Civilian Marksmanship Program

WHAT IS THE CMP? The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) is a national organization dedicated to training and educating U. S. citizens in responsible uses of firearms and air guns 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.

STATUTORY MISSION The federal law enacted in 1996 (Title 36 U. S. Code, §40701-40733) that created the Corporation for the Promotion of Rifle Practice and Firearms Safety, Inc. (CPRPFS, the formal legal name of the CMP) mandates these key “functions” for the corporation:
(1) To instruct citizens of the United States in marksmanship;
(2) To promote practice and safety in the use of firearms;
(3) To conduct competitions in the use of firearms and to award trophies, prizes, badges, and other insignia to competitors.

The law specifically states: In carrying out the Civilian Marksmanship Program, the corporation shall give priority to activities that benefit firearms safety, training, and competition for youth and that reach as many youth participants as possible.

HISTORY OF THE CMP:  CMP history goes back 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. The CMP traces its direct lineage to 1903 when Congress and President Theodore Roosevelt established the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice (NBPRP) and the National Matches. 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.

HISTORY OF THE MANISTEE CMP:  On January 11, 1995, the first chairman of the Manistee Muzzle Loading Club's CMP, Robert Archambault, along with Ed Mazeika and Harry Foster, applied to the Department of the Army for recognition as a civilian club. Rod Hudson was listed as the first NRA Certified Instructor. The Club was officially recognized one year later.

The switchover from the DCM and the Army administrating the affiliated clubs to CPRFS in 1996 created a road block on the issuance of firearms and ammunition. We did not receive our supplies until winter of 1996. Job requirements forced Robert Archambault to leave the area and he resigned as Chairman in spring of 1997. Richard Gardiner volunteered to take the reins and Chair the program. Our first registered shoot was held on June 5, 1997.

We currently hold one High Power and one Small Bore Prone match each month during the summer. The first shoot is usually held in late April or early May, with the season concluding in mid-September. The annual Military Rifle competition held in conjunction with the Rendezvous the last weekend in June is a spin-off of the CMP certified John C. Garand Matches, with the first one held in 2001.