Celebrating The 25th Anniversary Of CMP’s John C. Garand Match

At Camp Perry this summer, CMP will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the historic John C. Garand Match.

posted on July 1, 2023
2023 Garand 1

This year, the Civilian Marksmanship Program will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the John C. Garand Match at the annual National Matches at Camp Perry. The event has been one of the most popular CMP competitive shooting events—attracting hundreds of competitors from around the country each year.

To recognize the match’s milestone, there will be a commemorative T-shirt for those signed up for the event.

The roots of the John C. Garand Match date back to 1998, when CMP introduced the exciting new concept into its target competition schedule. The Garand Match is a unique event where participants use vintage “as-issued” M1 Garand rifles over a course of fire with 10 shots prone slow-fire, 10 shots prone from standing rapid-fire and 10 shots standing, all at 200 yards.

Approximately 40 percent of each year’s Garand Match competitors receive coveted gold, silver, or bronze Achievement Medals with neck ribbons. Medal presentations are decided by competitors scores. In 2023, competitors who fire 279x300 or higher will receive gold medals, scores of 272 to 278 will receive silver medals; 260 to 271 will receive bronze medals. Medal presentations typically take place on the range immediately after competitors finish.

The John C. Garand Trophy, awarded to the top competitor in the National John C. Garand Match at Camp Perry, was donated to the National Trophy collection by the Garand Collectors Association in 2001. The winner of the first National John C. Garand Match was Charles Goettemoeller, 69, of Coldwater, Ohio. Nick Till, 49, of Howell, Mich., is the latest winner of the trophy (2022), with a previous win back in 2012. Other past competitors with multiple wins include Brian Hunter, 65, of Huntsville, Ala. (1999, 2001), and Christopher Roberts, 50, of Charlotte, N.C. (2003, 2006, 2008).

Brad Diehl, 46, of Corunna, Ind., is the current national record holder of the match with a score of 294-9X (set in 2018), while Steven Skowronek, 36, of Irwin, Pa., is the only individual to win the National John C. Garand Match as a junior, back in 2005. Skowronek returned to win the match again over a decade later in 2017.

In response to the growing popularity of the Garand Match, the CMP went on to establish other rifle events of the same type, including the Springfield, Vintage Military, Rimfire Sporter, M1 Carbine, Vintage Sniper Team, and Modern Military matches. Collectively, these have come to be known as “CMP Games Matches.”

DCM Emeritus Gary Anderson, who served as the DCM from 1999 through 2009, played a major role in getting the Garand Match established and in growing the CMP’s as-issued military rifle program into one of the CMP’s largest shooting sports disciplines. He recalled, “The Garand Match had 325 competitors in 1998, but it quickly grew to over 1,300 competitors in the years that followed. It succeeded because M1 rifles were affordable and readily available and because we adopted a simple 30-shot as-issued military rifle course of fire. Plus, there was a special appeal to being able to shoot rifles in competitions that had already served in the national defense of our country.”

The availability of surplus M1 and other vintage military rifles has helped target shooting to become accessible to thousands of competitors – allowing them to reenact military and marksmanship history while encouraging camaraderie in a relaxed, fun-filled, yet challenging atmosphere.

In 2023, the Garand Collectors Association presented the Marksmanship Award for those displaying continued success through earned points in the Garand Match, both at the National Matches and Travel Games throughout the nation. During the June 2023 Talladega D-Day Matches, Brian Williams, 49, of Granby, Mass., earned his last points to earn the first GCA Marksmanship Award.

Learn more about the 2023 National Games Matches at thecmp.org.


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