The match came down to the wire, but Army Reserve 1st. Lt. Amber English won a gold medal in the women’s skeet shooting event Monday at the Tokyo Olympic games.
English, who narrowly missed out on qualifying for the 2012 and 2016 Olympic shotgun teams, prevailed by one target over the reigning Olympic champion Diana Bacosi of Italy. She set an Olympic record by hitting 56 of 60 targets in the event.
A logistics officer, English joined the Army in February 2017 and attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia.
She then completed Quartermaster Basic Officer Leader Course at Fort Lee, Virginia, according to her Army Marksmanship Team biography.
English was an accomplished world-class shotgun shooter before she joined the Army, and she quickly earned membership in both the Army Marksmanship Unit and the Army World Class Athlete Program, allowing her to continue training for her Olympic dream while advancing her Army career.
She earned a bronze medal at the World Championships in 2018.
The logistics officer comes from a family of shooters — her father and uncle both competed for the United States in running shotgun target, and her mother and aunt shot rifle in college, her biography says.
It was her father’s tragic 2016 death that motivated her to join the Army, she said in a Team USA feature last year.
“That was a huge hurdle,” she said in the December 2020 article, “and I took the alternate spot last time. I knew I had to completely change everything I was doing in my life – I joined the Army, moved (from Colorado Springs, Colorado) down to Fort Benning (Georgia) and surrounded myself with a seriously winning atmosphere, so it paid off.”
“I’m very, very glad,” English told the Associated Press after her victory. “This has been a long time coming.”
The Associated Press contributed reporting to this story.
Davis Winkie is a senior reporter covering the Army, specializing in accountability reporting, personnel issues and military justice. He joined Military Times in 2020. Davis studied history at Vanderbilt University and UNC-Chapel Hill, writing a master's thesis about how the Cold War-era Defense Department influenced Hollywood's WWII movies.