182nd Brings Logan Duffy Trophy Back To Boston

Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 182nd Infantry Regiment, Massachusetts Army National Guard and the 1st Battalion of the 69th Infantry Regiment of the New York Army National Guard competed in the annual Logan Duffy Competition at Devens Reserve Training Area, Mass., Sep.15-16, 2018. 

The competition is named after Gen. Lawrence Logan and General Edward Duffy, the Commanders of each Regiment during the Spanish American War. 

The trophy itself is a silver five-gallon bowl, crafted by Reed and Barton Silversmiths of Taunton, Massachusetts in 1936. The ownership of the trophy is a joint proposition governed by a deed of trust drawn up by Col. Francis V. Logan and Col. Alexander E. Anderson in 1936. The deed of trust states in part that although the trophy is owned jointly by the two organizations, actual possession shall be retained by the organization winning the annual rifle match.

This year the Logan Duffy trophy is being returned to Massachusetts, as the Soldiers of the 182nd Infantry out shot the 69th Infantry with a final score of 999 to 954.

“It’s a competition that’s rich in history and tradition. At the same time, it puts great focus on an infantry fundamental task,” said Lt. Col. Mark Kalin, 1-182nd Infantry Battalion Commander. “It brings out the best in our soldiers and can really showcase what the soldiers are capable of achieving.”

According to First Sgt. Christopher Olsen, Headquarters and Headquarters Company 182nd Infantry first sergeant, all of the competitors from the 182nd are in the Battalion Sniper Section. All six of the shooters on the team are Governors 20 Tab holders, two of them are qualified snipers and one is a qualified Squad Designated Marksman (SDM). They dedicate a lot of time to perfecting the lethality of their chosen military profession. 

“They’re not just good at shooting though, they’re also phenomenal at marksmanship instruction. In my opinion these soldiers are the ideal competitive shooting team,” said Olsen.

Most of the soldiers have been on the team for two to six years but the two battalions have been friendly rivals for almost 150 years.

In July 1861, the relationship between the 182nd Infantry and the 69th Infantry of the Army National Guard began, when Col. Michael Corcoran of the 69th Infantry, New York State Militia, rode out of Fort Corcoran, Arlington, Va., to visit neighboring Fort Cass. While there, he paid his respects to Col. Thomas Cass of the 9th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. The Fighting 69th of New York had met the Fighting Irish of Boston. 

The first match for possession of the trophy was fired on Oct.12, 1936 at Camp Curtis Guild in Reading, Massachusetts. The match was won by the 101st Infantry Regiment --who later merged with the 182nd Infantry to become the 1-182nd Infantry (Mechanized). Since it had been agreed the site for the match would change each year, in 1937 the 101st traveled to Camp Smith, Peekskill, New York. That year the 69th emerged as the victor.

In the fall of 1940, both regiments were called to active duty. 

With the onset of World War II, annual competition was impossible. The 101st, having won the match in 1939, the last year of pre-war competition, retained the trophy in Boston during the war.

In 1958, Gen. Edward F. Logan, Commander of the 101st and Gen. William D. Lynch, Commander of the 165th (69th NY) reinstated the competition. On Oct. 11, 1958, the first post-war match was fired at Camp Curtis Guild, Massachusetts with the 101st keeping the trophy in Boston.

The purpose of the annual match was to encourage competitive marksmanship with the rifle, the principal weapon of the Infantry, and to enhance and develop the spirit of camaraderie between the two military organizations of similar background and heritage.

The match remained an annual event between the 69th and the 101st until 1996 when the 101st Infantry merged with the 1-182nd Infantry to become the 1-182nd Infantry (Mechanized). Matches were suspended in 2001 due to the events of September 11th, and the Veteran’s Association competed in 2004. To continue the tradition, on Oct. 2, 2010, the competition resumed and is again held annually.

Olsen is proud of his soldiers’ performance in this year’s competition. 

“As the HHC First Sergeant, I was obviously excited that they won. They put in a lot of time on the range and they definitely earned it,” said Olsen. “They’re as dedicated and committed as they come, so to see them take home the trophy was a pretty inspiring to me. Plus, I took my six-year-old son to the match, so he thinks I’m really cool now because I know some Army guys who shoot guns. So it was really a win-win.”

 

Story by Sgt. 1st Class Laura Berry, Massachusetts National Guard Public Affairs

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