NIU’s ROTC rifle team prepares for competition

By Kevin Steiger

The ROTC Huskie Battalion Rifle Team is practicing its marksmanship skills to prepare for its competition against ISU on Saturday.

“The rifle team is a group of skilled ROTC cadets that have proven their marksmanship skills,” said freshman business major Mustafa Sahin. “They go to different schools to compete against them.”

The team’s cadets go to the Sycamore Sportsman Club every week to practice. They are supervised by trained professionals.

“To be recruited, the cadet must go through a series of shooting exercises,” said Alexander Noll, rifle team member and junior political science major. “The people who score best are chosen.”

In the competition, there are three positions that the teams must perform: standing, kneeling and prone. In each stage, the cadet has 10 shots to score against the target. It is possible to score up to 100 points in each position.

“Overall, each cadet can obtain up to 300 points at the end of the competition,” said Vincent Helmus, ROTC cadet and sophomore international politics major.

In its last competition, the team competed against five universities, including Western Illinois University, University of North Dakota, Washington University and the University of Illinois.

In the competition, four cadets managed to take second and third places in the overall competition. A cadet from North Dakota took first place. Jonathan Mazzone, a cadet and freshman undeclared major, took second place in the individual overall competition and first place in the kneeling position. Noel took third place in the individual overall and took first place in the standing position.

For more information about the ROTC, go to