ANNISTON, Alabama — Robertsdale High School JROTC Cadet Aidan Johnston qualified for the CMP Southeast Regional Championship by winning the Alabama State Championship held Saturday at the CMP South Range in Anniston.
The competition was a 3 by 20 match where each team has four competitors who shoot 20 shots each in the prone, standing and kneeling positions for a possible total score of 2,400 points.
Johnston finished with a total of 528 out of 600 points to win the competition and qualify for the Regional Competition, which includes teams and individual qualifiers from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Robertsdale’s Naval Junior ROTC team, consisting of members from Robertsdale and Elberta high schools, finished second in the competition behind the 133 Rifle Gold Team, sponsored by the American Legion of Millbrook.
Other RHSNJROTC team members were cadets Vivian Wilson, Dianna Burke and Victor King, all from Elberta High. Additional shooters were Gary Morin, RHS; and Aaron Sailors, EHS. The team is coached by NJROTC Commander Frank Starr with assistant coach Brady Starr.
The 133 Rifle Blue team finished third with the Calhoun County Hawkeyes of Anniston rounding out the competition.
According to event organizer Antony Kissik, teams and individuals will compete virtually in the Regional competition, shooting at their own sites in March or April to qualify for the National Competition, which will be held at Camp Perry, Ohio in June.
According to its website, thecmp.org, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) is a national organization dedicated to training and educating U. S. citizens in responsible uses of firearms and airguns through gun safety training, marksmanship training and competitions.
The CMP is a federally chartered 501(c)(3) corporation that places its highest priority on serving youth through gun safety and marksmanship activities that encourage personal growth and build life skills.
CMP traces its history to late 19th century efforts by U.S. military and political leaders to strengthen our country’s national defense capabilities by improving the rifle marksmanship skills of members of the Armed Forces.
Congress and President Theodore Roosevelt established the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice (NBPRP) and the national matches in 1903. From then until 1996, first the Department of War and later the Department of the Army managed the program that became known as the “civilian marksmanship program.” During this period, program objectives shifted from military marksmanship to training civilians who might serve in the military to developing youth through marksmanship training.
In 1996, Congress acted again to establish the Corporation for the Promotion of Rifle Practice and Firearm Safety that now governs the CMP.
In addition to being a lead organization in the annual conduct of the national matches, the CMP is the national governing body for several shooting sport disciplines including service rifle and pistol, as-issued military rifle, rimfire Sporter and National Match air rifle.
The CMP provides competition rules and sanctioning services for events in each of these disciplines and now sanctions over 1,000 local and regional competitions a year.
Cadets from Robertsdale and Elberta will also compete at the Alabama American Legion Shooting Competition which will be held March 6 in Anniston and will include teams from throughout the state of Alabama. The RHS NJROTC team will be sponsored by American Legion Post 44 of Gulf Shores.