Maj. Gen. John C. Harris, Jr., Adjutant General of Ohio, presented the Ohio Commendation Award to Judith Legerski, president and CEO of the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). The Ohio National Guard Commendation Medal is awarded to those distinguished by meritorious achievement.
Legerski was honored for her distinguished service to the nation and state, as well as her dedication to the CMP.
The medal was presented to him at the Camp Perry Joint Training Center in Ohio before the start of the National Matches First Shot Ceremony, which officially kicks off the annual event each summer. They were Legerski’s last National Matches of his 26-year career, with his official retirement from the CMP set for September 2022.
“Judy Legerski is certainly a person of merit,” said Mark Johnson, director of operations and director of civilian marksmanship for CMP. “I have watched her and learned from her for many years. She has always been a class act and a mentor and she has always been good to our Board.”
Legerski was the last remaining original appointee on the CMP Board of Directors, serving from the time Congress privatized the organization in 1996. Over the years, she held many positions within the Board, including Vice President under Charlie Maddox, the first president of CMP. She was later voted into the position of president in 2011 and held her title for the rest of her career.
With his leadership, CMP saw persistent improvements in its programs as well as the expansion of its facilities. She was particularly instrumental in the development of the Junior Air Rifle Camp Task Force, formed in 2003, which was formed to push camps into the mainstream curriculum that it is today.
“She’s an ardent supporter of youth shooting programs,” said Gina Johnson, a CMP general manager who worked closely with Legerski in the early days of the Task Force. “The corporation has prospered and grown during her tenure.”
“Seriously, what hasn’t he gotten his hands on for the last 26 years?” Gina continued.
Mark Johnson has also been with Legerski for decades, as well, beginning his working relationship with her as a member of the Task Force.
“She really took us under her wing,” Mark said. “Ms. Legerski has always pushed forward. She has never shied away from a challenge. She doesn’t believe in standing still.”
In addition to playing a major role in the success of Junior Camps, Legerski’s other contributions include signing the MOU (memorandum of understanding) with the Army that allowed CMP to sell 1911 pistols and champion the Talladega Marksmanship Park development, now one of the most state-of-the-art facilities accessible in the United States today.
“His legacy is to move the sport forward,” added Mark.
Elective positions Legerski has held outside of the CMP include a member of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (1985-1989) and Secretary to the Army Civilian Assistant, a position she held for 28 years. She has been active in her community, serving as a 4-H community leader for 20 years, as well as within the Wyoming state efforts.
In her home life, Legerski has been married to her husband, Don, for more than 55 years. The couple has three children and six grandchildren. Fitting in with the CMP’s mission, Legerski is also an avid recreational shooter in her spare time.
In charge of Legerski will be the current vice president of CMP, Jerry O’Keefe. He has been a member of the Board since 2019 and has been actively involved in CMP programs ever since, preparing to continue the organization’s influential position in the marksmanship community.
“Jerry O’Keefe has the same mindset,” Mark Johnson said. “We are going to do things and we are going to do them well. We will continue to move things forward in the sport, not only technologically but also on the people side.”
“And we are not going to forget who brought us here,” he added.
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 www.TheCMP.org.