CAMP PERRY, Ohio – Join the festivities and fun on the afternoon of Monday, July 10, when the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) hosts the 2023 First Shot Ceremony, taking place at Downtown Memorial Plaza. Camp Perry National Guard Training Center, in front of the Rodríguez Mountain Range. Seats are open to all before 4 p.m., when the plane flyovers and pyrotechnics begin. Ceremony opening remarks begin at 4:30 p.m.
The First Shot Ceremony is open to the public and children are welcome to attend. The event is a welcome celebration for guests, participants, volunteers and staff to kick off the 2023 National Matches. The ceremony kicks off a two-month long rifle and pistol competition program that has featured the best shooters and female shooters at Camp Perry since 1907. CMP President and CEO Gerald O’Keefe will address the First Shot assembly as one of the highlights of the day.
Scheduled activities also include a flyover of a World War II B-25 bomber, georgie’s girl, courtesy of the Liberty Aviation Museum in Port Clinton. The plane will pass over the stands before the start of the festivities, followed in formation by a World War II Navy TBM Avenger fighter-bomber. Pyrotechnic displays, provided by gunmaster Bob Gillmor, of Old Fort, Ohio, will simulate explosions in the ranges below as the plane passes before opening remarks. People sensitive to loud noise are advised to bring hearing protection.
The First Shot 2023 speaker will be a Sgt from the US Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU). 1street Class Brandon Green, who will fire the traditional first down shot to officially open the National Matches. SFC Green will use Gary Anderson’s M70 bolt-action rifle that was used to set the standing 200-yard record in the 1971 Nationals. Anderson is Director of Civilian Marksmanship, Emeritus, and is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and international champion in aim. Anderson fired the same rifle to kick off the 2014 First Shot Ceremony.
This year’s escort will be led by the Zion-Benton High School Junior ROTC Marksmanship Team of Zion, IL, with support from Ohio National Guard troops. The youth team will be led by the team’s coach, Master Chief Dan Hackstein. The musical accompaniment will be provided by the Ohio National Guard 122North Dakota Army Band. Static displays of military vehicles will also be available for viewing on the grounds, presented by the Firelands Military Vehicle Club, as well as free vintage car rides provided by Timeless T’s Model T Motor Vehicle Club of Erie County.
Ample parking available near the grandstands. While on the Camp Perry grounds, visitors are encouraged to visit Petrarca Range and the Gary Anderson CMP Competency Center, just a short walk from the ceremony site. Petrarca Range features electronically scored outdoor rifle targets, while the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center features an indoor air pistol facility and authentic Olympic memorabilia from the career of celebrated shooter, Gary Anderson. Both are open for marksmanship practice to the public on a weekly basis, throughout the year.
For more information on national matches, visit https://thecmp.org/cmp-national-matches/.
About the sgt. 1street brandon class Green:
SFC Green is widely known as one of the greatest shooters of the modern era, earning a celebrated and illustrious marksmanship career as an individual and as a member of a team. During his 20-year tenure with the Army Marksmanship Unit, he has been an integral part of multiple record-setting teams and has been the lead instructor for the unit’s marksmanship training courses, including the Small Arms Shooting School. which takes place in the National Parties every year. .
As an individual, Green holds the national record in the National Matches Chairman’s Rifle Match by clearing the range with a perfect score, something no other person has achieved. since the party began in 1894. He also received the #1 Distinguished Junior Air Rifle Badge, with countless national achievements in both service rifle and long range rifle.
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.