Shooting Sports Community Mourns Loss Of Ensign Joshua Watson

by
posted on December 10, 2019
ensignna1.jpg

A member of the collegiate competitive shooting family has been taken from us far too soon. Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, who was killed in the Naval Air Station Pensacola terrorist attack on Friday, Dec. 6, was the U.S. Naval Academy rifle team captain prior to his graduation earlier this year. The entire shooting community mourns his loss.

A native of Enterprise, AL, about 125 miles northeast of Pensacola, Watson had known that he wanted to join the military since he was 5 years old. During his final season at the Naval Academy, Watson competed in 13 matches. He notched a 576.2 smallbore average for the season, which was the second-best on the team. To cap his collegiate shooting career, Watson made his first appearance at the NCAA rifle championship, where he shot a 577 in smallbore and 578 in air rifle. Another career highlight was in 2019 against the U.S. Military Academy at the Star Match, where he finished with a career-high aggregate score of 1172.

Watson was a natural leader. While at the Naval Academy, not only was he the rifle team captain, but also a small arms instructor and wrestling coach. After his commissioning last May, he remained at the Academy on temporary assignment in the Physical Education department. All that knew him say he was an outstanding citizen and teammate.

According to his father, Benjamin Watson, his son dreamed of becoming a Naval Aviator. In fact, the younger Watson had reported to NAS Pensacola to begin the flight training pipeline just two weeks prior. He was the officer on deck at the time of the shooting.

Watson is being hailed as a hero according to many accounts, including his brother.

“After being shot multiple times he made it outside and told the first response team where the shooter was and those details were invaluable, said Adam Watson. “He died a hero and we are beyond proud, but there is a hole in our hearts that can never be filled.”

Ensign Joshua Watson

Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson
1996-2019

Photos courtesy of U.S. Naval Academy

Latest

USPSA Romeo2review 2
USPSA Romeo2review 2

SIG Sauer Romeo2: A Modular Red Dot

SIG Sauer’s Romeo2 modular red-dot reflex sight gives users the choice of open- or closed-emitter styles

ISSF President’s Cup: Ali Weisz, Sagen Maddalena Capture Bronze Medals In Cairo For USA Shooting

USA Shooting’s Ali Weisz, Sagen Maddalena land bronze medals in 10m Women’s Air Rifle event at 2022 ISSF President’s Cup in Egypt

Team Federal’s Alysia Burrows Captures Practical High Lady Title At 2022 PCSL 2-Gun Championship

“This match is known for attracting some of the best around, and it’s always a privilege to shoot alongside them,” Burrows said.

Results: Battle For The North Coast V

There were 186 competitors at the 2022 Battle for the North Coast USPSA match held in August at Crooked Creek Conservation Club in Rome, Ohio.

Collegiate Rifle: Over Academy Weekend, Akron Lands Between Air Force, Navy

Akron rifle team in the middle of the 2022 Academy Day Matches, with Zips’ shooters Gavin Perkowski and Rachel Engels both hitting high marks.

2022 Rocky Mountain Airgun Challenge

Since making its debut in 2018, Utah’s Rocky Mountain Airgun Challenge has been called the airgun community’s de facto world championship.

Interests



Get the best of Shooting Sports USA delivered to your inbox.