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The Rifleman: Maj. Mike Anti , Airborne, Ranger, Olympic Medalist Is Head Coach At Naval Academy

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Olympic Shooting Medalist Now Head Coach at Naval Academy

U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program marksman Maj. Michael Anti (center) shoots his way to a silver medal in the men’s 50-meter rifle three-position event in the 2004 Summer Olympic Games at Markopoulo Olympic Shooting Centre in Greece.

JAN. 4, 2022 | BY DAVID VERGUN, DOD

Michael “Mike” Anti is a sport shooter, a retired Army major and a marksman in the Army World Class Athlete Program.

He competed at the 1992, 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics in the 50-meter small-bore rifle events and won a silver medal in the three positions event in 2004.

In 2009 he retired from the Army and became assistant rifle coach at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Then in 2017 he became the head coach at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Anti joined the Army in January 1988 and was stationed in Korea with the 503rd Infantry Regiment before being assigned to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning, Georgia, as an international rifle shooter from 1991 to 1994.

While at Ft. Benning, Anti earned his Airborne Badge and Ranger Tab. In 1994, he was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, and following this assignment, Anti was reassigned to the USAMU in 1998.

Anti learned to shoot at a junior club when he was nine so he could hunt in North Carolina with his father, who was also a rifle coach for the Marine Corps and the Naval Academy. 

Anti went on to become a four-time All-American at West Virginia University, where he led the WVU rifle team to three National Collegiate Athletic Association Championships. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business from WVU in 1987.

During his first season in charge of the Navy rifle program in 2017-18, Anti guided the Midshipmen to their best finish in program history at the Great America Rifle Conference championship after finishing third overall. 

In the 2018-19 season, Anti coached Navy to the NCAA National Championship for the first time since 2011, and the Midshipmen placed seventh overall in the national championship. 

Anti guided the Naval Academy to its second-straight NCAA Championship qualification during the 2019-20 season. The Midshipmen qualified seventh overall in the national tournament field before the event’s cancellation due to COVID-19

During the 2020 to 2021 season, Anti led Navy to a sixth-place finish at the GARC championships. 

No stranger to the Navy rifle program, Anti’s father Ray, led the Midshipmen for 12 years from 1986 through the 1998 season following a distinguished 30-year career in the Marine Corps.

The U.S. Navy Marksmanship Team (USNMT) represents the Department of the Navy in inter-service and national competitions. Our mission is to train Sailors in marksmanship and small arms safety, while implementing Navy innovations in small arms technologies. 2021 marks the 60th year of Navy marksmanship competitions.

USNMT History

U.S. Naval Institute Archive Photo of the Week: Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet, at daily practice on the pistol range at his Pearl Harbor headquarters in December 1942.

In 1957, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Arleigh Burke, an ardent supporter of small arms proficiency, took steps to get the Navy’s marksmanship training program on course by issuing a directive establishing marksmanship instructor billets throughout the Navy. To find marksmanship experts, records were searched to locate the top rifle and pistol marksman on active duty in the Navy. The Chief of Naval Personnel selected 32 highly qualified sailors as the core of the Navy’s marksmanship team. The Small Arms Training Unit (SATU) was also established at Naval Training Center San Diego and served as the nucleus of skilled marksmen to compete, instruct, coach, and function as match officials at Navy-wide and national matches.

Over the years, the SATU was dis-established and Navy marksmanship experienced many changes and re-organization. However, the Navy Marksmanship Team (USNMT) continued to support competitive marksmanship with Sailors who dedicate their time and talent to advance precision marksmanship. Today, team members from all officer designators and enlisted rates compete and train Sailors in the fundamental and advanced skills supporting precision marksmanship. Additionally, each year at the annual Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) national pistol and rifle matches, Sailors from the USNMT compete while providing civilian marksmanship instruction and community outreach. The team can also be found competing at various matches around the country and at fleet concentration areas. 

1909   First Navy Distinguished Marksman (Rifle)                                                LT Basil Rittenhouse
1925   First Navy Distinguished Pistol                                                                   ENS Bradford Bartlett
1966   Interservice Pistol (1st place)                                                                     PO1 Donald Hamilton
1968   Interservice Pistol (1st place)                                                                     PO1 Donald Hamilton
1969   Interservice Pistol (1st place)                                                                     PO1 Donald Hamilton
1969   Pistol Grand Aggregate (Current National Record 2668-140X)                PO1 Donald Hamilton
1969   Slow Fire Pistol (National Record 198-10x)                                               PO1 Donald Hamilton 
1970   Army Reserve Memorial Trophy (Pistol)(4)                                                 PO1 Donald Hamilton
1971   Army Reserve Memorial Trophy (Pistol)(4)                                                 PO1 Donald Hamilton
1972   Army Reserve Memorial Trophy (Pistol)(4)                                                 PO1 Donald Hamilton
1975   First female Distinguished Marksman (Rifle)                                              PO1 Mary Feeney
1978   Admiral Nimitz Trophy (Navy Record 577-18X)(2)                                     PO2 Michael Kiger
1979   NRA Long Range Rifle Champion (1000 yd)                                               CPO Michael Gorchinski
2003   World Cup (USA) Gold Medalist (50m Rifle Prone)                                    LTJG Eric Uptagrafft
2004   CISM Best Male Rifle (300m Standard and Military Rapid Fire)                LTJG Eric Uptagrafft
2004   World Cup (Sydney) Gold Medalist (50m Rifle Prone)                               LTJG Eric Uptagrafft
2004   USA Shooting Nationals Champion (Women 10m Air Rifle)                       MIDN Sarah Bergman
2004   USA Shooting Nationals Champion (Women 10m Air Pistol)                      PO2 Sandra Uptagrafft
2004   USA Shooting Nationals Champion (Women 25m Air Pistol)                      PO2 Sandra Uptagrafft
2005   World Cup Final-Gold Medalist (Men 50m Rifle Prone)                              LT Eric Uptagrafft
2007   USA Shooting Nationals Champion (Women 10m Air Pistol)                      PO2 Sandra Uptagrafft
2008   Admiral Arleigh Burke Trophy (First female winner)(1)                              LCDR Yvonne Lyda
2012   USA Shooting Nationals Champion (Women 25m Sport Pistol)                 PO1 Sandra Uptagrafft
2012   USA Shooting Nationals Champion (Women 10m Air Pistol)                     PO1 Sandra Uptagrafft
2013   Admiral Arleigh Burke Trophy (Navy Record 981-32X)(1)                         LCDR Joseph Zerby
2013   USA Shooting Nationals Champion (Women 10m Air Pistol)                     PO1 Sandra Uptagrafft
2015   Interservice Rifle 1000 yd (1st place)                                                        CDR Kevin Glancey
2015   F-Open Fullbore NRA National Record (300 yd)                                         ENS Keith Trapp
2014   USA Shooting Nationals Champion (Women 25m Sport Pistol)                 PO1 Sandra Uptagrafft
2014   National Trophy Individual Rifle Champion                                                 CDR Matt Bartel
2014   Wyatt Trophy (Navy Record 494-22X)(3)                                                  CDR Matt Bartel
2017   Wyatt Trophy (Most wins-8)(3)                                                                   CDR Joseph Zerby
            2017, 15, 13, 12, 11, 09, 05, 02
2017   Admiral Arleigh Burke Trophy (Most wins-9)(1)                                         CDR Joseph Zerby
            2017, 16, 15, 13, 12, 11, 09, 05, 03
2018   PCC Champion (3 Gun Southeast Regional)                                                LT Jeremy Lightner
2018   Georgia State PCC Champion                                                                      LT Jeremy Lightner
2019   PCC National Pro Am Champion                                                                  LT Jeremy Lightner 

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