SJAFB Airman makes USAF Shooting Team

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kylee Gardner
  • 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

He takes a deep breath and focuses on the target approximately 20 feet in front of him through the sight of his self-built custom Sig Sauer P320 X-Five Legion pistol. Aiming with precision, he puts his right pointer finger on the trigger and after one last deep breath, he shoots, hitting the target spot on.

It’s that same focus and drive that earned Master Sgt. Thomas Bazor, 333rd Fighter Squadron aircraft maintenance unit support section chief, one of the 12 spots on the U.S. Air Force Action Pistol Shooting Team. They compete against other military service members, law enforcement officials and civilian contestants at local, regional, national and international level events.

Although making the team is a rigorous process, Bazor said applying was quick and easy.

“When I decided I wanted to try and join the team, I went to their website and sent in my package,” said Bazor. “I sent in my biography with all the info on the matches I’ve competed in, my classification for each competition shooting division and links to my social media accounts that have highlights of my shooting. From there the team lead reviewed my package, and within a couple months, he told me I made the team.”

As one of the newest members of the team, he is scheduled to compete in nine matches with the Air Force in 2021.

“It’s been a wild year for sure,” said Bazor. “First I hit my 20-year mark in the Air Force, now I’m a member of the Air Force shooting team and get the opportunity to wear the jersey doing a sport I love.”

Bazor has been shooting since he was a young child; however, in 2015 he participated in his first competition.

“Shooting has always been a hobby of mine, but I’d get bored just shooting bullseyes,” he said. “In 2015 I saw a flyer for a shooting competition while walking through a sports store, decided to try it out and never looked back.”

Since then, he has competed in 13 major matches across the U.S. and earned a classification in all eight shooting divisions of the U.S. Practical Shooting Association.

For Bazor, shooting isn’t just about earning an award or competing against his counterparts, it’s a way for him to overcome some of life’s stressors and build resiliency.

“On a daily basis I have terrible anxiety, whether I’m at work or at home, I’m constantly anxious,” said Bazor. “The only time I’m not anxious is when I’m on the range and I’m able to focus on something that I love doing.”

Although he enjoys what he does, he didn’t just make the USAF Action Pistol Shooting Team by leisurely shooting targets on a range.

“When you’re competing, you have to move fast, focus on your accuracy and precision, think quickly and be aware of everything going on around you,” said Bazor’s wife, Ruby Bazor, 4th Logistic Readiness Squadron commander’s secretary. “It’s stressful, but he [Bazor] works extremely hard to be the absolute best at what he does.”

Now that he’s made the team, Bazor says he’s extremely grateful to have the opportunity to represent the Air Force and looks forward to everything yet to come.