Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

July 29, 2011 at 1:29pm

'Top Shot' competitor hits bullseye at Rodeo

Staff Sgt. George Reinas, a sniper-qualified Airman in the Air Force, practices a scenario on a range on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., on July 27. (Photo by Master Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol)

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JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCHORD, Wash. - In season two of The History Channel's television show "Top Shot," Staff Sgt. George Reinas was a finalist for the show. He is also one of two certified Air Force snipers who are managing the Air Mobility Rodeo 2011 advanced marksmanship competition.

"I'm more than happy to be here to help bring awareness to the Air Force sniper program and support the competition," he said.

The Top Shot show, which concluded airing in April, is a competition where shooters "have to display mastery of weapons from all eras of human history, from primitive rocks to sophisticated firearms," the shows description on history.com shows. Additionally, contestants employed "some of the biggest munitions ever featured on the series, including the Gatling gun," and they "endured grueling physical tests to stay in the game."

Going into the competition, the Mount Laurel, N.J., native stated on his biography for the show, "I'm big, I'm mean. I'm going to destroy the competition." By the end, he said he made a lot of good friends.

"The show certainly changed my life," Reinas said while out on a shooting range on Joint Base Lewis-McChord where he was leading the advanced marksmanship event while wearing a sniper's "ghillie suit." "Through the show I was able to show the skill set of my career field as an Air Force sniper and highlight the Air Force."

During one of the events of the Top Shot competition, competitors had to complete a 1,000-yard shot with a .50-caliber sniper rifle. Of all the competitors, Reinas was the only one to hit the shot on target with only one bullet. In his career, Reinas said his longest successful shots taken with sniper rifles include a 1,200-yard shot with an M-24 and a 2,500-yard shot with a .50-cal.

"One shot, one kill," Reinas said. "That's how we're trained as a sniper. That was definitely my favorite moment on the show."

For Rodeo 2011, Reinas and fellow sniper Senior Master Sgt. Nathan Brett, also of the 421st CTS, did their own "show" in finding the advanced marksmanship team. The 11 teams competing also had to complete a 1,000-yard shot but it was with an M-24 sniper rifle.

"We wanted to see the teams complete the course of fire we designed so we could truly see who was the best," said Reinas, who is a security forces combat skills instructor for special weapons and tactics at the 421st CTS.

"It was great to see these teams participate as well," he said. "I've also made some new friends."

Since he starred in Top Shot, Reinas has made a lot of friends. He said he gets a lot of "friend requests" via the social media platforms and it seems like he's always on the phone. As a matter of fact, Brett jokingly said he might be the "most photographed" guy around lately.

Regardless, Reinas said he's happy to have been a part of the Top Shot show, and to be at Rodeo 2011 with fellow instructors from the Expeditionary Center.

"We brought a great bunch of people here," Reinas said. "They are the best at what they do."

And Reinas' friends and others might also agree and add that he's a "top shot" at what he does as well.

"George is great at teaching, being an Air Force sniper and being an Airman," Brett said. "He's also pretty good at being on TV."

Reinas joined the Air Force in early 2003 and his first assignment was a one-year tour to Kunsan Air Base, Korea. From March 2004 to February 2010, Reinas was stationed at then-McGuire Air Force Base, N.J., where he worked in a security forces unit. In 2010, he joined the staff at the U.S. Air Expeditionary Center's 421st Combat Training Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.

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