire, and combat pistol excellence in competition.
“It was a good day of shooting for me,” said Sgt. Jason Goodling, this year’s top scorer. “It was just a matter of muscle memory and going through the stages of fire.”
Goodling, of York Haven, Pa., has placed in the Governor’s Twenty five times but never before in the top three
Like Goodling, many Soldiers and Airmen compete and earn top scores year after year. This year, despite a delay due to COVID-19, participation increased by nearly 50 percent.
“This match tests the skill and strength of our Guardsmen through an intense marksmanship competition,” said Maj. Gen. Tony Carrelli, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general and head of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA). “This competition is the great equalizer. It does not matter whether you are Army or Air Force, officer or enlisted, young or old, or what type of unit you represent. Whoever can shoot the best can be a Governor’s Twenty.”
The Army and Air Force both recognize the state award and it is reflected on the service members’ official personnel record. The top 20 scorers were awarded the coveted Governor’s Twenty tab and a certificate to identify them as being outstanding marksmen.
The competition was conducted by the Pa. Guard’s Individual Training Branch's Marksmanship Training Unit.
The 2020 Governor's Twenty recipients:
1. Sgt. Jason Goodling, York Haven (York County)
2. Capt. Ian Swisher, Rockville (Maryland)
3. Sgt. 1st Class Scott Sheroky, Fredericksburg (Lebanon County)
4. Staff Sgt. Robert Lydic, Pittsburgh (Allegheny County)
5. Staff Sgt. Douglas Costello, Mountain Top (Luzerne County)
6. Senior Airman Nicholas Yackovich, Harrison City (Westmoreland County)
7. Capt. Phillip Wright, Carlisle (Cumberland County)
8. Staff Sgt. John Rebuck, Elizabethtown (Lancaster County)
9. Sgt. 1st Class Luke Heim, Pottstown (Montgomery County)
10. Sgt. 1st Class John Nebzydoski, Wapwallopen (Luzerne County)
11. Chief Warrant Officer 4 Richard Jones, Lebanon (Lebanon County)
12. Chief Warrant Officer 3 Andrew Harrison, Palmyra (Lebanon County)
13. Pfc. Austin Barnhart, Lamar (Clinton County)
14. Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Fusco, Sellersville (Bucks County)
15. Sgt. Justin Hanson, Shoemakersville (Berks County)
16. 1st Sgt. Troy Conrad, Punxsutawney (Jefferson County)
17. Lt. Col. Adam Grove, York (York County)
18. Staff Sgt. Anthony Sanner, Pittsburgh (Allegheny County)
19. Spc. Brennen Koji, Bellefonte (Centre County)
20. Sgt. William Varee, Springboro (Crawford County)