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Reader David Danylyshyn writes:

Canada being, well, Canada, this is likely to get zero coverage up here, but each year, the best military shooters from the best shooting cultures in the world compete at Bisley, England…all the commonwealth countries, SAS, SBS, lots of American representation, the French Foreign Legion, etc. Usually about 1300 competitors in all. This is military-replicant shooting, with short range, long range, run-downs, quick-exposure, timed fire, etc. The top British shot is awarded the Queen’s Medal each year. These are not as hard to come by as the Victoria Cross, but still damned rare . . .

This year the top shot — that is to say, the best military rifleman in the world — was Afghanistan veteran and infantry Sergeant T. E. Danylyshyn, of the Canadian Scottish Regiment, of Victoria, British Columbia. That is to say, Tatyana Elizabeth Danylyshyn. Full disclosure: she’s my daughter.


I’m not a bad shot myself and I taught all my kids to shoot, read, and swim before they started kindergarten. In Canada, there is no “girls’ course” or altered/women’s standards for infantry NCO battle school.

In the competition she beat the a British fellow, the one who received the Queen’s Medal. She won’t get the medal herself, though, because…colonial.

She probably would have won last year, but came in second because she was recovering from a brain injury sustained in an assault last year in Washington state where, of course, drivers with Canadian licence plates are safe targets, having no right to armed self-protection.

In a few weeks, she leaves the infantry, and starts medical school at the University of British Columbia, transitioning from generating casualties to fixing them, as it were. Oh, and she recently learned to drive also.


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  1. If any of her patients give her any lip…

    (“Broken leg? You shouldda seen what I did to a tango in the sandbox…”)


    (Best luck to her in med school)

  2. Congrats. Sounds like you raised a terrific daughter. You should be very proud. BTW what happened in Washington? How about a follow-up post?

  3. That’s awesome. Do the shooters at Bisley get to use an equivalent to their service rifle or is everything standardized for competitors?

    • based on the fact that she’s shooting the standard Canadian service rifle and optic combo in the pictures it seems like each country swings what they bring as it were.

    • Every country shoots their own general issue rifle. In our case it’s the one pictured above, a C7A2 equiped with a C79A2 optical sight.

  4. She definitely gets 2 thumbs up for her shooting skills from me. Tell her congratulations, and that I wish her well in her studies. As I often tell my daughter, “Go study, get smart!”

  5. Congrats to Tatyana!

    And, if/when she feels up to it, I would like to hear her story of the assault in Washington State. Sounds like a textbook example of criminals capitalizing on gun control laws.

  6. Quality follows quality. So, there’s not doubt that she’ll be as good physician as she is a combat soldier and marksman. Good on ‘ya both!

  7. Why the dig on Washington? A Canadian here has MORE of a right to self-defense than in Canada. If she’s not prohibited from possessing a firearm under US federal law, she can carry one openly in Washington, without any permitting required. She can also, if she’s at least 21, get a shall-issue Washington CPL, and carry concealed, or in a car. And she can even get a shall-issue Utah permit, which Washington honors, without stepping foot out of Canada (they have classes in the Vancouver, BC area).

    • Sure.
      And then what’s she supposed to do when she gets back to the Canadian border? Throw the gun out the window?

      You miss the point. He wasn’t digging on Washington. He was reminding us that a gun ban in one location, in practical terms, becomes a gun ban for anyone traveling into or out of that location (which is why the thugs look for Canadian license tags).

      I traveled to New York State last month. I could legally carry through four states, until I crossed the New York State border and became a felon. The only real answer was to be unarmed through the whole trip.

      • I grew up in BC and have crossed the border hundreds of times with Canadian plates, including last summer with my two boys. On the i5 you will see hundreds of Canadian plates between the border and Tacoma and it is not a Mad Max free for all against Canadians. I have never been a victim of any crime in the US.

        Not knowing any details of the assault how can we say a gun would have helped? Knowing that police officers who are both armed and trained in close quarter threat situations (which soldiers are not) are assaulted frequently, how can we be sure that adding a gun to this scenario would not turn this article from one about med school to an obituary?

        As is, this is a story with a happy ending.

        • We don’t know the details, but there are many common cases where having a handgun is better than not having it (and even in all the other cases, you don’t have to actually use it). As far as training goes, people can and do train privately, and honestly, police officers don’t have a particularly high bar for their handgun training, and a civilian can easily get better than your average officer (but having more permissive handgun laws helps with that – as I recall, acquiring a license to even possess a handgun in Canada is very difficult).

          Comparing the number of assault on officers is not particularly meaningful. Their entire job description is intentionally seeking out and confronting troublemakers – of course that involves more violence by its very nature. Even so, when you look at the stats, they are actually less likely to be killed or injured than many other common professions (e.g. pizza drivers).

        • And I agree with most of this. We down here in the south mos likely somebody would have stepped in and helped. And in Forida ta the Parkland shooter wher my daughter was a week before the incident, btw, knew the coach that unarmed saved lives, while a jackass police doofus stood outside the school with a big gun and watched. Badder still a-hole Broward Sheriffs County Deputies wih fully automatic AR -15S AR’S PROBABLY, FULL AUTO MP-3’S AND BULLETPROOF VESTS in their trunks also were told to stand down. Parkland policeman with A HANDGUN went inside by himself to find this monster, and the guy walked out of the school and went to mcDonalds, had a hamburger, came back and watched. Then even stupider…I think his a-hole brother came to the school. Mall shooter in Texass, the land of big balls or whatever, guy comes in with I think pink soundguards. an AR or AK, and blasts away, and there is NOT ONE PERSON WITH A CARRY PERMIT IN THE MALL, WHILE THE CARNAGE IS GOING ON ?

    • Washington State requires non-immigrant aliens (basically, anyone who’s not a citizen or a green card holder) to have an AFL (Alien Firearms License) to possess firearms. Not carry, but merely possesss. And obtaining an AFL requires one to be a resident of Washington:

      On top of that, there are federal regulations for non-immigrant aliens which deny them the right to possess a firearm unless they can provide a “valid reason” to qualify for an exception. According to the feds, valid reason is hunting or gun sport only:

      • So foreigners can’t hunt in Washington state? I somehow doubt that. I know of many Canadians who go to hunt and shooting competitions in various US states and I feel like Washington being totally off limits is unlikely.

        • Like the feds, WA grants a bunch of exemptions:

          Basically, if you’re a non-resident alien, and you have a valid hunting license (or an invitation to a sporting event), then you can possess a gun. But you can only carry and use it “for the purpose of using them in the hunting of game while such persons are in the act of hunting, or while on a hunting trip, or while such persons are competing in a bona fide trap or skeet shoot or any other organized contest where rifles, pistols, or shotguns are used”. So you can’t carry for self-defense even then.

  8. Congratulations to you and her, what an achievement and it looks like she has a well defined future also. You obviously did a great job as a parent.

  9. Wonderful story. Congratulations on her current and future accomplishments.

    P.S. I hope the PC police at med school don’t discourage her from keeping sharp on her sharp shooting.

  10. Love the CanScots. Had some great friends from there, and some great parties at the Bay Street Armoury.

  11. This is a prime example of inequality. SGT Danylyshyn likely won due to her cool head, early start, and stalwart parenting. Can we please pass a law to even the playing field?

    In all seriousness, congratulations on your well-deserved victory, Sergeant!

  12. I’m disappointed that we didn’t get to see you misspell color, flavor, honor and the like.

    (Just kidding. But no, really…)

  13. As a retired military man from a Scottish Regiment and shot at Bisley – I know how difficult it is to win there – be proud of your daughter, be VERY proud of her she is one of a very few who clearly understand and have mastered a discipline. You should also take a lot of credit for the way in which you brought her up – grand job there Dad.

    • It’s true that many SF members, Snipers and other soldiers with strong shooting backgrounds rarely attend this kind of competition. If they did I’d still put Tat head-to-head against them in an instant. Her win against all these extremely talented shooters should not be diminished.

  14. Having shared the range with Sgt Danylyshyn on numerous occasions, I can state that it’s a pleasure to see her success.

    I’ve been to Bisley 6 times with the CAFCST over the years (first in 1996, last time in 2013) and have seen their matches transition based on the British Army’s operational experience in various sandy locations.

    With night shoots, snapshooting, rapid-fire, moving target, advance to contact (bayonets fixed!) various team matches, a variety of target types and both Electric target ranges and Manual targets, the shoots are demanding, and her success is amazing.

    The weapons used are rack grade C-7A2’s, with our issued C-79A2 Elcan Optical sight. The shooters might get to pick through the rifles in a unit weapons vault, but they have to pass standard inspections, trigger tests, etc. No free-float barrel, no match grade ammo (C-77 Ball ammo, 62 Grain, M-855 equivalent)

    Best I rolled in was around 23rd in these matches in 2008, the year after I was the runner up for our own Canadian Queen’s Medal for Champion Shot.

    I hope to see Tatyana at our national matches in September, and will wish her my best in person. She’s an amazing shooter.

    Brad from Halifax
    AKA NavyShooter

  15. Yes, I have seen her shoot at many a CAFSAC at Connaught Ranges. Truly amazing shooter and glad to have met her. All the very best in her future endeavors.

  16. Not being awarded the Queen’s Medal because she is a “colonial” is a disgrace to the Brits.
    But it is not only the Brits who pull this kind of a stunt. It is done in the USA at their Law Enforcement shooting competitions as well. There only an American can be cited as being “the best”. Foreigners there can only win “bests Visitor” even if the score(s) are well above the so called winner.

    • Members of the Canadian military can earn their Queen’s Medal at the Canadian Armed Forces Small Arms Concentration where the visiting British and other foreign shooters are not eligible.

      • From what you say I take it that there is no such thing as an open Military event where the high score is actually the “winner.”

        • The British run their annual marksmanship competition for their military. They open up the competition to other nations to send teams to compete as a way to foster relationships and cross training. Most awards foreign competitors win are for honours only as it is still a British military competition. Australia, Canada, and the U.S. operate the same way. That being said, there probably should be larger military competition, say for all of NATO. Bisley is still one of the premier military shooting competitions in the world.

  17. Howdy… Well done fine lady! A stay in it ta win it attitude and hard earned talent payz off big time… cheerz… Coug

  18. It is not my intent to diminish her most recent victorys as she did an awesome job in AFSAM and Bisley but the facts in this story are somewhat skewed. We as reservists do not shoot against all other competitors in most shoots, in all our field which she did top was roughly 330 others including Brits and her Canadian teammates. Also in reference to placing 2nd at CAFSAC the lists are available online showing her a few spots lower but only a handful of points separated Jon, Mike, Capen, Phil, Tat, Dave, Ed. So I would like to tell people she is an awesome competitior and it’s understandable that her dad is proud as he should be but there’s no reason to put untrue facts to type as the only serve to undermine her actual accomplishments. In closing congrats again TAT.

  19. Sgt (then MCpl) Danylyshyn was my section 2IC on my basic course. Much respect to this woman. Not just an amazing shot, but a fantastic and supportive instructor. Sorry to see her leaving the CF, but med school is definitely a “level up” scenario!

    • that “dick” is the Sgt who is the subject of the article (note the hint of a red ponytail poking out of cadpat), and that technique is a wholly-acceptable “gunfighter” move. Clearly it works, as she can easily and routinely outshoot me, you, and everyone you have ever met.

  20. Congrats to your daughter!
    Small point but as you have probably been informed by now, the Queen’s Medal in this case could only have been awarded to a Brit — just like the Cdn equivalent medal could only be awarded to a Cdn. Nothing to do with being “colonial.” Your daughter would also know this.


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