Army Sergeant 1st Class Brandon Green arrived at Camp Perry a few days before the rest of his US Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) teammates. SFC Green was asked to fire the ceremonial First Shot at the National Matches on July 10, and said he wanted a few days, he said, to collect his thoughts and prepare the speech he would give to the hundreds of people who would descend on the grounds. to celebrate the 116 years of history of the National Parties.
But he strayed. While crossing the Petrarca Range parking lot, she stopped to watch men and women compete in the Smallbore Prone Iron Sight Championship and to speak with Brad Donoho, CMP Smallbore program manager.
“I told Brad it looked fun and said he’d have to find a rifle,” Green said. “Brad said I have a guy who has an extra rifle. I borrowed a gun and borrowed ammunition and had a lot of fun.”
It was a low-key entry for a highly successful soldier. She is a 20 year member of the specially trained USAMU. She has won the long range interservice championships five times, the NRA long range national championships twice, and the interservice individual championship four times.
“His historic 2018 shooting season ended with Brandon earning four individual national records, capturing his first win in the President’s 100 games in dramatic fashion. He set a new national record – a perfect score of 400, with a 20 ‘X’ count,” said Christie Sewell, First Shot Ceremony emcee and CMP head of programs. “That year he also won his third National Trophy Individual championship and his third Mountain Man Trophy, setting a new national record.”
Green won three NRA High Power National Championship titles, one NRA Long Range Championship, and became the first person in history to win all four singles matches in the series.
“It’s an honor for me to be asked to fire the first shot,” Green said. “As a competitor and throughout our training, we insist a lot on consistency: consistency in training, consistency in your diet, consistency in taking your shots, your game planning, but the most consistent thing for me coming here to the National Games at Camp Perry, is that it constantly improves each year”.
Green was given the opportunity to choose his weapon for the ceremonial first shot, so he chose the bolt-action Winchester Model 70 that Emeritus Director of Civilian Marksmanship Gary Anderson used in 1972 to set the only perfect slow 200 shot. yards. score in National Matches.
The gun’s history begins long before that historic shot.
“This gun plays a special role in the history of marksmanship,” said Anderson, who attended the First Shot Ceremony. “It started out as my father’s rifle and became a match rifle. In 2019, I used it to fire the first shot, so it’s been here at the First Shot Ceremony a couple of times.”
The First Shot ceremony on July 10 was attended by hundreds of shooters, National Match competitors, and dignitaries from the political, military, and marksmanship worlds. Guest speakers included Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09); Congressman Bob Latta (OH-05); Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr., who is serving as Ohio’s Adjutant General; and Gerald O’Keefe, chairman of the board and executive director of the Civilian Marksmanship Program.
Congressman Latta is a longtime shooter and national match competitor who plans to shoot in three games this year. He said his father first came to Camp Perry for National Guard training, and shooting sports eventually became a family activity.
“It is important to pass that tradition on to the next generation. I was lucky to have a father who was a hunter and shooter,” Latta said. “Camp Perry is my favorite place in the world.”
O’Keefe spoke about the impact the National Parties’ long history has had on marksmanship, saying the WCC is committed to carrying that impact into the future. CMP unites its history and its future in its updated brand, “CMP: the home of marksmanship.”
CMP works tirelessly to promote marksmanship through the four pillars of firearms training, safety, competitions, and youth programs, and has ambitious plans to expand the reach of shooting sports across the country. CMP is building a state-of-the-art small-caliber indoor airgun shooting center in Columbia, Missouri, and is investigating options for establishing a presence in the West.
CMP is embracing technology in its effort to stay relevant and inspire the next generation of shooters. It recently purchased two laser shot simulation systems, has plans to modernize the electronic targeting systems, and is considering entering the world of esports.
As CMP looks to the future, it will keep an eye on the past. History will always have its place in modern national matches, as happened when Green shot up Anderson’s Winchester Model 70.
“Recording was absolutely a great honor,” Green said. “I was photographing a part of history.”
See a video highlight of the First Shot Ceremony at https://youtu.be/DeXPZlnvkLs. Photos can be viewed and downloaded at https://cmp1.zenfolio.com/p884066828.
The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a federally chartered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. It is dedicated to firearms safety and marksmanship training and the promotion of marksmanship competition for United States citizens. To learn more about the CMP and its programs, log on to www.TheCMP.org.