America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 53

O FFI C I A L J O UR NA L
Programs & Services

NRA's Proud Tradition
Of Marksmanship Training

W

By Joseph P.
DeBergalis, Jr.

Executive Director,
General Operations

Joining NRA-af´Čüliated state
associations supports NRA's
mission in your state.

GET INVOLVED TODAY!
GO VISIT

stateassociations.nra.org

explore.nra.org

ith the calendar turning to 2021,
your National Rifle Association of
America is celebrating a milestone
anniversary. For 150 years, the NRA has been
a national service organization dedicated
to advancing marksmanship, as well as the
country's foremost defender of Second
Amendment rights. As we recognize NRA's
sesquicentennial year, let's take a look back
at how we started.
NRA was chartered in 1871 in New York by
a group of National Guard officers with firsthand knowledge of the decline of American
marksmanship during the Civil War. Led by
Col. William C. Church and Gen. George
Wingate, their goal was to improve the state
of marksmanship training in the country.
Not long after NRA's inception, the
search for a range began, eventually finding
Creed's Farm on Long Island-deeded
to the National Rifle Association for the
price of $26,250. What became known as
" Creedmoor Range " became one of the
most famous venues in shooting history.
The first formal matches at Creedmoor in
1873 were widely anticipated, with throngs
of enthusiastic spectators gathering to
witness NRA's hosting of historical shooting
events. Rifle tournaments at Creedmoor,
and subsequently at ranges located at Sea
Girt, N.J., Camp Perry, Ohio, and Camp
Atterbury, Ind., captured the country's
spirit of nationalism and resulted in key
improvements in rifles and target scoring.
By the early 20th century, NRA had
grown into a national association that set
the standards for military rifle training. That
training has saved countless American lives
on battlefields around the world. The NRA's
high standards for military rifle training even
inspired the federal government to form an
adjunct within the War Department to focus
on promoting rifle practice among soldiers
and civilians alike.
In 1903, NRA Secretary Albert S. Jones
urged the establishment of rifle clubs at
all major colleges, universities and military
academies. Three years later, the NRA
youth program was in full swing, with
over 200 youth shooters at Sea Girt that
summer. Youth shooting programs remain a
cornerstone of the NRA.
After World War II, the NRA, in conjunction
with the state of New York, established the
first hunter education program. NRA hunter
education courses are now taught by state
fish and game departments across the country

and Canada-helping to make hunting one of
the safest sports around.
As the NRA continued to evolve, expanding its safety and educational programs to
meet the needs of an ever-changing America,
some of the nation's most celebrated leaders, including Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin
D. Roosevelt, George C. Marshall and John
F. Kennedy, praised the NRA's inexhaustible
efforts to train Americans in firearms safety
and marksmanship.
The tradition of marksmanship instruction
continues, thanks to thousands of NRA members working tirelessly as instructors, training
counselors, coaches and volunteers. Without
their support, the majority of programs that
the NRA offers would not be possible.
The NRA today-propelled by its legion of
members and volunteers-continues to offer
educational programs for hunters, marksmen,
military, law enforcement, women and youth.
These programs, found at nrainstructors.org,
underscore a vital commitment to keeping
America safe and free. As we look ahead to
the future, here's to another 150 years of
continuing the traditions
upon which the Association
was founded.
To learn more about
NRA's programs, visit
explore.nra.org.
AMERICA'S 1ST FREEDOM I FEBRUARY 2021

53


http://stateassociations.nra.org http://www.nrainstructors.org http://explore.nra.org http://explore.nra.org

America's First Freedom - February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of America's First Freedom - February 2021

Contents
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - CW1
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - CW2
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - Cover1
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - Cover2
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 1
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - Contents
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 3
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 4
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 5
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 6
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 7
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 8
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 9
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 10
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 11
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 12
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 13
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 14
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 15
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 16
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 17
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 18
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 19
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 20
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 21
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 22
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 23
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 24
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 25
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 26
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 27
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 28
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 29
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 30
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 31
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 32
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 33
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 34
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 35
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 36
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 37
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 38
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 39
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 40
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 41
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 42
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 43
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 44
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 45
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 46
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 47
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 48
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 49
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 50
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 51
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America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 53
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 54
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 55
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - 56
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - Cover3
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - Cover4
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - CW3
America's First Freedom - February 2021 - CW4
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