RCAF member takes “top shot” at military shooting competition

A group of military personnel wearing disruptive pattern camouflage uniforms, holding rifles, standing or kneeling in two rows.
The Royal Canadian Air Force small arms team assemble for a group photo on September 21, 2018, at the conclusion of the Canadian Armed Forces Small Arms Concentration held at Connaught Range and Primary Training Centre in Ottawa, Ontario. PHOTO: Aviator Jérôme Lessard

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RCAF Public Affairs

The Royal Canadian Air Force’s Lieutenant Baron Hordo took top Regular Force honours at the Canadian Armed Forces Small Arms Competition (CAFSAC) held September 10 to 22, 2018, at the Connaught Ranges and Primary Training Centre in Ottawa, Ontario.

Lieutenant Hordo, from 2 Canadian Forces Flying Training School at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, won the prestigious Queen’s Medal for Champion Shot—Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), Regular Force at the competition.

Corporal Timothy Nault from 39 Signal Regiment in British Columbia, took home the Queen’s Medal for Champion Shot—CAF, Reserve Force while the top prize for Canadian Rangers, the Captain Shannon Wills QM1 Trophy, was awarded to Ranger Elijassie Elijassiapik of 2 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group (which is responsible for the area of Northern Quebec, James Bay and the Lower North Shore).

“For the past two weeks, over 300 Canadian and Allied soldiers have been here participating in the Canadian Armed Forces Small Arms Concentration,” said Lieutenant-General Jean-Marc Lanthier, commander of the Canadian Army. “This annual training event allows soldiers to demonstrate their proficiency with pistols, rifles and light machine guns. Scenarios are designed to replicate combat conditions where individuals and teams must react to fast-developing situations . . . Soldiers have to be physically fit, highly trained and well-led.

“Thank you to all the participants and staff and congratulations to those who have earned recognition as being among the top military shooters at a world-class event.”

The RCAF team won a number of individual and team awards during the Concentration, including the following:

Service Pistol Awards

 Martin Trophy for top shot in service pistol—CAF, Regular Force

  • Major Ken Barling (Major Barling has taken home the Queen’s Medal—Regular Force four times, most recently in 2016)

Combined Awards

The Combined Service Rifle and Service Pistol Top Ten—CAF

  • The ten top shots included Major Ken Barling (first place) and Lieutenant Baron Hordo (third place)

Service Rifle Awards

 Flight Sergeant Founder’s Trophy for top shooter in the service rifle, stage 1 and 2, for the RCAF

  • Lieutenant Baron Hordo

Service Rifle Matches

Match 14—Pursuit to Mons

  • Major Ken Barling, Top CAF, Regular Force

Military Biathalon

 Top four-member team in Military Biathalon—CAF, Regular Force

  • RCAF team consisting of Lieutenant Jeremy Eddy, Lieutenant Baron Hordo, Corporal Martin St-Denis and Second Oliver Lieutenant Woodbridge

Service Rifle—Stage 2

Top Winner and Top CAF—Regular Force

  • Corporal Ryan Grant

Falling Plates

Top four-member team, Canadian Armed Forces—Regular Force

  • RCAF team, consisting of Lieutenant Baron Hordo, Captain Tylor Senicar, Corporal Jean-Philippe Houle and Second Lieutenant Oliver Woodbridge

Lieutenant-Colonel I.P.F MacLeod Trophy for the top four-member team—overall

  • RCAF team, consisting of Lieutenant Baron Hordo, Captain Tylor Senicar, Corporal Jean-Philippe Houle and Second Lieutenant Oliver Woodbridge

“The results from this year’s CAFSAC were the best on record for the RCAF team. This was the first time the RCAF won both the top rifle and top pistol awards in the regular force at the same time,” said Major Barling. “The team has been slowly growing over the past years, and it was rewarding to see the efforts of so many pay off with such great results this year. I’m very grateful to each of the team member’s chain of command for supporting their training and attendance at CAFSAC. Without it, none of this would have been possible.

“Knowing that we have some of the best marksmen within the CAF, I’ve very optimistic about the RCAF team’s future and the potential to surpass this year’s achievements.”

The RCAF Team

  • Major Ken Barling (team captain), Canadian Element NORAD Detachment Tyndall, Florida
  • Captain Ray Hartery, 26 Canadian Forces Health Services Centre, Greenwood, Nova Scotia
  • Captain Tylor Senicar, 406 Maritime Operational Training Squadron, Shearwater, Nova Scotia
  • Lieutenant Jeremy Eddy, 14 Operations Support Squadron, Greenwood, Nova Scotia
  • Lieutenant Baron Hordo, 2 Canadian Forces Flying Training School, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
  • Second Lieutenant Rachel Dewees, 12 Wing Headquarters Readiness Training Flight, Shearwater, Nova Scotia
  • Second Lieutenant Garret Sowchuk, 1 Canadian Air Division Headquarters, Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Second Lieutenant Oliver Woodbridge, Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, Victoria, British Columbia
  • Sergeant David Bentley, 14 Operations Support Squadron, Greenwood, Nova Scotia
  • Master Corporal Byron Cowie, 426 Transport Training Squadron, Trenton, Ontario
  • Master Corporal Peter Van Eykeren, 426 Transport Training Squadron, Trenton, Ontario
  • Master Corporal Ken Wagg, 12 Operations Support Squadron, Shearwater, Nova Scotia
  • Corporal Neil Benvie, 26 Canadian Forces Health Services Centre, Greenwood, Nova Scotia
  • Corporal Ryan Grant, 423 Maritime Helicopter Squadron, Shearwater, Nova Scotia
  • Corporal Jean-Philippe Houle, 14 Mission Support Squadron, Greenwood, Nova Scotia
  • Corporal Michael O’Blenis, 406 Maritime Operational Training Squadron, Shearwater, Nova Scotia
  • Corporal Matthew O’Brien, 405 Maritime Patrol Squadron, Greenwood, Nova Scotia
  • Corporal Doug Spencer, 423 Maritime Helicopter Squadron, Shearwater, Nova Scotia
  • Corporal Martin St-Denis, 14 Mission Support Squadron, Greenwood, Nova Scotia
  • Aviator Brad Bruce, 14 Air Maintenance Squadron, Greenwood, Nova Scotia
  • Aviator Marie-Anne McGraw, 14 Mission Support Squadron, Greenwood, Nova Scotia

About CAFSAC

Held annually since 1869, CAFSAC is an international high-profile professional marksmanship event organized by the Canadian Army on behalf of the Chief of Defence Staff. Approximately 300 military sharpshooters from Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States participated in this year’s competition. From service pistols and service rifles to light machine guns, new and experienced shooters in full fighting gear tested their marksmanship skills during this year’s CAFSAC. The Concentration included individual and team-based skills matches; a military biathlon; a series of traditional; and dynamic shooting ranges as well as a night shoot.

The CAFSAC is held each year to help improve marksmanship and small arms proficiency, increasing the operational effectiveness of the Canadian Armed Forces. Throughout the Concentration, participants were challenged by a variety of scenarios requiring them to shoot from different positions and distances, using a variety of weapons depending on the course.

The Concentration was first organized by the Dominion of Canada Rifle Association at its national range in La Prairie, Quebec, in 1868. It took place at various locations in the National Capital Region before finding its home at the Connaught Ranges Primary Training Centre, where it has been held since 1921.

The Queen’s Medal

The Queen’s Medal was first instituted by Queen Victoria in 1869 and was awarded to the best shot from the British Army and Navy. It ceased to be issued after 1883 but was re-introduced by King George V in 1923 as the King’s Medal. It was open to participants from the United Kingdom, India, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa (including Rhodesia).

Today it is known as the Queen’s Medal and only four Commonwealth countries – the United Kingdom, Jamaica, New Zealand and Canada – continue to issue it.

In Canada, from 1923 to 1952, only one medal was awarded to the best shot from the Militia (Army Reserve), RCMP or the Regular Force for the Service Rifle Individual Championship.

Beginning in 1953, the medal was only awarded to the winner of the Canadian Army or RCMP. However, that changed in 1963 when an additional medal was awarded to members of the Reserve Force. In 1964, the RCMP were moved from the Regular Force category and became eligible for the Reserve Force medal.

For a time, members of the Reserve Force, RCMP and the Canadian Rangers competed for the Reserve Queen’s Medal. Today, Rangers compete for the Captain Shannon Wills QM1 Trophy

From 1954 to 1967, another Queen’s Medal was issued for the best rifle shot in the Royal Canadian Air Force. In 1968, the Air Force Queen’s Medal was discontinued when the three branches of the military unified and the Canadian Army (Regular) Rifle Competition, now called CAFSAC, was created.

In 1991, a specifically Canadian Queen’s Medal was created and has been awarded since that time. It was designed by the late Flight Sergeant Bruce Beatty who, following his retirement from the Canadian Armed Forces, worked in the Chancellery of Canadian Orders and Decorations at Rideau Hall. There he designed many iconic medals and decorations, including the Order of Canada insignia.

Image gallery

  • A group of military personnel wearing disruptive pattern camouflage uniforms, holding rifles, standing or kneeling in two rows.
  • A man wearing a disruptive pattern camouflage uniform stands holding a flagpole with a flag in one hand and a military rifle in the other.
  • A man wearing a disruptive pattern military camouflage uniform and holding a rifle sits in a wooden chair that other military personnel are carrying on their shoulders.
  • A man wearing a disruptive pattern military camouflage uniform and holding a rifle sits in a wooden chair that other military personnel are carrying on their shoulders.
  • A man wearing a T-shirt and disruptive pattern military camouflage trousers and holding a rifle sits in a wooden chair that other military personnel are carrying on their shoulders.
  • A group of military personnel stand on a shooting range with large numbered targets in the background. One holds a large flag showing a roundel with a maple leaf in the centre and a small Canadian flag in one corner.
  • A person wearing a disruptive pattern camouflage uniform, including helmet, lies prone, firing a rifle.
  • Three people wearing a disruptive pattern camouflage uniforms, including helmets, stand firing their rifles from the shoulder at distant targets
  • Two people lie on the grass—one looking through binoculars and the other holding a rifle
  • A military person wearing disruptive camouflage pattern stands with his back to the camera, holding up a small device. The person is also wearing a black backpack with the head of a stuffed animal poking out of it.
  • A group of military personnel walk down a road towards a large embankment with large numbers on signs at the top of the embankment.
  • A military person sits on the grass, firing a rifle.
  • Several military personnel stand in two lines, with their hats in their hands and their heads bowed.
  • A large group of military personnel stand in front of a two-storey wooden building that has a large verandah and balcony.




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