CMP instructs more than 50 rifle and pistol students during their Marksmanship 101 courses in Illinois

BONFIELD, Ill. – During the beautiful weekend of October 1-2, 2022, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) held its 101st Rifle and Pistol Marksmanship Courses at the Illinois State Rifle Association in Bonfield, IL.

“The Illinois State Rifle Association is a fantastic host, and we’ve been told we’re always welcome there!” said Amy Cantu, CMP competitions and programs associate who manages the Marksmanship 101 program.

Held across the country throughout the year, the October session included a Pistol Marksmanship Course 101, the first of its kind at the Illinois location. A group of 30 people attended the training, led by CMP instructors Jim Henderson and Larry Grace.

CMP staff members helped facilitate training in the classroom and on the shooting range, using CMP’s line of outdoor electronic targets.

At Rifle, 23 students were trained by instructors Danny Arnold and Dean Bates. The pair also ran a Range Safety Officer Course, which is helping to improve the application of range safety during CMP sponsored and sanctioned competitions, with a total of 16 attendees.

The CMP was also fortunate to utilize the assistance of talented members of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit who again provided exceptional hands-on instruction and valuable knowledge for participants in the 101 Rifle and Pistol Marksmanship Courses during the trip to Illinois.

In the accompanying Excellence-In-Competition (EIC) rifle and pistol matches, each saw two competitors earn introductory points (4 points each). EIC points earned are applied toward the total of 30 required to receive the Distinguished Rifleman badge, the highest individual award authorized by the US government for excellence in competitive marksmanship. See the results at

The US Army Marksmanship Unit was on hand to assist with instruction in both rifle and pistol.

The next Marksmanship 101 Courses will be held on November 14 (Rifle) and November 15 (Pistol) during the annual Talladega 600 event at CMP’s Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama. Talladega training will be the last of 2022 but will return in March at the Western CMP Games in Arizona.

About CMP Marksmanship 101 courses:

CMP Marksmanship 101 courses are designed to train individuals in the essentials of the rifle or pistol and the basics of competition in a closely supervised environment. Utilizing the talents of qualified CMP staff and world-class instructors, participants learn through classroom discussions and hands-on training on the shooting range. Near the conclusion of each course, students apply everything they’ve learned in an official EIC match, shot under the close supervision of down-line mentors.

Courses are designed to accommodate those familiar with marksmanship as well as those completely new to the sport, so no prior experience is required. Rifles and ammunition are provided by the CMP. Shooter gear is welcome including jackets, gloves, a sling at the event, while ear and eye protection is required during actual shooting.

For more information on Marksmanship 101 Classes or to register, visit the CMP website at Questions about Marksmanship 101 can be directed to Amy Cantú at 419-635-2141, ext. 602, or [email protected].

The Civilian Aim Program is a federally chartered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. It is dedicated to firearms safety and marksmanship training and the promotion of competitive marksmanship for United States citizens. For more information about the CMP and its programs, log on to