Wind River Composite Squadron hosts first marksmanship event

(Riverton, WY) – The Civil Air Patrol has a long-standing partnership with the National Rifle Association to promote marksmanship skills. The NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program has been the flagship program of the NRA since 1903. Thousands of CAP cadets have been through this program since the beginning of this partnership. It is a routine part of many of the summer encampments. While in the Civil Air Patrol this is primarily for the cadet programs, many senior (adult) members also participate.

This was the first such event hosted by the newly chartered Wind River Composite Squadron. It involved three classroom training sessions and written and practical tests. Five cadets participated: C/2d Lt Clark Bailey, C/SMSgt Ciely Daly, C/Amn Matthew Stong, C/SMSgt Nicholas Stong, C/MSgt Timothy Stong, Two Senior Members also participated: Capt Karl Falken and 2d Lt Joseph Stong. Capt James Bailey was the Safety Officer for the event.

Shooting was done from standing, kneeling, sitting and prone positions. After shooting, the cadets learned how to properly clean and lubricate the firearms and policed the range to pick up spent casings for recycling.

Cadet Timothy Stong commented, “I have a long-standing interest in firearms and want to learn how to shoot well and safely. This was a great opportunity for that. The qualification test was a good measure of my ability as a marksman. It revealed both my strengths and weaknesses. I hope to participate in the course again to improve my skills and become more proficient.”

All participants passed the written test and scored well enough to qualify as Pro Marksman. Cadet Daly was the top scorer. There are eight levels to the program, with Bar 4 being the highest qualification. The actual qualification was held at the Lakeview Gun Club on US 26 west of Riverton. The instructor and Range Safety Officer was Lawrence Clark who is NRA certified in rifle and shotgun. He retired from Utah Army National Guard this month at the grade of SFC. He was assisted by his sons Nathaniel and Jacob, the latter of which had taken the course previously through the scouting program. Charles Dechert of the LGC provided oversight and advice and loaned the use of the range’s spotting scope to help give important feedback.

“It is always an honor to foster patriotism and instill a respect for the U.S. Constitution,” added Mr. Clark. “This is especially true regarding the second amendment. I believe it is particularly important to do this for those that may someday be models and leaders in society. That’s my main motivation for doing this.”

Capt Karl Falken, CAP shared a special thanks to Marvin Vinich and Mike Smith who loaned rifles and donated ammunition for the event.

h/t Capt Karl Falken, CAP for sharing the above information and photos.

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