An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

A real straight shooter

  • Published
  • By Monte Miller
  • 375th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
A locally grown Airman has found a unique niche to highlight his already fulfilling Air Force life.

About 18 months ago, Tech Sgt. Scott Hadley, 19th Air Support Operations Squadron tactical air patrol party, joined the Air Force shooting and has found a true passion.

"I've been able to do a lot of cool stuff during my 15-year career," Sergeant Hadley said. "I wanted to try something else.

"I love it. This is the best gig I've had in the Air Force and I've been able to do some pretty good things including jump school and five overseas rotations," he said.

Sergeant Hadley explained he knew very little about the shooting team and really didn't know where to start in his search for information.

"The shooting team isn't really a standard Air Force thing everyone thinks about," he said. "Or any of the Air Force sporting teams for that matter. I went out to find it on my own. I just went knocking on doors."

Sergeant Hadley is the newest of the seven-member Air Force shooting team that travels to various American and International events around the nation and world.

Sergeant Hadley himself has competed in events in Mississippi, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Virginia, Maryland and Tennessee, where he was crowned state champion last year.

In addition to the shooting events, Sergeant Hadley and fellow team members participated in the Olympic trials in March, which resulted in an Air Force shooter making the U.S. Olympic team.

Sergeant Hadley 's childhood has played some role in his joining the shooting team.

"I hunted when I was a kid," he explained. "Every once in a while me and dad would go to the gun club, so I was familiar with trap and skeet shooting."

Although there are some events the team participates in as a whole, there are also several that the individual shooters compete in on their own.

In the past 18 months, Sergeant Hadley has competed in 10. He added that he practices at least four days a week where he shoots between 800 and 1,100 clay pigeons or 'birds'.

"You're shooting a moving target," he explained. "The trick is to be focused and ready when you call "pull" for the bird. In American competitions, the birds come out at about 40 miles per hour. At International events they can be up to 80. A shot counts as long as a visible chunk comes off the bird when we hit it."

Of the five branches of the military, only the Air Force and Army have shooting teams. The major difference with the Air Force shooting team is that it is mainly a hobby for the members.

"We all have regular Air Force jobs," Sergeant Hadley said. "We do this as an extra. I plan to stay on as long as I can keep shooting and things keep going well. I hope to work my way up to the 2012 Olympics."

Sergeant Hadley visited the Scott Rod and Gun Club, operated by the 375th Services Squadron, last week to practice for the Illinois State competition.

Sergeant Hadley, who is originally from just up the road in Lebanon, is a member of one of Scott Air Force Base's geographically separated units and is based at the U.S. Army base in Fort Campbell, Ky.

He explained that Scott's Military Personnel Flight handles all of his units needs even though they report to Pope Air Force Base, N.C., which is one of 12 Air Mobility Command bases throughout the country.

The 19th ASOS is a 100-person Air Force unit specializing as liaisons with the Army in coordinating air strikes when they are needed in combat.